Bring It On! … Wait, Nevermind
When I first got baptized, I was like, "Bring on the blessings!"
I couldn't wait for the Lord to bless me with an awesome career, an amazing spouse, loads of gifts and talents and rainbows and smiley faces and … you get the idea.
At 15 years old, I meant well. I knew that following God was the right thing to do. I believed in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for me. I wanted to hitch my wagon to His.
But, I'll admit, my focus was mostly on the blessings. I was primarily focusing on what was in it for me.
Of course, I knew that I had responsibilities as a servant of God — to maintain a close, personal relationship with Jesus, to serve my brothers and sisters, to support the church. But all that seemed to blur into the background.
Now, 17 years later (has it really been that long?) I realize that "blessings" are, in fact, not the best part about serving God.
Really, Sister Michelle? You've got to be kidding me. What is the best part, then?
To me, the best part about serving God is …
Romans 12:2 declares, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
To me, the best part about serving God is the change that happens — from the inside out. It's not just about heaping up blessings around me; it's about God at work inside me. I realize now that I don't think the same as I did back then. What was important to me isn't the same as what's important to me now. I delight in different things. Life isn't all about me.
You might argue, "Isn't this just naturally what happens to a person when they mature from a child to an adult?" Partly, maybe. But, for me, shifting my focus from "what's in it for me?" to "what's God doing in me?" is not something "natural" that my flesh desired. It was a divine impact, a pressing, a molding and shaping.
Truth be told, the things that have been most instrumental in transforming me — renewing my mind — have been the struggles, the disappointments, the difficulties. These are the fires that burn away impurity, that melt away self-indulgence, that turn a heart toward God.
Now, instead of saying, "Bring on the blessings," by God's grace, I can say (bracing myself), "Bring on the transformation."
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.