Observe to Serve

Sometimes people tell me they don't know how God 'works', or what he 'expects' them to do. They are really trying to tell me they are having a hard time discerning God's will for their lives. The truth of the matter is that all of us struggle with this from time to time, but we don't have to look very far to find answers to our questions.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Watch what God does - first in your own life, then in the lives of others who have chosen to follow him. Why? God knows we learn best by example. We see, do, then teach. This is the natural cycle. As we become familiar with what he does in our lives, we can then begin to replicate this in our choices (choosing to do things 'within God's will' for our lives). What does God 'do' in your life? He loves you, doesn't he? Unconditionally, without fail, and with repeated extensions of his grace and goodness. He doesn't overlook your sins, but he also doesn't leave you wallowing in your guilt. He confronts your sin, offers grace, and then helps us find ways to not repeat harmful patterns or choices.

We learn by observing - yet we miss so much by not being observant. We must pay particular attention to who God brings across our path. Was that person there as a 'support', or as a way of 'chiseling away some rough spots' in our character? Even those individuals who seem to 'rub us' wrong are there because God loves us - he wants to help us see where the rough edges are and then to allow him to 'file them away' with his grace and goodness. If you have ever been around an individual who just rubs the wrong way, you know how hard it is to keep your cool, respond graciously, and still respect the relationship. God isn't unaware of those things, either. In fact, he gave us numerous examples through his Son as 'starting points' for us to know how to respond when provoked and disrespected.

Keeping company with Jesus is probably one of the most rewarding things we can do, but it is important that we remain observant of how he moves us, what he desires for us to see within our relationships, and where it is we might just need a little bit more of his grace so we are examples of his love within those relationships. We don't always realize just how well we are doing in this day-to-day walk with him until we observe ourselves actually responding differently in situations where we once would have been unkind, argumentative, or even just walked away in disgust. When we see ourselves responding in love rather than retaliation, we might just begin to see that God's will has been 'worked into' the fibers of our being somewhere along the way! Just sayin!

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