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  • Adey Okogun

Selfless Faith

Joyce Meyer told a story about a man who lost his son to a terrible illness. The man cried out to God and said, “Where were you when my son died?”. God said to him “The same place I was when mine died”.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how selfish I’ve been.

Our generation initially set out to prioritize our mental health. We thought it important to prioritize our wellbeing, then we took a turn and traded our good motives for a disregard of other people in the name of ‘self-care’.

We skimp out on our commitments without feeling the need to provide enough notice to the other party. We consider certain helpful acts as beneath ourselves. We refuse to apologize first because we don’t want to be considered weak.

My husband and I will have been married for a year next month. Within the last 2 and half years that we’ve been together, the Lord has taught me so much about laying down my desires to prioritize my husband above myself.

If anyone had said this to me before I got married, I would have said “That sounds toxic” but this is exactly what God requires of us as believers.

Paul says in Philippians 2:3 - ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.’

Multiple times, God has prioritized us even when we have forsaken him repeatedly. His love is relentless and keeps chasing us down. He has the ability to wipe us all away, yet he is patient with us and merciful to us.

Our generation has a ‘What about me?’ problem.

The truth is our ‘What about me problem’ is a ‘fear’ problem. It’s a ‘lack of faith’ problem. It’s a ‘lack of trust in God’ problem. It’s a ‘surrender’ problem.

We think “If I don’t take care of myself, then who will?”

We don’t trust God to take care of us and so we would gladly pull down another person, if it will help us climb to the top.

Have we considered that most of our frustrations are because ‘things are not the way we want’? Basically, our frustrations are because ‘Our will is not being done’.

We are frustrated because we don’t have the fancy car that we want, the high-paying job that we want, the big house that we want and that we don’t win arguments the way we want.

We get even more frustrated when we quote scripture on these things - “God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory – Philippians 4:19” and we still don’t get what we want.

We haven’t considered that the material things that we define as our needs may not be what God considers as needs for us. They are more likely to be ‘our wants’ and God didn’t promise to supply all ’our wants‘.

Material things can be good. Many people who walked with God have amassed great wealth – Abraham, David, Joseph, Isaac, Jacob – but we mustn't forget that their wealth was used for God’s purpose.

King Solomon is the wealthiest man that ever lived. He sought to find fulfilment in his wealth, but it made him frustrated. He concludes in Ecclesiastes 12:13 that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments. I recommend that you study the book of Ecclesiastes.

How often do we ask God for things for reasons other than our own personal satisfaction?

The song ‘Hosanna by Hillsong United’ says “Everything I am for your Kingdom’s Cause”.

Selfless faith means to follow Jesus and surrender to His will, that His will may be done through you even if it means that you may be inconvenienced.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:25 - “Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.”

He is one example of believers who disregarded themselves completely for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

God inconvenienced himself in the person of Jesus Christ by becoming sin for us and taking on our pain and burden, being crucified on a cross so that His will may be done – That we may be saved by believing in Jesus.

He set us an example of selfless faith by forsaking his fleshly desires for us even when it hurt so much, he wondered if he didn’t have to go through with it.

Matthew 26:39 - “And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Majority of us do not have to be inconvenienced for God’s Will even slightly as much as believers like Paul and the apostles were but we still struggle to surrender.

We have to remember that our lives are not all about us. We need to make our decisions with God’s will in mind and not just our fleshly desires.

What would the world look like if every believer asked God for an opportunity to bless someone in every day and actually made an effort to be a blessing to someone every single day?

You may still be thinking ‘I get your point but still what about me?’

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.

At first glance, you may think “If I obey God, then God will give me everything I want”, but what this really means is that God will put His desires for you in your heart. If He puts those desires in your heart, then He will fulfil them.

If you put God first, then he will put you next.

No matter what you think is best for you, God knows better than you and He is always right. His desires for you are so much better than your desires for yourself, so wouldn’t you rather have him give you your heart’s desires?

To delight yourself in the Lord is not to simply go to church or read your bible or pray. We must walk in love.

Matthew 22:37 – 40 - “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

1 John 3:18 - “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”

The commandments of God are the commandments of love. To love everyone including the ones we do not like.

Luke 6:32 - “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”

Love is not selfish (1 Corinthians 13:5-7). Love is selfless.

To be selfless is to consider the needs of others above ours. As difficult as it may sound, it is our duty and we have it in us. God is love and His Holy Spirit lives in us. He has given us the ability to be selfless.

Every day we need to make this choice and ask for His help to walk in love and be a blessing and not merely to receive blessings.

The ultimate blessing is to have God.

God said to Abraham in Genesis 15:1 - “I am your shield, your very great reward.” We inherited this blessing.

Do you believe that God is enough for you?

If you didn’t have anything else, will you be satisfied with God alone?

If you had everything else, will you be satisfied if you didn’t have God? - Try to imagine this. It’s hard to and it’s painful to even imagine.

That is how great it is to have God as our reward. It's an indescribable blessing that we know we cannot live without.

I desire selfless faith. I desire to be used for the Kingdom of God even if it means that I will be inconvenienced. I desire to be satisfied with God being my reward.

The crazy thing is that if we choose to use what little we have for the Kingdom of God, God will give us even more. Read Matthew 25.

Luke 16:10 - “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.”

Your act of selflessness may lead to more material gain and when you get it, you may still find yourself giving it all away because your heart’s desire has now become the need to bless others.

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