Why Try?

Hey, thanks again for sending in your questions related to our recent sermons. We are in the middle of our or at the beginning of our Psalms series. And this last weekend we talked about Psalm 16, which has much to say about what a complete picture of worship looks like. It’s not just singing. It’s not just coming to church.

It’s not just ritual or routine, but it’s really where our hearts are aligned. It’s where we look for refuge, where we look for fulfillment, where we look for security, where we are hoped for inheritance, where we get a sense of we belong. And so one of the questions came in this week asking kind of in several different ways, if God has taken care of everything, if my inheritance is sure, if I’m completely fulfilled right now, then why try? What is the point of achievement? Or should I be striving for achievement?

Should I be striving for excellence? Is it wrong to somehow work hard? And the answer is both yes and no. If you’re working hard, if you’re trying to achieve in order to fill some need in you of like, you have to have this achievement in order to feel okay, in order to feel complete, in order to feel like you matter, right? And if you don’t have this achievement, then you don’t matter.

You’re not complete, you’re not worthy. If it has risen to that level for you, then, yeah, that’s a form of idolatry. Anything that we have to have in order to be okay has risen to the level of ultimate importance. And really, only God should be in that position. The only thing that we have to have in order to be okay is God.

But Jesus does tell us to work hard. Matthew 20 the Son of man didn’t come to be served, but to serve, to give his life as a ransom for others. The whole point is others oriented. And so our drivenness should be for others, for God, but not really for self. It’s how can I make other people’s lives better?

It’s how can I bring focus to God here? How can I improve every situation around me? Right? It’s always outward looking. I mean, Jesus calls himself a servant, tells us to be servant.

Anyone who wants to be great in the kingdom of heaven must be a servant or a slave of all. Like, it’s a massive amount of work, but it’s not for self, it’s for others. And that could burn us out. If we’re always thinking about others, working for others, straining ourselves for others, that could burn us out. But that’s why we have to come back to what is worship?

Where do we worship? Where do we get our sense of fulfillment, purpose, security, inheritance, refuge, belonging, right? If we are really vertical on all of those things toward God, and we are, and we do feel completely filled with Him, of course we’re going to have other disappointments in life. But if we have this constant source of life really pouring into us from him, and that’s where we are gaining our sense of refuge, fulfillment, security, belonging, inheritance and that’s like overflowing always pouring into us, then it is easy to pour out to others, because we’re not looking to them for what they can do for us. We’re not looking at our job for what it can do for us.

Because we already have all the recognition we could ever possibly need. The God of the universe has died in order to be in relationship with us. That is a huge amount of recognition. So we don’t need recognition from work. So when we’re at work, we can just be giving away recognition to everybody else.

It’ll be totally freeing. If we are in that position, we won’t need to be in any environment, anywhere to be trying to grab for ourselves because we feel like we have some kind of need that we need to fill, because all of our needs are already filled. What often surprises people, if that clicks for them, if they’re like, oh, I already have everything that I’ll ever need from God and now my mission in life is for others, to be focused on others. Their sense of purpose will go up, their energy will go up and actually they will get more done, they will be more productive in the world if they aren’t really serving for themselves. But the only way that that’s going to feel freeing is if you have kind of an infinite, endless source of life pouring into you to meet all of your needs for fulfillment, refuge, inheritance, security, belonging.

If you have something endlessly pouring into you, then you really can pour out to others. If you’re not getting that vertically, then you will burn out in half a second trying to live for others. Because you won’t be getting any of your needs met, you’ll just be giving out all the time. But you need to have God, the vertical worship going and then you really can. And you’ll have a greater sense of purpose, you’ll have greater energy, and you’ll actually get more done.

You’ll probably achieve more by not trying to achieve. So we hope that that is helpful, we hope that that leads to maybe some more freedom in everybody’s lives. And we really appreciate the question in. So thank you and we will see you next time. Bye.