When Did You Last Join God at Work?
“When they arrived at the Lord’s house in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families brought spontaneous gifts for the rebuilding of God’s house”. Ezra 2:68
Some people brought spontaneous gifts. We usually associate this word with impulsiveness or unplanned action. It can also mean instinctive. However, the Latin root suggests a meaning of “one’s free will; voluntary”. The Israelites had been in captivity for 70 years and yet their instinctive response was to bring an offering of their own free will. It wasn’t prescribed. It wasn’t even solicited. Rather, they heard that God’s house was being rebuilt and they wanted to be part of it in some way.
It’s not the spontaneous gift. It’s what they spontaneous gift represents. They had an instinct and a desire to be part of something greater than themselves. When we hear of someone doing something for God, what is our response? Do we feel guilty? Do we feel anger? Do we feel jealousy or envy? Do we feel overwhelmed? When we identify what we are feeling, it will lead us to ask why we are feeling this way.
Why do you feel angry, guilty, jealous, or overwhelmed? Does your answer include the word “should”? I should help. I should give. I should be doing something like that. I should be doing something more, better, greater, etc. What happens if you substitute the word “could” for “should”? I could help. I could give. I could…
I’m wondering if these families didn’t have should or could in the decision-making process. I’m not saying we stop using our minds or decision-making processes. I’m saying that sometimes, when our relationship with God is current and healthy, then we don’t need to “pray about it”. We can give spontaneously. If we find that we rarely give spontaneously of our time, talents, or treasurers, and we use a lot of “should”s in our decision-making, then we might want to take a closer look at our relationship with God.
My husband and I were on a retreat in Indiana recently. During the retreat, our son called us. He was stuck on the side of the road with oil leaking out of his car engine. It was the first time he had found himself in this situation. And the people he would normally call were out of state. We immediately stopped what we were doing and helped him navigate the situation. We didn’t ask any should or could questions. He is our son and our response flowed out of our relationship with him. It was a spontaneous response.
We can begin by asking ourselves this question…when was the last time I saw God at work around me and I spontaneously joined Him? Your answer will give you insight into your relationship with God and the desires of your heart. What are the ways you are inspired to join God? How well do you recognize when He is at work around you? How quickly is your heart moved to be a part of something greater than yourself?
May you find peace and direction as you meditate on these questions this week.