We were created for a relationship with God. Yet sometimes we get stuck on the performance wheel, DOING for God instead of BEING with God.
I know I do! For example, I do lots of things for God. Good, helpful things, but my motivation for doing them can be skewed. Somewhere in my walk with God I believed this lie: God is only pleased with me if I’m performing for Him. Do you find yourself on an endless wheel of DOING, too? Maybe you think:
- I need to read the Word daily.
- I need to serve at my church.
- I need to be a friendly neighbor.
- I need to give my money to feed the poor.
- I need to deliver a meal to a new mom.
- I need to lead the Bible study.
- I need to tell “the lost” about Jesus.
- I need to help clean up elderly church families’ yards.
- I need to be a patient parent and loving spouse.
Check Your Motivation
These tasks in themselves are good, holy, pure, and righteous, but it’s our motivation that needs to be questioned. For some of us, these can become a box we check in our Christian walk, so we can feel good about ourselves. Instead of being with God, we became a doer for God.
This can leave us wondering why God seems far off or questioning why this Christian walk feels heavy and hard. We can find ourselves treating God like a taskmaster who needs pleasing, instead of a God who actually delights in us.
When we view our relationship with God as something we do for Him, instead of learning to simply be with Him and enjoy His company, we can lose our way. There’s a huge difference between performing and being. Once we learn this distinction, everything changes.
Questions to Ask to Uncover our Motivation
- Do you do things to earn God’s approval or can you just be with God and soak up His love?
- Can you delight in just sitting with Him?
- Can you be still before Him and sense His love?
- Can you feel His delight as you walk through your day?
- Do you feel “less than” when you fail at our checklist (daily prayer, bible reading, church attendance)?
- Do you feel you must be punished because you’ve failed to DO something right for God?
Proof About How God Feels About You
- “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness.With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” – Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
- “He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” – Psalm 18:19
- “For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” – Psalm 149:4
- “No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.” – Psalm 147:11
Over and over the Word resounds with the way God delights in us, not because of what we do but because of who He is. His Word echoes with whispers of love and devotion, but we often miss it because we’re too busy doing all the things.
When we pause, God takes notice. He wait for us to pause our doing so we can sit with Him. When we quiet our minds and bodies, we are able to sense His contentment. Being with God is about increased awareness of His presence. It’s knowing He is always near. We can sense Him throughout our day, not just when we feel like we’re serving Him.
9 Ways to Practice Being with God
- Soak up His goodness as you walk through the park or along the beach.
- Feel His love as you hold your spouse’s hand.
- Delight in His peace as you hear the giggles of your grandchild.
- Sense His nearness as you pull the cherry pie from the oven.
- Rest in His embrace as you pause for a quick nap knowing you can return to your work soon.
- Feel His delight as you prepare the presentation and equip your coworkers for the task ahead.
- Pause in the Psalms as you read about His love.
- Bow your head in gratitude after a strenuous day.
- Be enveloped in His tenderness as you worship as with the Body of Christ.
Doing things for God is good, but doing them so we can earn His love falls short. You are already dearly loved. Instead of DOING, learn to BE with our King.