(This first published on Sept. 8, 2016.)
Have you ever felt invisible? Wondered if anyone would notice, should you stop doing whatever it is you’re doing, day in and day out?
When our daughter was younger, I often wondered what would happen if I didn’t make the bed–after all, it’d only get messed up again. Or what if I left the laundry and dishes untouched.
There were times, many, when the tedium of the day wore me down and left me feeling … insignificant.
They say integrity is doing what you know is right when no one is watching.
Except, Someone is always watching, right? Psalm 139 tells us God is attentive to our every move. He knows every detail of our lives and every thought that flits through our brain. More than that, He takes great delight in us.
Psalm 37:23 says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord upholds them by the hand” (NLT, emphasis mine*).
Pause to consider that verse for a moment. The Lord delights in every detail of our lives–when we’re doing something grand and exciting and when we’re folding towels for the umpteenth time. Perhaps because He knows our character, that part of us He’s continually molding, is grown in the big and the small.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be a person of integrity.
I want to be known for my character and obedience. I want God to look down on me, when I’m elbow deep in dishwater, and smile, and I want to do it all–everything–for Him and His glory.
For obedience sake.
These emotions and thoughts were triggered as I read Luke 1:5-7. Elizabeth and Zechariah, an old and childless couple, were known for being righteous and carefully obeying God’s commands and regulations. When we read this passage, it’s easy to skip over that, probably because we know the end of the story. They were faithful, and God rewarded them with something they’d deeply longed for–a child. Not just a child, but the one birthed to proclaim the coming of Christ.
Wow. Pretty awesome, right?
But let’s step back. Back to when, still childless and likely unnoticed, John’s parents lived obediently. Scripture tells us Zechariah was a Jewish priest, and as such, his responsibilities were to maintain the workings in the temple, instruct the people, and on occasion, if the lot cast landed on him, to enter the Holy Place of the Tabernacle to burn incense on the altar of incense.
I’m not a statistician, but it seems likely he could go his entire life and never, not once, receive this honor. He was one of 20,000 priests! Though Scripture doesn’t tell us, I think it’s safe to assume there were times he felt unseen and wondered if what he did mattered. After all, should he simply cease performing his duties, there were 19,999 other men ready and able to take his place, many of which likely had children.
Let me explain the significance of that for a moment. In Bible times, children were seen as a blessing from God; barrenness was seen as a curse. Meaning, Elizabeth and Zechariah were likely judged for their infertility. The common assumption of their day–They’d likely done something wrong or had displeased God in some way, and that was the reason they were barren.
In other words, Elizabeth and Zechariah served God faithfully in the midst of their sorrow. Despite the fact that He hadn’t granted them the one thing they likely longed for above all else.
They obeyed in the mundane, in the hard and painful, simply because it was the right thing to do.
They obeyed because they knew God is worthy, amen?
There’s a verse I love, and one I pray often: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him” (Romans 12:1 NLT).
In view of all God has done for us, in view of Christ’s sacrificial death so we might live, may we offer our whole bodies–all we are. Our time, our gifts, our words, our thoughts–to Christ, as a living sacrifice.
Sometimes life is a sacrifice, right? Obedience isn’t always easy or glamorous. But that is “truly the way to worship [God].” Or to put it another way, every time we scrub toilets, mop floors, wipe snotty noses, or answer phones, if we’re doing it in obedience to Christ, we’re worshiping Him.
Isn’t that cool?
Let’s talk about this!
What were your thoughts as you read today’s focal passage? Is there an area in your life or something you do that feels insignificant? How does it feel knowing God is watching you every time you engage in that activity? How does it feel knowing that thing, whatever it is, can be an act of worship, something that brings your Father joy?
Additional content you might find helpful:
The Invisible Woman
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
How Scripture Helps Quiet Fear – Faith Over Fear
The home he doesn’t want … could become the family he needs.
Returning home to sell his mother’s struggling farm, Tyler Reyes doesn’t expect the new neighbor to ruin his plans. But when Daria Ellis’s ATV rentals damage the property, working on repairs with the single mom is the only option. Soon the simple agreement turns into kids’ riding lessons and family dinners. With his deadline looming, Tyler knows his biggest challenge will be leaving Texas with his heart intact.
Buy it HERE.