Bible Faith Fellowship: Substance Over Form

As Unto The Lord

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Joseph Tokar

As Unto The Lord As Unto The Lord

Date 2011-01-23
Document (PDF) BFF-20110123-AsUntoTheLord.pdf
Call to Worship

We have all seen athletes and movie stars who accomplish great things praising themselves. Some athletes even beat their chests and proclaim their own greatness to the world. Foolish. How many of us have fallen into this same foolishness on occasion, forgetting that scripture says that we have been created in God’s own image and that we should give thanks to Him for everything we are and everything we have.

Read Colossians 3:17 (KJV) 17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

I chose to use the KJV today for most of the passages we will be looking at because it seems a better translation for what God has given me to speak about. The key word in this passage is “whatsoever.” I have tried to come up with a different definition than exactly what the word says, but have been unable to do so. Whatsoever means precisely that: “what so ever,” everything we do, whatever we do, all things we do, every single thing we do, we do in the name of the Lord Jesus. This passage doesn’t leave a lot of room for discussion. Unfortunately, in our pride and our quest for self-justification, we sometimes forget that God has created us and that we can accomplish nothing without Him.

Read John 15:5 (NIV) I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Once again God’s word has provided us with zero wiggle room in the interpretation of His meaning. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Which means basically: “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Zilch, nada, zero…nothing.

So why do we find it so easy sometimes to forget who God is and what He has done for us? Why is it so easy to become arrogant, prideful, saying to ourselves and to others: “Look what I have accomplished!!! I have done this thing! I have scored this touchdown! I have earned this A on my report card! I have changed this person’s life! I, I, I, I…” How very seductive is the sin of pride, how very easy it is to seek glory for oneself and put aside the humbleness that is reality. How very simple to become enmeshed in arrogance, walking away from God to a place barren and lifeless, were all we do is self-actualize. According to the world, self-actualization is a good thing. The term is used in psychology and was coined by Kurt Goldstein.

According to Kurt Goldstein's book The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man, self-actualization is "the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, [the organism's] individual capacities" in the world. The tendency toward self-actualization is "the only drive by which the life of an organism is determined."[3] Goldstein defined self-actualization as a driving life force that will ultimately lead to maximizing one's abilities and determine the path of one's life; compare will to power.

Self-actualization and Maslow's Hierarchy

See also: Maslow's hierarchy of needs

The term was later used by Abraham Maslow in his article, A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow explicitly defines self-actualization to be "the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."[4] Maslow used the term self-actualization to describe a desire, not a driving force, that could lead to realizing one's capabilities. Maslow did not feel that self-actualization determined one's life; rather, he felt that it gave the individual a desire, or motivation to achieve budding ambitions.[5] Maslow's usage of the term is now popular in modern psychology when discussing personality from the humanistic approach.

A basic definition from a typical college text book defines self-actualization according to Maslow simply as "the full realization of one's potential"

Self-actualization takes everything away from God and places all things in the power of the person. Unfortunately for the world, this is what is taught in our schools, that we are both responsible and capable of all things in and of ourselves. Easy to see why so many of us are lost and confused, taking the glory for ourselves and relegating God’s authority to the back seat or not at all.

Fortunately for us, God’s word is clear.

Read 1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)  31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God

He wants us to give Him glory in even the tiniest things...things as small as eating and drinking. And He wants us to do it to the very best of our abilities. Unlike so many professional athletes, God wants us to accomplish everything to the very best that He has created us to do, not the very best that we can do.

Read Colossians 3:23 (KJV) 23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

So when we begin to do things not for ourselves, but for God, we start to do things differently. We begin to see all the little things we could be doing better, the things we do, we do more heartily, and all the things we can do that will show God’s glory and not our own. And here’s the catch: when we begin to do things to the Glory of God, we not only begin to show the world God’s glory, but we also begin to take more care in everything we do. Think of the things God can accomplish through us when we begin to do everything as if He was standing next to us encouraging us and helping us. (which He is!)

Ultimately, when we lay down at night we should be able to think about everything we have done that day and know that we have done everything for the Glory of God, accomplishing what He wants for us and resting easily, knowing that God loves us and is blessing us in everything we do.

We will close with this last verse:

Read 2 Peter 1:3-4 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you

What shouldn’t we do for a God who has promised this to us?

Let’s pray