Acts 17:24-28 (NIV)
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Question: In seeking to more fully live out God's will for our lives, we are often distracted by seemingly worthy endeavors that actually seem to fit with daily Christian living. For example, spending time learning more about God, instead of on things we think we should be doing. How do we prioritize one worthy endeavor over another?
Answer: We aren't serving man...we are serving the Lord.
When we seek to serve the Lord more fully, we should consider ourselves an empty canvas. God is the master painter. All of our talents and abilities are merely paints situated all around the room. We don't have command of the paint, such that we can order it upon the canvas of our lives. God is the painter. He determines the picture of our lives. And the talents and abilities He's blessed us with, are at his disposal...not ours.
At any given moment, we should not (because we don't have the authority to) prioritize those things that are not presently in line with God's will or that get in the way of what God would have us do in serving Him. We should not become too confident in our abilities or what we can provide for people. Instead, our confidence should lie in the fact that the Lord is allowing us to do these things.
Charles Stanley said, "...if you walk ahead of God, you will walk out of his will".
God is the one orchestrating which paints get applied to the canvas. He is the artist, we are His art. We are simply the painting.
When our time on earth is done, and we have been given the opportunity to fully serve our purpose, our lives should reflect God's artful creation...his design. Others should be able to look at our lives, and recognize them as masterpieces of God's glory.
Going forward: I'm going to attempt to forget about my abilities. I will try to forget about my architectural abilities, my writing abilities, my gift of encouraging others, and everything else that I frequently take inventory of, in an attempt to determine how I might utilize them in serving God more fully. Instead, I will be ready to use what God has blessed me with, in the exact moment that He places me in.
We are what God causes us to become and no more. In thinking we are more than what God causes us to become, we are not allowing God to bless us with life more fully through Him.