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Pastor Granillo: Employee Of The Month

on September 10, 2017 - 6:30am
By Pastor Raul Granillo
La Vista Church of the Nazarene
White Rock

If I could make a livin' out of lovin' you,
I'd be a millionaire in a week or two.
I'd be doin' what I love and lovin' what I do;
If I could make a livin' out of lovin' you.
– Allen Jackson (Sung by Clay Walker).

I must confess that I recently realized my relationship with God had changed. When I first began a personal relationship with Him, it was as a scared child. God was a real comfort to me during some really troubling times. He brought me peace and gave me strength in every situation. I learned, experientially, that God is really good at just holding me when I’m scared.

I rebelled against God as a teenager and young adult. He was still a part of my life, but I fought Him, tooth and nail, at every turn. Even back then I was amazed at His persistence in trying to help me onto the right road. His relentless pursuit of me can only be compared to a parent’s pursuit of their lost child. Through everything, God had acted like the perfect Father to me.

Recently, however, I realized that I had changed the nature of my relationship with God. I have been so intent with pleasing Him that I moved myself out of the “child of God” position in exchange for the “employee of the month” position. I am willing to bet that there are a few others who have done this. We act the way we think God wants us to act instead of simply responding to His love.

As a pastor, my focus has been on pumping out theologically sound sermons, new columns, applicable Sunday Schools, improving the church grounds, promoting the ministry, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to be the employee that God was impressed by, would want to promote, and would trust with more. The problem is that God never wanted to hire me. He just wanted to do great things with me. Like a true father, God simply wants to show us how much potential we really have and how much He loves each one of us. God’s desire for us is simple. It is to give us life, love, joy, and hope.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:15-17 NIV)

It’s common for us to try to please others. The same is true of our relationship with God. We want to please God. Too often, however, we do so out of professional expectations rather than intimately relational ones. We may act as though God will surely be pleased with us if we just follow a certain set of rules and standards, or if we get everything on our lists done perfectly. Yes, God wants us to live righteously, but do we do so because we want a star on the top of our paper, or because it is the natural response to our love for God?

The Christian should not be directed by fear. We should not live as if, at any moment, God may decide we are unworthy and reject us. If we treat our relationship with God as professional, then we bind ourselves to the fears that come with professional relationships. We subject ourselves to the fear of cutbacks, layoffs, bad performance reviews, demotions, or being replaced by someone—or something—more cost effective. Your relationship with God was never meant to be professional.

Do you work for God or with God? Paul says that, by the Holy Spirit, we know we can cry “Abba, Father”. We can do this, not professionally, but as His children. No one was meant to work for God, we were all created to love Him, and be loved by Him, in a way that is even more intimate than a parent and their child. Worship God to enjoy Him. Obey God to please Him as a small child would do for their own parents. Look to Him as your Father. After all, He created you for that purpose.

I confess, I have let that relationship slip a bit in exchange for the naturally expected employee/employer relationship. I am going to cut back on many things so that I can spend more time working with God instead of for Him. Part of that means cutting back on these weekly writings. I will continue to submit them a couple of times of month, and I pray that they will be a blessing to those who read them.

I leave you with this. What things do you do for God because you think they are part of the Christian job description? Should you not, instead, do the things that God places on your heart in order to please Him and reflect His loving image back into creation?

If you have a Biblical question, comment, or concern, please feel free to email me at raul@lavistanaz.org.

To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007


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