A Greater Goal: Conclusion (5)

{this is the final part in a series}
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Conclusion

I’m not going to say His blessings for obedience will always be visible on earth, but as I’ve sought to reorient parts of my life, there has been blessing. He’s provided opportunities to serve the church with music, wisdom in making decisions of things to cut off, and then proof that it was the right decision.

There are two main examples of this. The first was when I decided that now was not a good time for me to play piano at church. The timing was bad and it didn’t feel like a good fit, but I wondered if that was selfish. I really did want to serve the church with music, but playing for the service just didn’t feel right. That same day, my friend told me she had been asked to be in charge of music for our Carol service in December and asked if I would help her.

The second was in turning away piano students. I wasn’t sure I could handle it as far as capacity was concerned, and also was feeling pressed for time that week. Then the next week I felt I could’ve and wondered if I could take on more – but then I was asked to help lead the younger girls’ Bible study, which fit with building up the church, schedules, and a desire to disciple some of the younger girls in our congregation.

It’s still often a struggle and a challenge as I seek to apply these things, and most often, I fail. But I’m slowly growing, learning, and dying to self.

In closing, here are a few statements to summarize and cement these past five posts.

–          I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy hobbies like knitting, or that we can’t do them for the sake of aesthetics and beauty. We can and should enjoy them and make things beautiful. But we need to be sure that we’re doing them for the right reasons and not neglecting other things that we should be doing. So do things you enjoy, and take time to rest and make things beautiful!

–          We shouldn’t judge our fruit by our production. I may finish five quilts in a month but not be seeking Christ – and abiding in Him is how we bear fruit.

–          We shouldn’t judge our faithfulness by how many things we checked off our list today, or how good we feel, but by whether or not we’re doing what God has given us to do. I may volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center but be dishonoring my parents, or accomplish a long list of tasks while failing to do it to the glory of God.

–          There is no problem with these hobbies, just with making them our priority and goal rather than our goal being Christ. In fact, when we are seeking to obey His commands, we will run into many of these things: Learning a meek and quiet spirit will include cleaning sinks. Washing the feet of the saints and hospitality will include baking. Helping mothers will include holding babies. Serving the church may mean you sew or knit. Ministry may include knitting – we used to knit hats for crisis pregnancy centers. Honoring your mother and father may mean you do all of these things and more.

–          Doing street evangelism with your church isn’t “holier” than honoring your father and mother by scrubbing a floor. Both are obedient and necessary and have their place. Everything we do, whether big or small, can be used to worship and glorify God.

–          This isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are aspects of it that are – God’s commands to build up the church, evangelize, practice hospitality, be self-controlled, and care for the afflicted apply to all women. But the practical outworkings of that will look different to all. For some, that may mean a lot of knitting. For others, it may mean none. But for all, it shouldn’t take us away from the work we’ve been given to do.

–          If used to help us fulfill our duties, worship God, or for seasons of rest, hobbies can be a very, very good thing. But if they distract us from what we should be doing, then we need to reassess how we’re using them.

–          If we are following the commands of God but doing them for ourselves rather than for Him, then we must ask Him to change our motive.

–          Done for the glory of God, even the most mundane and temporal things will have eternal value.

–          If our first desire is to knit, bake, and marry, we have a very small vision. I urge you to put that aside and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and make Christ and Christlikeness our goal. Put off me-time and put on fruitful, faithful, obedient ministry that puts others and their needs above your to-do lists and projects. You can use knitting and baking to further His Kingdom and to be faithful. Marriage is a wonderful and beautiful thing – but only Christ is ultimate, so seek Him first.

–          Find the balance in using gifts and talents in a way that aids, rather than detracts from, what God has laid out for us to do. Remember that little things like knitting can have eternal value, but also that it shouldn’t distract us from being faithful daughters – of our earthly and heavenly Fathers. These things are not good or bad in and of themselves – it’s how we use them and our time that makes them helps or hindrances.

Let’s not strive for good knitting, the praise of men, someday having immaculate houses, being modest, or just being good daughters. Loving babies, serving our families, knitting, and writing – all of those things are gifts, but they are means to an end, not the end. Knit – but do it to serve and not for your own gain. Bake – but do it to build up the church, not receive the praise of men. Hold babies – and help and bless mothers when you do so!

 As living sacrifices thankful for what He’s done for us, let’s press forward to the goal, not getting entangled in civilian pursuits, but being faithful with what scripture commands us to do, for our sanctification, for discipleship, known for good works, building up the church, evangelism, our families. Do it by knitting, cleaning, baking, sewing, praying, talking, serving, and many other ways, for the glory of GOD alone, that His name would be praised and exalted and that He would be worshiped. 

{If you want another angle at this or a quick summary, there was one over at Six Angles a few weeks ago}

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “A Greater Goal: Conclusion (5)

  1. Neethu says:

    Kyleian this is really well written…I think GOD is using your writing for HIS Glory…thanks for being faithful to HIM and striving to do the same…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s