I received a clear message yesterday while reading my devotionals. One theme emanated from both Sarah Young and Brother Lawrence: “Quit your self-centered focusing on others”! Neither said it quite this way - but this was their shared message.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling) wrote:“When you are around other people, you tend to cater to their expectations – real or imagined. You feel enslaved to pleasing them, and your awareness of My Presence grows dim. Your efforts to win their approval eventually exhaust you. You offer these people dry crumbs rather than the living water of My Spirit flowing through you.”Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God) put it this way:“The most excellent method …of going to God is that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, and (as far as we are able) purely for the love of God.
Now I don’t mean to present myself as one who is always putting other people first as in the self-less way of a Mother Teresa. The truth is way far from that. But I do have a healthy self-centered perspective of thinking too hard and long about how other people might react to what I do and say. It colors most everything I do and is definitely not what God wants. As Sarah Young writes, it is exhausting and effectively dries up the flow of Living Water.
I feel a need to pour a second cup of coffee and pray for a day of pleasing God; not pleasing myself. Only then will His Living Spirit flow through me.