One of my daughters has an amazing gift. She often discerns the deep needs of others and quietly positions herself to offer comfort and compassion to those who need a safe person to confide in. During a recent conversation about how God may direct us to be generous towards others, she shared a story of how she and a friend were given free food at McDonald's and decided to give it to a homeless man begging outside the shop. She reiterated her belief that she doesn’t hear God speak, so it doesn’t count.
“How did you know it wasn’t a God thing?” I asked her.
“Because I didn’t feel a spark or a tingle or an angel falling from the roof,” she replied.
How often do you write yourself off because you don’t ‘feel’ God at work in you? How frequently do you dismiss your good works as unspiritual because it wasn’t accompanied by tingling senses or explosive signs? When we judge what God is doing by how much it registers on our ‘sensitivity’ scale, it can both diminish our appreciation of His work in us but also rob us of the delight and satisfaction of being used by God in everyday moments.
In the apostle Paul’s speech to the Athenians, he makes the case that in God “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28 NIV). That is, when we have devoted our lives to Him, He is always at work in us. Sometimes we are not aware of how, we just ‘live’ and ‘move’ and . . . ‘be’. The blessing of this default setting is that we are already living from a place of grace. He transforms us into His likeness from within and His love naturally flows out of us.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-14 NIV).
Perhaps today you need to remind yourself that the good you do is a reflection of the good character God has developed in you. It’s something to be thankful for. It’s a miracle you have the Spirit of God living in you, and you are His gift to this world.