Rosa is a young woman whose heart has been captivated by the love of Jesus. She has boldly stepped out in faith over and over again as Jesus has called her to follow Him. She is single by choice and will not settle for less than what God has for her in any area of her life. She is strong, honest, and vulnerable. You will be blessed by her heart as she shares this word with you today.
From the Inside Out by Rosa Zoghbi
I get to work “full time” in the ministry at a great church. Getting to do what I love, with the people I love, for the King of my heart has been one of the greatest blessings I have received. When love is the fuel that drives you, there is an extra portion of energy, creativity, and a desire to keep going until the outcome is perfect. I love it!
I also love how faithful Jesus is to work out my tendency to focus on what needs to be done rather than the people I am doing it with. You see, I am a perfectionist which can quickly lead me down a road of “religion” where achieving the goal is more important than people.
I can get so caught up in doing things “for” God, that I start to value excellence and perfection over people, forgetting that even though He values excellence, He values people more, excellence honors Him, but He is not interested in it at the cost of His people or our hearts.
And He is faithful to remind me of the order of things because He loves me.
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” -Hosea 6:6 NIV
We see a perfect example of this with Saul, he was madly in love with God, grew up as a scholar Jew, had the wisest teacher of the congregation (Acts 22:3; 5:34), knew God’s word detail by detail, and yet did not recognize Jesus as the son of God. He thought God’s name had been blasphemed and decided to wipe out every single person who would proclaim the name of Jesus, because in his heart he made it his mission to clean God’s name. Let’s stop here for a second, let me ask you this question: how far are you willing to go to let the world know of your love for God?
Saul was convinced he was working for God, bringing justice to His name and he thought that by doing this he was loving God. In the end that’s why he did everything he did, he was lost in the religion, yet desperate to find the relationship.
One day, on the way to his mission to wipe out the blasphemers, the unexpected happened, God stopped him on the way to set him free. In order to set him free there was a process of refining and reshaping that had to happen. Jesus temporarily blinded him (Acts 9:8; 22:11), not because He was mad at him, not because He wanted to avenge his people. Jesus loved him so much that he took his sight in order to teach him to see from the inside out, to depend on Him and not his own strength and more importantly, to teach him to work with Him, not for Him.
He received a new name, he wasn’t called Saul anymore, but now his name was Paul.
Paul wasn’t a follower of Jesus when Jesus walked the face of the earth, but that single encounter transformed his life forever. Once the chains of religion were broken and Paul recovered his sight, he understood, embraced and taught love like no other (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
“How Religion Works: If I obey, then God will love and accept me. The Gospel: I’m loved and accepted, therefore I wish to obey.”
“Religion” will drive you to kill God’s plan for your life and everybody else’s, while thinking you are working “for” God, while a relationship with Jesus sets you free to work “with” God and not for Him.
What patterns of religion are making you captive in this season of your life?
If you feel exhausted working for God, maybe you need to stop now and evaluate how to reconnect with Him. Invite Jesus alongside you to do whatever it is that He is calling you to do because if you don’t stop now, He will stop you. Not because He is mad at you, but because He loves you and is more interested in your heart than your sacrifices or deeds.