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The Captivity of Activity (Poem) 

A couple of years ago,  my almost three year old grand-daughter was standing on the hearth pretending to preach like her Papa, my husband. I heard her make several comments about Jesus, so I asked, "Mattie, who is Jesus?"

I could see her pondering that thought for a moment and then finally she answered, "I don't know, but my Papa helps him."

Isn't that just like us? We think that we can help Jesus; as if He couldn't do it without our help - as if we could do anything at all without Him? That is the area of my spiritual life where God has to work on me the most. I tend to be more concerned with what I'm doing to "help" Him that what He wants to do in me. I want to "change the world" more than I want Him to change me.

And so, often I forget that I can't do anything without Him. How would I even know how He wants to use me if I haven't spent time with Him - just allowing Him to speak to me and "grow" me into a person that is ready to serve Him. How could I ever expect Him to use me if I haven't allowed Him to fill me with a full understanding of Himself?

Time spent "doing" - even doing "good things" - is a sinful waste if the "doing" has become a priority over my fellowship with Him and if we are attempting to "do" things for God in our own power.  

After pondering all these thoughts for a while, God gave me this little poem to illustrate the futility of my "trying".  He has shown me that my activity can just become another form of captivity.


The Captivity of Activity

At times I feel I can really help you God, I just know I have it in me,

To be someone that You can use, and have a ministry others would envy,

Then You expose my willful pride, my arrogance is revealed,

I become aware of my self-sufficiency, my vanity's no longer concealed.

I get so distracted by the busyness of serving, I forget what You are pursuing,

You're much more interested in what I am, than You are in what I am doing.

I wrongly think that You are impressed by the talents of which I can boast,

When in reality it's my relationship with You that matters to You most.

Why am I tempted to return to a life that's marked by my activity,

When I know from my own experience that it's just another form of captivity?

I'll never know the fullness of Your presence if I never stop for rest,

The things I do on my own may seem good, but what You want for me is Your best.

I get so tired of trying hard and sometimes I tell you, "I quit",

And I hear You respond with relief from Heaven, "Finally! - I just want you to sit."

You tell me instead of trying harder, You'd rather me trust You more,

Because apart from You I can do nothing, that's what Your power is for!

Over and over I ask the same questions, "Where should I go?", "What should I be?",

And You say "Stay close, I am the way, you just need to follow me."

Why do I always wonder where You want me, when You've told me it's at Your feet?

You wait for me patiently time after time, You show up and save me a seat.

How could I neglect a time so precious, a conversation with God most high,

How can I get involved with deeds less important and let a priceless treasure pass me by?

Oh God, let me focus on You only, please distract me from all my distractions,

And let my life be marked by Your holiness and not by my feeble actions

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