Zechariah 7:5 Why Do You Do It?

Pencil and question mark

Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?’ Zechariah 7:5 

It is very common for people to do things for reasons that do not show up on the surface of their lives. Many people give a lot of money to different charities that appear to look like they are trying to help the poor or helpless, however, often the purpose is for a tax write-off, not out of love and true care.

This can also be seen in the work place. People work for a paycheck only, not as a service to others or for their employer. Then they do as little as possible to get that check, or they work hard, only to get a promotion.

God asks the people what was their real purpose in fasting over the previous seventy years while they were in captivity.

Believers can often be just like the world in reasons why they do things. It is common for some to do services in the church only for the reason to look good before God and others. They are trying to win points with God by doing certain things. Their hearts are far from God’s heart.

It is not only in believers doing things, but also in not doing some things. Some will not sin in certain ways, just to look good before God and others. Many will still do the sin in their heart or behind closed doors where they are not sin.

Actions like this are about pride and self. Every believer must ask himself why he is doing or not doing something. It must be determined if it is what God wants and if it is being done out of love for God and others.

Examine the things that you do or don’t do. Now ask yourself why you do or don’t do those things.

Your greatest motivation for doing or not doing something should be out of love for God. It should be because God has asked these things of you.

Your goal in life should be to live like Jesus did, not to look good or escape hell, but because of what Jesus has done for you. Do what you do out of gratefulness for the life Jesus has given you. Any other reason is selfish and is worthless before God.

I pray today that you will know what God desires of you; that you will love God with all of your heart; that you will do things out of love for God and others; and that you will love as Jesus loved. 

Isaiah 56:11 Seeking Self Gain

Policeman watching

They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain. Isaiah 56:11 

Gain of something more is what people usually desire. They desire greater wealth, larger bank accounts, higher position, more things, and the list goes on. Nearly all of these things and much more are desired for self.

People look to their own ways to get as much as possible. There can never be enough of anything as long as there is more out there to be had.

This type of greed is found in little children all the way up to senior adults. It is promoted in tv shows, movies, advertisements and music. The desire for more is everywhere.

Isaiah calls out the watchmen of Israel for being greedy with a great appetite for more. Everything that they did was out of selfish gain.

Sadly this selfish desires is found even inside the church. There are many who seek their own ways to gain what they want for themselves, rather than seeking out the good for others. The seek position, title, power, or recognition in the ministries that they do, rather than just seeking God’s will and desire.

Jesus did not act in this way. He left heaven and His God-head to live as a man on this earth. He not only left all of that behind, He also laid down His life in a painful way to bring salvation to everyone. The focus of Jesus was not selfish but for the good of others.

Every believer is to first focus on what God wants. This puts self on the back burner and puts God first. Then as one is seeking God’s will, he will also put others before Himself. Believers are to be focused on building God’s kingdom, not their own kingdom.

As you go through your day, what is your focus on? God’s top two focuses are on you loving Him and building His kingdom.

These two things are not about self, but about God and others. You are a watchman, just as the Israelites were. You have a job to watch out for the coming of the Lord’s return. As you do this, you need to warn others about His soon coming.

Being a witness for Jesus does not allow you to be selfish or to seek your own gain. It is only about building others up. Instead of seeking your own way, seek God’s today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have a vision of God’s mission for you to reach the lost; that you will seek to build God’s kingdom; and that you will be a watchman warning of the return of Jesus.