Looking to you

Who’s looking to you? For answers, guidance, counsel, leadership, provision, etc. We all have someone looking to us at some point, in some context. A child looking for attention or more of something. A friend looking for guidance, for time, for help. A coworker or employee looking for direction, vision, assistance, answers. A family member looking for time, solution, care. Whomever and for whatever it may be, someone is looking to you to receiving something. What if you don’t have what they are looking for or rather have nothing at all to give? Do you feel drained, inadequate, disqualified, discouraged, irritated?

What Jesus offers is enough for your life and enough for those looking to you.

Recently in a season of feeling that I often had nothing left to give anyone after my 8-5 job, I was frustrated and discouraged. 

I came across in Acts 3 a typical scene in Jerusalem taking place. People entering the temple for the 3pm prayer time. A busy flow of people coming and going. Prime place for a beggar to be asking to receive something from those passing through.

Peter and John are approaching a specific entrance to the temple referred to as "the Beautiful gate" where they notice a crippled man begging for money. They could pass by and pay no attention. They could give him what he is asking for. But instead...

"Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." (Acts 3:2-5)

Someone looking to and expecting something.

"Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk". Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong." (Acts 3:6-7)

What he wanted they did not have nor give. They offered what they did have, offered what he needed, not what he asked for.

When I feel drained, discouraged, stretched or irritated that someone is looking to me, it’s often because I've been running on my own self-efficiency - looking to my own abilities, strength, and resources. I am limited. Jesus is unlimited. And we get the full measure of Him and His Spirit that we might offer Him to others.

When you feel tugged and pulled in many directions by others looking to you for something, know they need Jesus, not you, you get to be a vessel directing them to the life spring.

There's a freedom in knowing you aren't expected to meet every need of those looking to you. Freed to give because Christ meets us to freely give to others.

1. Be aware of running on your own strength. Recognize when you are irritated and growing wearing of others. How do you respond when being asked of something from you? Our response to others indicates what's going on inside.

2. Practice the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. That takes slowing our hearts down to seek His counsel, guidance, leading and provision. The Lord so longs to do so if we would look to Him as our source, not ourselves. My counsel, guidance, leading and provision is limited. We would also be able to stop and discern the needs of others, not just what they ask of us, but what they truly need.

3. Place your dependency on Him. When you find yourself at your end, know you are being positioned in a place of dependence on the Lord. Ask The Lord to give you wisdom, guidance, provision, because you have come to your end. He loves and longs to meet you there.

I will never read that interaction in Acts 3 the same. That’s why the word is living and active. As my life and seasons change, the Word remains. And in those changes of life, the scripture continues to shed new light on my heart from familiar words. God’s word is life. 

"We gain the most when we give. We learn the most when we teach. We receive the most when we serve." Rick Warren