I know I’ve been guilty of this. I sit in church or listen to someone talk about feeding the poor and I think to myself, I haven’t done that. I need to go out right now and feed the poor. I remember Matthew 25:42, For I was hungry and you gave Me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I don’t want to be on the other side of that conversation.
But if I have my quiet time with God, I hear a different voice. I hear Him say, Feed the poor. Immediately I think, isn’t that what I felt led to do anyway? But God says, Who were you listening to, a man or Me?
See the difference? Even if it’s the exact same message, God wants you do act on His command, not man’s. When we do things based on what other people tell us to do, we do it out of guilt and legalism. There’s a feeling of haste, that it must be done now, and we are wrong if we don’t do it.
When we act in obedience to God, there’s peace. There’s an understanding of His heart and why He’s asking. Conviction from God doesn’t feel guilty. You know that when you obey, there will be joy, not a satisfied tick off a list of things that make you feel better about yourself.
If you feed the poor out of guilt with five loaves and two fish, you’re not going to feed that many people. If you act out of obedience to God telling you, you will feed thousands.