Read Luke 10:17-20
Notice that Jesus had two responses to the victorious disciples. First He said, “Way to Go! You really defeated the enemy on this trip!” He validated their actions and their experience.
Second, He said, “Be careful that you don’t get caught up in the ‘buzz’ of victory. Just be glad you are saved.” This may come as a shock to us at first, but when you really contemplate Jesus’ statement you will see that there is a deep truth that will do well for us to learn.
Stop for a moment and check your heart. Why do you seek to serve God? Many of us are seeking our identity in “being good.” Others love the power that they feel when they lead someone to Christ, or pray for a sick person and see them healed, or stand against an adversary with the truth of the Word and win an argument. We love to win victories for Jesus. We love the ‘buzz’ that comes from “making a difference” in the world. It’s OK to like these things, but Jesus cautions the disciples to not seek after this. If our reward for following Jesus is the image it creates for us or the feeling we get when serving Him, then we are still focused on ourself. Rather, we should seek to do these things simply because we are members of the Kingdom of God. We should be glad that we are “in,” nothing more, nothing less.
The truth is that, as you progress in the spiritual journey, you will find that sometimes you serve God and get a good “buzz” — you see results quickly, miracles happen, lives are changed — but other times you work and work, and there is no payoff. The crops take what seems to be an eternity to grow and, in the meantime, you are left waiting and working with seemingly no meaning. The world would tell you that you are a failure. Your image may not be exalted. That’s when we have to ask ourselves, “why am I doing this? Am I doing it for the ‘buzz’ – the power, the victory, the image – or am I simply serving for God’s glory alone.”
These are tough words, but the sooner you can sacrifice the need for an immediate payoff, the sooner you can get to the obedient work of serving the Kingdom of God.