Sometimes we forget that our whole Christian walk is about one Person, and it's not ourselves...its Jesus. He is our great reward.
If you take a look around today, ministries and recognition seem to the reward. Wanting to influence and teach and have a platform take precedence over pointing people to Jesus. Sermons touting kindness, giving and love come first rather than messages about our need for Jesus. Often times those who say they love Jesus the most mention Him the least. Wanting influence and reach isn't a bad thing, but when we want those things more than we want God, then we fall into dangerous territory.
Genesis 15:1 says: After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Abram had just come back from a battle where he had put his life on the line to rescue his nephew, Lot, but God protected him. Then he met the king of Sodom and was given one sweet offer: the choice to take some of the spoil of the battle. Before he could choose, Melchizedek (a type of Christ) came out and met him, and encouraged him by blessing him. He ended up deciding not to take any of the spoils, lest the king of Sodom should say, I have made Abram rich.
God had just proven to Abram that He was his shield by protecting him in battle. God was also letting Him know that He wasn't just the avenue to riches, but He was indeed the riches.
Makes me wonder how many times I've looked past God to what I think are riches when He's extending His arms to me letting me know that He is the reward I'm seeking. God promises to protect and provide for us, just as He did for Abram.
How we short change ourselves when we simply seek things from God without realizing the treasure that lies in Him alone.
All that we need is found in Him. I'm taking great comfort in this thought today.