I have been attending an international gathering of believers who are meeting right here in Thomasville all week — brothers and sisters in Christ from as far away as Australia, England, Ireland and Canada, as well as many states around the union.
We are a diverse group with one common thread — a deep hunger for knowing the Lord better and allowing Him to adjust areas of our lives so that we can better minister to the many hurting people who need to see believers who are deeply in love with their Savior and willing to lay down their own lives so that others may come to the same place of living the life of love.
No matter how many times I hear some of the foundational truths of the gospel, I always seem to glean something more, on a deeper level of understanding, that causes me to be so appreciative of the “depth of the riches that are ours in Christ Jesus.” There is a treasure chest of truth that we have not even begun to plumb to the depths that Father God wants us to partake of. That is why we are on a journey that will last us the rest of our lives — to continuously seek to know Him and His ways better.
For me, one of the major distractions from pursuing Him is just plain busyness. No matter how much resolve I seem to have, I have noticed that unless I give Him a set aside time on a regular basis, it just will not happen. Special meetings and events are helpful and inspiring, but they are no substitute for that daily, consistent time with Him. One thing I have noticed is that many of these busy, full-time ministry leaders who have very successful ministries,have set aside fairly significant blocks of time to spend with the Lord. It is not a time necessarily to “prepare” for the next meeting or ministry opportunity, but just time set aside to “hang out” with the Lord!
All of us find time to do the things we really want to do, the things we consider important. Our problem, many times, is that our priorities are not always on eternal things, but rather, passing, temporal things. The urgent gets in the way of the important.
I am so guilty of this and am confessing to my readers that I really want that to change. We need to be able to give of ourselves from the overflow of our communion with Him. That does not come by reading books, listening to inspiring sermons or Bible study alone. Rather, just spend time with Him, “hanging out.”
For most of us, that seems like a “waste of time!” Even the disciples did not understand the extravagant worship that was demonstrated several times by women who were so grateful to Him for setting them free. They considered their expression of worship “wasteful” or even inappropriate, but Jesus not only commended their deed of worship, but it has been recorded in the cannon of scripture for all to see and understand what He considered valuable.
When you love someone, you want to spend time with them. It is not necessarily important what you are doing together, just that you are together. I personally want to make the time this coming year to spend more time with Him, just sitting with Him and getting to know Him even better. I don't think that this habit is only for “full-time ministers” or, conversely, for the young and immature,. Every one of us would benefit greatly from a set aside time just to be with Him and get to know His heart even better.
This may seem awkward for those who are “doers” or for those who have never cultivated a close personal relationship with the Lord, but the invitation is open to all of us to “come and dine” with Him. He has a feast of such bounty prepared for each of us that are hungry and willing to come and partake. Don't be satisfied with anything less!