I am convinced that if we make Jesus our One Pursuit, we can enjoy the Christian life and passionately minister to the world, co-laboring with God and ushering in the greatest revival ever.

Yet, checking out the moral temperature of leadership in the church reveals that we are not living that much different than the world we are trying to reach. Though I know many amazing people who are fruitful in ministry the overall picture is not overwhelmingly encouraging.

The number of Pastors leaving the ministry and having to abandon their leadership ranks is heartbreaking. These are good men and women who started out “tearing it up” only to end up in disillusionment, disappointment and departure.  Something radically changed along the way.

We would all have to agree that the church needs to shine (Isaiah 60:1).  Every believer needs to be established in an ongoing pursuit of the living God that fascinates our hearts to a place of joy, holiness, fruitfulness and longevity.

THE URGENCY TO DO

The anointing alone will not fully sustain the heart. We have seen it over and over again. Though I treasure the Spirit’s power on me it will never fully be enough to see me through the twist and turns of the Christian life and ministry.

There is such an urgency to “do” for God that in many ways we have failed to “be” with God. In fact many see “doing” AS “being”. We have placed the supreme value on the wrong thing. It’s like someone has gone into the jewelry store and switched all the price tags.

Let’s look at a quick scenario. Take two people, put one in the Prayer Room before God and  the other on the streets ministering to the poor. Who is doing more for God? Who is doing the will of God? The one in the Prayer Room or the one who is out on the streets ministering to the poor.

Though theologically we would say both, we tend to place more value on the one who is out ministering and serving the poor.

I don’t want to “split hairs” here but this is precisely the point I want to make.  If we don’t recognize the supreme value of time with God and fight for that time, our spirit will become dull. We loose our edge. We forfeit fruitfulness.

This adds up through the months and years. This seeminly insignificant point is the very reason many abort God’s ministry assignment in their lives.

Remember what Jesus said in regard to Mary and Martha? He made a specific point to honor Mary over Martha.  Mary is at the feet of Jesus and Martha is serving. Mary made the BETTER choice.

Luke 10: 41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

This event is an illustrated sermon reinforcing what Jesus said the two greatest commandments are. The first is to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:34-40).

The first is primary and the second, well, secondary. Are they both vitally important? Absolutely. What’s important here is that “being” is prioritized before “doing”. I guess that’s why we are called human beings!

I love what Mike Bickle has to say about this.

“There are lovers (Mary) and there are workers (Martha). Lovers always out-work workers”

WHAT WILL TRULY SUSTAIN US?

I have seen this played out in so many through the years. Though we outwardly agree with Jesus, and who wouldn’t, we still have a gaping hole in the body of Christ with many struggling to maintain depth in their relationship with God.

Until we become fascinated with Jesus and the affection of our hearts are overcome with lovesick passion for Him, we will forever settle for what could have been.

What will truly keep our hearts will be lost in the busyness of doing things for God. And though we will be rewarded for our faithfulness, we will miss the realm of His beauty that fascinates the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders around His throne (Rev. 4-5).

WHERE DO I BEGIN?

We need to literally “swim upstream” and decide to make Jesus the Ultimate Treasure (Matt.13:44) and our One Pursuit. This will be difficult in our “doing” culture. Regardless, we must learn to live from fascination with our hearts captivated with passion for Jesus so we can sustain fruitful ministry through the years.

Here are a few things that can get you started in your One Pursuit.

1. Start with a simple request to the Lord. “Jesus, captivate and win the affections of my heart”

2. Take time to simply behold Him. No agenda, no petitions. no prayer list. Nope. Just find Him in Scripture and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. I like to read Revelation 1, 4 and 5. Or, just go to the Gospels.

3. Ask Questions. “Jesus, what are You like?” “How can I know Your heart?” “How can I grow and love You more?”

4. Pray simple prayers. “Open up my heart to know You more.” “Give me greater revelation of who You are.”

I would encourage you to try it.. Who knows what will happen.

Ultimately, we become what we behold.

Thoughts: M1P is a brand new blog, so I would love to get your thoughts on this. What  amazing insights 🙂 and/or practical tips would you like to share?

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36 Comments

  1. Anonymous Apr 21, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Well said! Thanks for setting my priority straight. It’s been quite an adjustment just getting used to driving for 20 minutes to church Sunday morning. I’m trying to make the prayer room a weekly engagement. Old habits of sedentary faith die hard. I’ve been human doing rather than being. I realized this morning that I need more soaking, being in His presence.

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 21, 2011 at 9:10 am

      I share the same conviction and passion. It was great seeing you in the PR this week! Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  2. Debbie Apr 21, 2011 at 5:44 am

    I’ve seen many fellow Christians get so involved in “doing” for God. Yes, they are good things. But I remember telling my prayer partner that we need to spend time with the Lord and abide in Him. Otherwise, we may be too busy doing things for Him that we miss the opportunity He has for us. I would rather choose His best than my good.

    Love this~

    Blessings,
    Debbie

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Debbie, separating the good from the best is vital. I glad you have a Prayer Partner!!

      Reply
  3. Farmer2888 Apr 21, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for taking the time to write this. I like all the tips. The second one really stands out. Sean Foster

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

      Hey Sean! The second is the hardest for me. It takes me about 15 minutes to actually settle my mind down and start communing with the Lord.

      Reply
  4. Enchristi Apr 21, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Thank you! Yes, I have recently been reminded of this and God has graciously brought me back to recognizing that only “One Thing” is necessary and Jesus is the best part! My life’s verse is Psalm 27:4 and ever since I came upon that verse “One Thing” has been desire of my heart. But you know, day by day that focus seems so easily to get lost in the drive to be doing. I’ve heard sermons and read books telling me that I need to get busy. Not to mention my own sense that I need to do something important for the Lord. Thank God, He has called me back to the One Thing from which all service and ministry needs to flow. It certainly should NOT be flowing from my own “holy discontent.”

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

      I love the journey your’re on. So good! It seems like in the beginning the focus is hard to maintain but the more we make intentional choices to “be” I believe it will become easier. Keep going!! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Bryan Apr 21, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Great post. Great content and really cool design 🙂

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

      Bryan, thanks for the encouragement!!

      Reply
  6. Wendi4him Apr 21, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Great post… It’s so crazy how easy it is to forget the first and greatest commandment… LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength! I’d have to say my favorite line is the very last one…”Ultimately, we become what we behold.” So, sitting and beholding ‘The One Who is All’ is likewise my ‘One Pursuit’…. Oh to be like HIM!… HE is my desire, and what I desire and focus on I reflect. 🙂 May the affections of my heart be for JESUS!
    Keep writing….

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

      So glad I married you! Nothing like having someone your partnering with who shares the same passion! Yeah 🙂

      Reply
  7. Barbie Apr 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Great post! For the better part of my life, I strived to accomplish things “for” God, thinking that this was how I got close to Him. Over the last few years, and in particular since I began walking in the House of Prayer reality, I am learning that there is truly really one One Thing that matters. By being with Jesus, I find that I accomplish more. I am a better wife, mom, employee, blogger. If I give Him the best part of me, He pours in and that’s when I can do great things for Him!

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      Barbie, sounds like you’re right on track. Fruitfulness comes out of that One Pursuit reality. So cool to see your growth throughout the years. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Gina Hyatt Apr 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    This was great! I really love the resources you hyperlinked! That was so cool! I think this blog is going to be a hub of resource 🙂 excellent!

    Reply
  9. Hannah Aguilar Apr 22, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Great post!

    && it’s true. We, as americans can get so caught up in the day in and day out of the mundane of life that we forget about the garden of encounter He’s prepared for us to come and be with Him. With no agenda– but just to be still.

    Continue to draw us into your garden of encounter!

    He truely is my one pursuit & I want to continue discovering Him all the days of my life!!
    -Hannah

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Perfect! We can never loose sight of that garden and get ourselves there often!

      Reply
  10. Patrick Atkins Apr 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Very encouraging! Love where you are taking this. Great start!

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Thanks, Patrick. Just trusting the Lord!

      Reply
  11. Larry Hehn Apr 24, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    So often I find myself in Martha’s shoes. I have this stubborn desire to feel “productive”, to always be doing. It’s much easier for me to pursue that than to follow Mary’s lead and sit at His feet. This is a great prompt, Greg. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Apr 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Larry. Time with God = Greater Productivity. I’m still learning this equation.

      Reply
  12. charis May 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    i love this – i recently wrote a post about cultivating a life of prayer by praying for the grace to pray. beholding Him is the key and connection is everything.

    my recent post: how to grow in a life of prayer

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas May 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Sounds like a good compliment to this post. Thanks @charisscofield:disqus for sharing.

      Reply
      1. charis May 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm

        i like the tagging! i will have to try this on my blog @pgsimas:disqus! easy to know you replied to me.

        my recent post: 2 thoughts on my birthday

        Reply
        1. Greg Simas May 8, 2011 at 7:08 am

          Didn’t know you had a twitter account @charisscofield:twitter just followed. I will use peoples Twitter accounts. It’s a bit more personal and widely known. 🙂

          Reply
  13. Mike Nov 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Im 58 years old and all my worldly pursuits are vanity. Education, work, money, hobbies all mean nothing without the Lord. I feel a kind of panic mode at my age and to not have devoted more time with my Saviour. I had it all backwards Matthew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto”.
    The world seeks first all it can get and then maybe some time for God. I pray I can get on track for the Lord and bring my wife and kids along. Thanks for the motivation.

    Reply
    1. Greg Dec 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Wow Mike I totally agree with you. I am 51 and I think when we hit this age when we reflect more and if we are not careful, we regret more. I sometimes battle the very same things you do. But regret cannot turn into regression. We have to ask God to give back to us the years in greater knowledge and revelation out of all out devotion. I believe one can do more by the grace of God, in 20 years, then what others attain in a lifetime. So I encourage you to go for it!! It’s never to late!

      Reply
  14. Dean Deguara Apr 14, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Your ministy in the Name of the Lord must flow from your ministry to the Lord. You’ve been teaching that for decades. There has to be a healthy tension between the two types of ministries.

    Reply
    1. Greg Apr 14, 2013 at 6:33 am

      Agreed. But over the years I have discovered that ministry TO the Lord is the one I really need to protect. I have to make it a constant priority in my life or it gets buried in my ministry to others due to the high demand and constant need I get from people.

      Reply
  15. Adetutu Oke Jan 18, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    This is amazing! I have all of my life being a Martha and have wondered how I can have more of Jesus. Thank you very much for this. I have learnt a lot . please pray along with me to be able to do the second point. I am a bit of a restless 62year old lady.

    Reply
  16. Grace Reyes Aug 5, 2015 at 12:05 am

    A life existing “with” God is the highest and only reason of our lives..
    the difference between “with God” and “for God” are so…….different!

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Aug 5, 2015 at 6:05 am

      Yes, Grace this is SO true! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  17. Pingback: Loving God with all of your heart | Ministry lessons

  18. Joanne Mar 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you for the words on loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to share these thoughts at our women’s retreat. Most of all I want to love Him as I should. Thank you for writing these studies.
    I find very few people who can spend time in the prayer room. It’s my favorite place to be and I “anchor” it each Sunday morning for a few hours. I have a vision for a hundred people to come together at our church to wait on God and worship Him. I have been praying for revival in our church and community. I also need a revival of love and passion for God.

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas May 27, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      Hi Joanne. Forgive me for responding so late. Love that you are anchoring down the Prayer Room and praying. And what a great prayer request, to see a hundred people praying with you for revival. That’s something I can believe with you to see happen!

      Reply

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