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?