Going Is No Substitute For Growing

Holy Spirit, God's presence, Impatience is and has been an unfortunate companion of mine for as long as I can remember.  Once I have a picture of something in my mind, whether it is a goal, a place or a thing, the next thought that comes along is “how soon can I make this happen?”  I suspect I am not alone in thinking this way.

When God called me to write and speak His truth I jumped in with both feet, full of enthusiasm and energy.  I read several books on how to set up and maintain a blog and the associated software and I had grand visions of a high traffic website that inspired and encouraged people on a daily basis.  I wanted to write as often as I could and when I wasn’t writing I wanted to tell people about the call that God had placed on my life so that we could rejoice and grow together.

Everything was possible, everything was exciting and I pushed myself to absorb as much knowledge and information as I possibly could for the task at hand. And it was fun!

As good and as noble as all of that was it didn’t take but about six months or so before I was beginning to feel exhausted and burnt out.  Talk about a letdown!  I went through a little bit of self loathing, a little bit of depression and a lot of anxiety over the fact that I might have been going about this all wrong.

I was spending so much time and energy trying to produce and create that I neglected the source of my creativity and the giver of all good things.  I set unrealistic goals for myself based on standards that I created in my own mind.  Instead of making my relationship with the Lord the number one thing in my life I made the task that He had given me my focus and that is where my time and energy went.

God given tasks are a blessing and a serious responsibility.  I will never forget the day that God called me and how awesome (there is no other word for it) a moment that was.  But it was awesome because of how close at hand God was to me.  It was His presence, in almost a physical way, that made it so powerful.  And now I see that there is nothing better, no greater blessing, than being in the presence of the Lord.  It is what I was made for and it is satisfying and healing down to the depths of my very soul.

The work is important.  I would not suggest otherwise.  The mistake comes when we allow the work to interfere with our longing for and seeking of God’s presence.  Only He can give us what we need to properly do His work and He gives it to us when we stay in close fellowship and communion with the Holy Spirit, when we stay in the study of His Word and when we pray without ceasing.

In Search Of The Best Thing Ever

God's presence, Holy SpiritLately, I haven’t had as much of the Lord’s presence as I want.  The fault in this is entirely mine.  God’s Word says that we have not because we ask not and as long as we are asking in Jesus’s name and in the Father’s will, it will be granted to us.

I had to stop and do a self inventory.  Have I been seeking Him with my whole heart?  Have I been lifting my heart and soul in praise to Him?  Have I let any sin come between Him and I?

In this I can only bow my head and ask for the Spirit’s help.  I know that in my flesh there is nothing good and that part of me wants to do what God hates.  Left to my own devices I will stray and seek after the things of the world rather than God’s righteousness.  But God’s Spirit that lives in me desires fellowship and oneness with the Father and whispers to me in that still small voice when I being to turn aside.

There is such mighty power in sincere prayer that seeks the very heart of God.  There is literally nothing that God would not do for us to see His will done through us.  Yes, he desires to use us as His hands and feet and yes, we are to be ministers of the gospel in this world but before that God wants our hearts perfectly aligned with His in sweet fellowship and companionship.

Before we can minister to the world we must be ministered to by His Spirit.  Before we can proclaim His greatness among the nations we must be proclaimed to by His Spirit.  And before we can be usable vessels we must be filled with His Spirit and emptied of the things of this world that crowd Him out of our lives.

Whether we realize it or not, we are all vessels.  We are containers that God crafted individually and with great care to hold not only the spark of life but also His Spirit, God in us.  Apart from Him we feel that emptiness and try to fill ourselves with everything else that this world offers only to find that nothing truly satisfies and nothing really lasts.  Except God.

Our worship persists because He persists.  Our works for Him have eternal significance because He is eternal.  And our relationship with Him grows from day to day onto forever because He is forever and He never fails.

If I have less of Him than I want it is only because His Spirit is prompting me to seek Him above all else and to focus on Him to the exclusion of everything else.  As important as our jobs, families, schools, churches and friends are, busyness can be our enemy and our enemy will use our busyness to separate us from God.  Don’t let him.

Today I am taking some extra time to just stop and be still with God.  I want to worship and I want to listen to what He has to say.  My prayer for you and I is that we would be filled with His Holy Spirit and His presence would surround us as we go.  Would you pray the same prayer for those you know?