Have you discerned that something needs to shift forward in your life? I had that gnawing thought, also. Over the Christmas holidays, I decided to address it. God was calling me to rest and spend more quiet time dedicated to Him. I stood at a crossroads in my life and ministry. For answers, I needed to “press into God” to obtain the deeper wisdom required to move forward. Only He could open the eyes of my understanding (Eph. 1:18).
Jesus IS the Way
My spiritual eyes opened as I focused on what God would say to me. He brought a pastor’s illustration across my path that spoke volumes to me. The pastor said, “When we go to a large store filled with inventory, we may become frustrated trying to find an item. What a relief when we see a customer service person who says, ‘Come with me; I’ll be glad to show you where it is.’ The customer service person actually becomes the way. We don’t have to worry about anything – simply rest and trust this person to lead us.”
This illustration applies perfectly to me and all believers. Jesus tells us in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Yes! Jesus IS the way. By His Spirit, He guides His people through all the twists and turns of life. As a result, we can trust and rest that He will lead us to our ultimate destination – our Father in Heaven. Indeed, Jesus IS the way for us!
Return to Your First Love
In my quiet time, God took me from this comforting illustration to Revelation 2. Here, God recognizes the church at Ephesus: “You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (Rev. 2:3b). They did well in these areas but still received a reprimand: They had left their first love. God beckoned them to return.
God issued the same reprimand to me. He reminded me of my zeal and passion for Him in earlier years. God called me back to a ‘first love’ relationship with Him as He did this church. As we all know, life can wear us down. We can get into a rut though we are Christians.
I had to follow the exact instructions given to the church at Ephesus: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Rev. 2:5). Our lampstand represents our spiritual authority and influence for Christ in the world. We don’t want that removed from us!
Assessing our relationship with God afresh is particularly vital for those who minister to others. Why? Because we often come to the Lord with others on our minds. We think about how a particular scripture might help them. Yet, despite our mindset to serve, we must remember to receive God’s Word for ourselves first.
Here is an illustration of this truth. Flight attendants instruct passengers on a plane during excessive turbulence to secure their oxygen masks first before caring for a child. Those who have secured their strength can serve and secure others better.
Intentional Time with God
More intentional time with God is now my lifeblood. During these times, I give my Heavenly Father my full attention. We meet together in His Word. And He reveals truths to me. As a result, I am understanding how to move forward in life and ministry. Therefore, I encourage you: Set aside intentional time to meet with God regularly. I call this making space for God. Personally, early morning works for me before the day takes on a life of its own.
I’ll share this: When I counsel, people often tell me they pray all the time – in traffic, in line at a store, etc. I agree that these are good times to pray, but I firmly believe these random times should arise from intentional times we have with God that are without distraction.
God, our Creator, is worthy of our undivided time and attention.
If it’s difficult setting aside this intentional time, talk to God about it. Ask Him to show you how to open space in your life for Him. We already know how to make space for natural things that are important to us. God, our Creator, is worthy of our undivided time and attention. Our spiritual lives depend upon it.
Don’t give up until you find your flow in this intentional time! God receives an open heart, so keep pursuing Him, and He will enlighten you. He will open your eyes and guide your will by His power that works within you (Eph. 3:20)!
The Power of God Within
God’s power flows as we abide in Him and cultivate our ‘first love’ relationship with Him. The life of Horatio Spafford reveals this truth. Spafford was a rich man who lost much of his wealth in the US. In 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters to England. Before joining them later, he received a note from his wife that another vessel had hit their ship. All four daughters had died.
On his way to England to be with his wife, Spafford drew upon his love relationship with God. During that heart-wrenching time, he wrote the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul.” Spafford drew upon God’s power within “though sorrows like sea billows roll.” God gave him an anchor for his soul (Hebrews 6:19) – a strength not of this world.
Life constantly changes, and a vibrant relationship with God is always necessary. We cannot camp out on a plateau or ridge. We are either pursuing or retreating. So let’s prioritize this divine love relationship! And you will find, like Horatio Spafford, that it is well with your soul. Peace to you!
Please watch the video below – A ‘First Love’ Relationship with Christ – that further elaborates on the topic of this article!