Today I was working in Athens with an incredible organization that serves hundreds and hundreds of refugees from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and more. Before we started what would soon be a chaotic and busy day, we started with the Word, prayer, and discussion.
The unanimous prayer was that God would be seen through us and one person made the comment,
"Without time in His presence we can't expect that He'll so easily shine through us, often the biggest enemy to our time with Him is the ministry"
I've heard this many times over the years, said it myself, even experienced it. Here I am and I just finished up year two of Bible school where I've been poured into by some of the greatest Bible teachers of our generation and yet this repeated and simple statement struck a chord with me today.
I came back to my hotel. I put on old Christ For the Nations music and I sat with God. He came in the room and it felt like sitting down to coffee with one of my best friends except as I worshiped I sensed His presence and I began to weep.
I began a walk down memory lane.
I remember being so overwhelmed with the Gospel right after I was saved that I would preach to my dog, thinking I just might burst if I couldn't share what God had done in me.
I remember my freshman year of college sneaking into the trash room on the dorm floor just to spend time with Him before anyone else was awake.
I remember the days of dancing wildly at the Wesley Foundation college ministry and praying for people believing God to see crazy miracles and healing.
I remember my first trip on the mission field so overwhelmingly grateful to see God move in another nation.
I remembered what it was like at first. At first when there wasn't a fight for time. When there weren't so many emails and details. At first when everything felt like a blissful romance. I remember how He went from just being Lord to being Father and soon my True Love. I remember the romance as I fell head over heels in Love.
There's an album I listen to often by United Pursuit titled Simple Gospel. There's one song that says, "Take me back, back to the beginning, when I was young, running through the fields with You"
I know if you read my blog, listen to my sermons, watched my recent "speech" on bethel tv then you've heard this before, but it is simply the one message that never gets old to me.
Your destiny is to fall head over heels in love with Jesus.
It's a journey. It's a process, like any relationship but it's just all about Him and knowing Him more.
You may do many great things. Hopefully you'll lead countless to the Lord, you'll raise Godly families, you'll encourage many, you may pastor a church, lead a movement for Jesus, be a missionary in the darkest places, get involved and love refugees, be a business man that ushers kingdom into the marketplace, a mom that raises up pioneers, inventors, teachers, doctors. You'll do so many great things in this life, but don't forget what it was like at first.
Don't ever forget why you're doing what you do. Have an undivided focused for the One whose priority is your heart. Don't become so concentrated on the doing things for His Kingdom that you forget to be with the King.