Your schedules are on point & your plans are super detailed. You’ve read widely, and have done much research. You’re following the right people and doing what you can to make the right connections. You try to keep up with trends and create timely content. You’re doing all the right things, but the results don’t reflect the work you’ve put in. When you start to feel an emptiness, a burden or frustration in pursuing purpose, you don’t second guess, you don’t give up, you abide.
All things in a believer’s life must flow through prayer. However, it’s rather easy to find ourselves doing more for God, while forfeiting spending time with Him. It is easy to become caught up with ministry or “your Father’s business” and drift away from intimacy with Him. Some have walked so far away handing out tracts that when they finally decide to stop and pay attention, they’re alone. Some realize quickly, but for others, it may take a while for the light bulb to come on. For you, it may require a prophecy/word of knowledge. Through whatever medium the revelation should come, don’t panic. There’s no need to beat up yourself, just turn.
Repentance should be a mainstay in the life of every Christ-Representer. A non-repentant saint is a self-righteous one. Repentance has 2 phases. Phase one is accepting and confessing that you’re in the wrong, and phase 2 is a change of behavior. Therefore, repentance is not just saying “I repent” but also a turning away from what used to be, towards what should be. At this point some of us need to repent of negligence, prayerlessness or just a lack of intimacy. Some of us need to repent of improper motives & exaltation of self. Some of us need to repent of using the name of Jesus for publicity, and start anew. I’m pretty grateful that He’s a God of fresh starts!
You see, my situation is not that I wasn’t praying at all, but the amount of time I was spending with Him was NOT proportionate to where I now am, and what the Lord is trying to do with me. We always say “new level, new devil”, but what about to whom much is given much is required? A higher place in God requires more alone time with Him. God will no longer be pleased with your Daily bread devotionals, Youth Minister. The ‘Our Father Prayer” that you used to pray as a new convert just cannot meet the mark as the Worship Leader. The higher you go in God, the more fruit He wants you to bear, thus the more time required in personal prayer and worship.
I have a natural inclination to lead/take control; a predisposition. And yeah, you guessed it, I do it with daddy all the time. I’ll say “ok God, you lead, I’ll follow”, and before I know it God is standing with His arms folded like “let me know when you’re ready to follow.” The thing with a predisposition is that you, as opposed to others who aren’t predisposed, are prone to this thing. If you’re predisposed to high blood pressure, you’ll need to live your life walking wide from the habits that will trigger that. Likewise in my case, and possibly yours, if we’re always getting ahead of God, it means that we just have to put greater effort into having Proverbs 3:5-6 manifested in our lives. If you don’t think you know how to get to a destination, you won’t take the lead.
The Painful Truth
If He’s the vine, that means He’s the source. You will bear fruit without God, just not the amount that you can actually bear, or the fruit that you were even purposed to bear. Did you know you can live a fruitful life, and still not fulfill purpose? That’s the difference abiding brings. You will never go down the wrong path with the Holy Spirit as your compass. Imagine getting 500 views on your Youtube page after hiring an advertiser & thinking you’ve accomplished much. What if God was using His strength instead of you using yours? Maybe you would have gotten 1500 views in half the time it took you to get 500. God is a better marketer, manager or agent than anybody else we can hire. Evolving is better with Jesus.
If you abide in me [Worship], and my words abide in you [Word], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you [Prayer]… on your behalf. You’ll work less, if you abide more. Many of our prayers are yet to be answered because we don’t abide.
I was treating God like the parent who lost the custody battle, merely stopping by while I hurried on to clear my to do list. When we don’t abide, what we get is little result from our much efforts. Then, we’re tempted to intensify the works when the solution isn’t to work harder, but to work smarter.
To my Evolution Army, I know you’re making moves, and getting yourself out there. I know you’re making those connections and prying doors open, but what if I told you daddy can do that for you, if you let Him? God doesn’t want visiting rights, He wants full custody of us; He wants us to stay. A relationship with God while doing His work is an absolute must. Devote time to pray, read the word, worship and fast. Put your relationship with God first. Abide.
Quotes from Bruce Wilkinson’s “Secrets of the Vine”
1.“His purpose is not that you will do more for Him but that you will choose to be more with Him.”
2.“Only by abiding can you enjoy the most rewarding friendship with god and experience the greatest abundance for His glory.”
3.“If you stay connected to him, if you draw spiritual nourishment from Him, if you allow the power that flows through Him to flow through you, nothing will hold you back from reaching the most abundant life possible.”
4.“…abiding means more of God in your life, more of Him in your activities, thoughts, and desires.”
5.“The challenge in abiding is always to break through from dutiful activities to a living, flourishing relationship with God.”
6.“Set aside a significant time and a private place where you can read and write comfortably, think, study, talk to God out loud, and weep if you need to.”