For those of you who don’t know, I’m easily distracted. That’s me in the picture over there. It’s almost embarrassing just how distracted I tend to be and if I could focus long enough to actually think about it, I probably would be embarrassed, but luckily that’s not an issue. However, I also recognize this is a serious weakness on my part. I can as easily be distracted by a well prepared meal as I can by a poorly written book (Sorry Stephenie Meyer, but I don’t think much of your style). What’s more to the point however, is that sin can as easily distract me from Jesus as the passionate pursuit of Him can distract me from Jesus.
Confused yet? Well I sure am. Let’s see if we can’t unpack my little conundrum.
The first and greatest commandment is to “love the LORD with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength.”(LBR: Lincoln Brewster Rendition) Similarly we see the bible state that we should “seek first the Kingdom of Heaven.” This tells me that no matter what else is going on, no matter what our natural inclinations may be, no matter how desperately we want to share the gospel with others, our first and primary concern is with the pursuit and worship of our Lord.
But lately I’ve been sitting on a question that only last night I was able to articulate: at what point, having worshiped and loved God, and being equipped for ministry, do we do ministry?
I had a whole discussion with my pastor about the Face of God and the Hand of God and discovered that lately I’ve been very much focused on DOING. Now that is a personal issue that I’ve been struggling with for my entire career as a Christian…..
Did you see that? I even described by experience and life as a Christian as a career implying that I’ve been DOING all along. And it is a very difficult place for me to walk away from. I’ve grown so accustomed to being in a place where words are cheap and actions accountable that all I’ve ever wanted to do was do something.
For that I apologize to anyone who’s been reading and seeing that or made uncomfortable by that. I’ve been projecting my own frustrations and desire to act onto people around me. I repent also from having so willingly placed the Ministry of the Holy Spirit above the Person of the Holy Spirit.
“’Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD.” It is never the characteristics, the signs and wonders, or the attributes of the divine that bring about change, that minister to the hearts of the broken and weary, but the divine Person Himself.
I have, in other words, allowed myself to be so distracted by the might and power, that I had forgotten what the point was. And if it was not wholly forgotten it was a near miss with a great deal of thanks owed to both Kevin and Richard whose blogs have always pointed me back to where I need to be.
(And to my own pastor, sorry I didn’t do a better job of listening to what you were saying as oppose to what I wanted to hear)