I love to go on long walks, in particular near the sea. These walks make exercise fun but more significantly they deepen my relationship with God as we commune regularly during the walk. On one of my walks the Lord revealed to me that I had been focusing on my interests: missions, gifts to the poor and needy and giving and not on His call for my life. I knew I had heard the truth and God wanted me to pay attention.
As we walked and talked He challenged me to consider the following: What is the one thing I would risk everything for, and want to do more than anything else for the Lord, that will build God’s dream in my heart?
In other words, I sensed I was challenged to reconsider my passion. My passion is simply knowing Jesus more intimately and I had to guard this.
Like Paul I identify with his desire to know Him. ‘[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]’ Philippians 3:10 AMPC. This has always been my heart’s desire.
When I enter this realm God unfolds the secrets of His Kingdom. ‘I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.’ Isaiah 45:3
A new resolve entered my heart. Instead of talking about Him and preaching about Him and being a Pastor for Him, I wanted to know God more. Not to know more about Him, but to more Him more. This time pulled me closer into God’s heart. I wanted to know so much more of the God who poured out so much mercy on me. It was out of this close, personal relationship with Jesus that my ministry flows.
When I treasure my passion then nothing can prevent me from following my Lord. Nothing can rob me of the joy I have in Him. ‘I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me… You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.’ Psalm 16:7-8, 11 NLT
‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11 NLT
The phrase ‘joy in your presence’ encourages me to pursue even deeper the presence of Almighty God and experience the joy associated with that. May you oh LORD be my hope, my joy, my guide as I journey this exciting season.
And the reward for knowing Jesus more intimately is this: As I come to know Jesus better, ‘By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence.’ 2 Peter 1:3 NLT
I want my life to reflect more of the deeply personal moments I have spent with the Lord. With joy and confidence I want to say to others: “Oh, you have no idea what my Father has done for me”
Passion for ministry is invaluable. Guard it carefully.