What happens to a leader when life as you know it turns upside down? What if you had circumstances which made it impossible for you to physically carry out the ministries for which you have great passion and love? How do you continue after being stripped of all works and strength?
Well, I can very honestly answer these questions with sincerity and passion! Last year I was diagnosed with stage three metastatic cancer and have been in the throws of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery for the past eighteen months. This one thing I know; my relationship with God is not based on the ministries I do for Him. As a matter of fact, ministry can keep you so busy that you don’t have time for God!
In my home, I have had a designated room or closet where I meet with God for the past twenty-plus years. In this prayer closet, I have had a discipline and a diligence to know Him. Many people ask me what my process is. How do you connect with God? My one and only answer is — I study the Word. Notice that I did not say I read the Word.
The best avenue I have found is the very Precept Upon Precept Studies we lead. In a very guided and systematic way, they have helped me discover the truth, interpret it rightly and apply it to my life. Studying is my lifeline to God when all appears to be lost or broken. In the Scriptures, we find the Words of life, Words of encouragement and even Words of correction.
2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us,
“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them we might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
It is in Him that I have my life renewed and restored to a place of victory and overcoming the old sinful nature! It is only in Him that His divine nature is imparted to me. Every time I open the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Spirit imparts God’s divine nature to me, and His nature causes me to be victorious.
Have you ever tried to get satisfaction in mere religious activities and duties alone? Are you still striving for His approval? My friend, I would ask you to take inventory of your life. What comes out when all the circumstances are against you and life has become a great challenge? What fruit comes to the surface when you are shaken in every possible way? Are you practising the first and most important commandment that Jesus taught us? Do you love God with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole strength? Do you say within yourself, “the law says _______,” or do you hear the still small voice of His Word that says, “But I say to you ________”?
To spend time alone with God, meditating on His Word and walking in obedience to it, is to find the true meaning and pleasure of life. When I ASK of Him, He gives me all of Him that I need. When I SEEK His dear presence, I find Him. When I KNOCK on His door, He opens the door and invites me in for sweet fellowship with Him. Oh, what a Saviour we love, and what grace He bestows upon us!
I want to love Him more, and I need more of Him so that my cup overflows to a lost and dying world! When was the last time you sat at His feet and allowed Him to fill you with His presence? When was the last time you did your ministry with the zeal and passion that only Christ can give? Join me in the closet. Join me in the solitude. Join me in His Word and be overcome with His beauty and His life! Then, we will be truly ready to minister wherever He leads.