Ex 15:13 "In your
unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your
strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling." NIV
Today, January 2nd, 2004, I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. My appointment was at 10:00. My wife had her physical at 11:00 and we agreed I would wait for her to arrive to the doctor's office, so I could take our kids home. Well, my physical was over in 15 minutes (I feel like I went to Penzoil for a personal oil change!). I was on the verge of calling my wife when God's voice prompted me to go for a power walk with Him instead. How could I resist such an invitation? So off I went, down the pier with my best friend. What a great time I had! I never regret my walks with God! They are so powerful!
As I was walking on the pier, I was reminded of an episode in my life when I was 16 years old. I felt myself transposed in my home country of Belgium. The weather at this time period of this year is identical as the one in Belgium, foggy, wet and grey. 30 years ago, around the same time period, I was walking up and down the streets of Oostende for hours on end. Why? I hoped to see a glimpse of a girl I liked that I had met at church. She was visiting her grandparents and was from the Netherlands. Whenever I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of her, my day was made. I was quite shy at that time, and I couldn't even imagine myself talking to a girl! Can you imagine walking hours and hours only to catch a brief glimpse someone?
But why was I reminded of this episode of my life? My Heavenly Father revealed to me then a powerful illustration: "This is how I am in pursuit with the people of this planet. I am looking for someone to have fellowship with me. I will not relent in my pursuit."
Wow! He then revealed to me the following. Many people treat their relationship with their spouse, in the following ways:
1. There are the ones who only look out for themselves. Once married, their spouses usually are left feeling neglected. These people don't really know their spouse. They are too preoccupied with themselves!
The same is true with Christians who are too preoccupied for themselves. 2 Tim 3:4 "Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God!" NIV They see God as a Santa who has to give to them everything they want. They have no relationship with God. They see God merely as a dog who has to obey them, and they often complain that God does not care for them.
2. There are those who work themselves to death to provide the most comfortable environment for their families. Their spouses usually don't know them at all because they are never home. They are too busy working for the good for the family. When they finally notice that something may be wrong with their relationship with their spouses, they resort in lavishing them in an abundance of presents, but still their spouses feel very very lonely.
These are the Christians who work and work to please the Lord! They are never satisfied because they always fall short of the glory of God. They believe their works will make them inherit the promised land. However when asked if they are saved, they respond "I sure hope so!" In reality, they are unsure of the outcome of their salvation. They don't have a personal relationship with the Father. Eph 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast." NIV
3. Then there are those who take the time to have a personal relationship with their spouses. They will go out for a dinner, be there when their spouses are in trouble and always are available when their spouses need a listening ear. Their spouses are the ones who feels fulfilled. They feel they are important in their mates' eyes.
Those are the Christians who are at the center of God's will. They are where God is. They join God where God is at work. They have a personal relationship with their Heavenly Father, just like Jesus did: John 5:19-20 "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does." NIV
I asked myself in which category I belonged, and I was made aware that time spend in the ministry is important, but not as important as time spend with God. A ministry can become like the ones belonging to category 2. A healthy balance is needed.
"But how can I accomplish that?" I asked.
"Nothing you do on your own will accomplish this." was His answer.
Then out of nowhere, I felt wind caress my cheeks and realized that I needed to depend solely on God's Spirit to have that healthy balance.
While I was praising God for this revelation, I was made to notice several boats covered with blue tarps. The tarps would protect them from the upcoming harshness of winter. So God, as long as I let Him be my shelter, will protect me from the harshness of this world. In His shelter a proper balance will be obtained. Ps 31:20 "In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe." NIV
I made my choice and decided not to let time rule over me any longer. I decided to give glory to God in all things 1 Cor 10:31 "So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God." AMP and depend on Him for direction. I decided not to be so busy, so that I couldn't notice where God was at work, but to join my Heavenly Father wherever He is at work. My priority has become to have a personal relationship with the One who is pursuing me.
You have a choice to make as well my friend. Which choice will you make? Maybe it's time for a power walk with your Forever Friend. You won't regret it. I sure didn't!
In His love,
Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org