Do you remember the day you gave your life to Christ? Do you remember that feeling you had to leave everything and spend time praying and reading your bible? Do you remember how enthusiastic you were to serve God every time you had the chance? do you remember when the only thing you wanted back then was to share the good news with everyone you know in school, work, family…? When all you desired was to tell them about the grace of God and about salvation. When all you wanted was to see them saved.
As time passes you begin to serve God at church. Maybe now you are an usher, a kids minister, a youth minister, maybe now you know God has called you to preach… You begin to serve God and serve God and serve God. You used to spend hours with Him alone talking to Him and He talking to you. Suddenly you are so busy serving Him so you have no more time to spend with Him. You have your job, your ministry, your family… but no time to give to God.
This is shocking,I know, but keep reading, the rest is so powerful. The person I described above is me. After returning to God from all my heart and after I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit I became a totally different person. I started to spend hours with God. Three, four, five, even six hours every day in the presence of God reading my bible, praying, worshiping Him… The only thing I desired was to know Him more and more and more. I never felt satisfied. I started to serve Him by serving the kids at church, by sharing the gospel with the people I meet every day. I was always available at church if someone needed help. I did it out of my love for God not out of obligation and not to receive God’s favor. I knew I am saved by grace and not by works. My ministry to Him was to serve Him because I love Him. Then life became harder. I was growing older. I am no longer a teenager. Now I have to study more, look for a job and start to build my own career and life. But I wanted to keep serving God. I didn’t want to stop serving Him. But the more I served Him while doing all the other things, the more I found no time to spend with Him alone. Serving Him turned into a burden something I didn’t enjoy anymore as I used to. I lost any desire to serve Him anymore because I am not spending time with Him anymore. My love for Him began to fade away.
Maybe this happened to you, happening to you right or it will happen to you later. I am writing this message to help you get through it if there is where you are right now or to help you prevent passing through it.
What I will share with you now is something really powerful. This is going to change your life as it is changing mine. I went to bed one night and directly I heard the voice of the Lord speaking to me “I don’t care about you serving me as much as you knowing me. I died on the cross to restore the fellowship with you.” He then asked me “Have you ever thought that eternal life is not serving me but knowing me?”
In John chapter 17 Jesus was praying for His disciples and for us prior to His crucifixion. He prayed ” And this is eternal life, that they may know You (The Father), the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (Verse 3)
Here is what the Lord said next “If you are busy serving me but not giving time to know me you will not be with me.” He continued “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7: 22-23)”
He said “These people were busy serving me. They were busy casting out demons, healing the sick, seeing miracles happening… but not spending time with me. Of course they will be able to do these miracles because they are gifted. They knew that I have called them to ministry but instead of focusing on me, the one who called them. They are focusing now on their ministries and they forgot about me. They have no more time to know me anymore. I don’t know these people, so they can’t be with me.”
I assure you I wasn’t very happy to hear these words but I thank God I heard them while here on earth. It’s better than hearing them before the throne of judgment.
Beloved, don’t stop spending time with God. Don’t get satisfied with what you know of Him. Dig deeper and deeper and deeper every single day of your life. God will build the ministry not you. He has called you and He will fulfill it. The Apostle Paul, in the end of His life said “that I may know Him [Jesus] and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Philippians 3: 10). The only thing that Paul wanted was to know Christ.
Now we can understand why Paul did what he did. I pray that after you read this message something will begin to burn inside of you to spend more time with God even if you are not feeling His presence. Keep digging until you get the water you are looking for. Amen.