Last week in the first part of this three-part blog series, I challenged you to take a moment and evaluate your relationship with Jesus. Are you right on His heels, positioned to hear every word that comes out of His mouth? Or are you distracted?
Too often, I hear stressed-out pastors complain that the demands of ministry keep them from following God like they want to — that the never-ending needs of church and family rob them of their intimate, personal connection with the Lord. Maybe you have felt that way. Maybe you have even said the same thing yourself. But here’s the truth: The only way doing the work of God can destroy the work of God in you is if you let it. After all, you know that’s not God’s intention; He wants quite the opposite. Everything you do in ministry should flow from a deep place of strength as you continually follow God more and more closely. And it can.
All you have to do is align your priorities the right way. When you make Jesus your highest priority, He goes to work refining you so that you come to look more like Him. He starts growing you and maturing you into the fully developing follower He wants you to be. But to accomplish His purposes in you, He needs your cooperation. You have to stay right behind Him, listening for His voice and doing what He tells you to do. In order to keep that close, you need to put yourself, rather than others, in the second spot on your priority list. If you let other people move between you and Jesus, you run the very real risk of crowding out your connection with Him, drowning His voice, and thwarting the work He wants to do in you.
I know this thinking is contrarian.
Tune in next week for the conclusion of this 3 part blog series and I’ll explain why the tradition of putting others before yourself can be a recipe for disaster.
Your partner in ministry,
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