Several months ago the Lord asked me a hard question.
“If you never preached again, would you still pray, study and fast?”
“Thou knowest…” was my reply. So I began to search my heart and motives.
What are the motives behind my spiritual disciplines? Am I only doing these tasks because I want to be successful?
These are not easy questions with easy answers. These questions are especially tough in a day and age where success is all that matters. This holds true for the current climate of the church. You are constantly measured by where you preach, how well you preach, what conference you preach, and of course by how many people attend your church. One can easily get caught up with trying to keep up with the spiritual Jones’. So, I fast more, pray more, read more, and attend more conferences to better myself in these areas. Nothing wrong with that, right?
But what if I never preached another sermon? Would I still do those things? Or am I simply doing those things because I want the blessings that those disciplines bring? Are my motives for prayer, fasting and study for selfish gain? Or would I pray, fast and study simply because I love Jesus? Do I love preaching more than I love God?
Psalm 26:2 Test me, O LORD, and try me, test my heart and my mind.
Ever since that day I’ve tried to approach my spiritual life differently. We certainly must pray, fast and study in order to be used of the Lord. However, our main focus must be upon our relationship with God. My ministry cannot be the center of my life, Christ must be the Center. God is a Jealous God and we can make Him jealous by even putting ministry before Him. Remember, God gave us this ministry (2 Cor 5:18) and He can take it away. God will not share us, not even with the ministry.
When this life is over I want it to be said of me, “He knew Jesus.”