What Jesus has been teaching me lately….

“If you engage with the Holy Spirit because you want to merely be effective in ministry, then you are developing professional intimacy…And what so we call people who are intimate as a profession?”

Bill Johnson

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I have always wanted God to use me.  I mean, since I was 14 years old and started leading worship, I have DEEPLY wanted Him to use me.  DEEPLY.  I would fast and pray, read my Bible for hours, try really hard not to lust or be angry……all so that I could be “A Man God Uses”.  And you know what, God has used me, and I am SO thankful for that.  But what I am discovering is that people (like me) who are obsessive about God using them are probably using God.  Let me explain.

You see in my quest to be used by God, I made God a means to an end.  I wanted significance.  I wanted praise.  I wanted validation.  And if being more “holy” or “godly” would gain me a ministry that people respected and God used, then I would do whatever it took.  If the cost of bearing fruit was abiding in Christ, then sure, I’ll “abide”.  BUT ABIDING IN CHRIST FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEARING FRUIT IS NOT ABIDING IN CHRIST.  ABIDING IN CHRIST FOR THE PURPOSE OF ABIDING IN CHRIST IS ABIDING IN CHRIST.

In Acts chapter 8, a man named Simon the Sorcerer sees what the apostles are able to do through the power of the Holy Spirit and says, “Give me also this ability…”.  Or in other words, “I want some fruit”.  This didn’t make Peter too happy.  Peter basically tells the dude he hopes that he dies, and that his heart is not right with God.  Ouch.

But this is the very place my heart was (and is at times).  I want the power of God more than God Himself.  I need more than God.  I need God + a fruitful ministry.  I need God AND I need to be remembered.  Honestly, it’s just like the prosperity gospel, that I so often scorn.  ”Give your life to God so you can do more, be happier, more prosperous, etc.”  But our God will NOT be a means to an end.  He will be THE END, or nothing at all.

Christian / Minister – Where are you finding passion / purpose / significance today?  Is it in your job/ministry?  Then I pray it be taken away……let everything be taken away….until we can say with the Psalmist “ONE THING I ask of the LORD, THIS is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”

Ask yourself this question:  WHY do I need God?  Do you need Him to help you run your business?  To get good grades?  To have a bigger ministry?  All such seeking God is prostitution.  And you will stay BUSY, until your one ambition, your end, becomes KNOWING GOD.

Writing that you may know, love, and glorify God, not use Him-

Matt

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P.S.  I’d love to hear about your own experiences in this area, that I might grow in Christ.