Oh, Would We Err on the Side of Love.
Recently, I have witnessed a disturbing event take place in my heart and mind: I have forgotten love and lost my joy. It’s not that I know longer love the Lord and want to see His Good News sweep across our country and bring fresh revival. No, it’s not that. I think it has its origin in things more subtle and simple—has ministry and success in ministry, even, usurped my longing for a thriving personal relationship with Christ? Ay, I think sometimes it has.
Personally, I am quite often guilty of turning all this (prayer, the Word, worship, serving, discipleship, etc) into a HAVE TO instead of a GET TO. I don’t know why. I mean, I’ve been reading My Utmost for hIs Highest for 14 years and Oswald Chambers is always reminding us to not let ANYTHING get in between us and our Lord, even our service and ministry before Him. All serving and DOING should be motivated by beautifully simple love for the Jesus Who died for us. Let us love Him more than all else. This has been, historically in the church, one of the leading causes for marriage and parenting failure, hidden sin, and a host of other problems in the lives of Christian leaders. Brokenness, pain, strife, backsliding…all come from men and women off track with their intimacy. So easily, and sometimes, so quickly, do we fall for “lovers so less wild.” The Lord knows…ain’t nobody got time for that!
Then Joe Focht throws in his comment, “Having to serve the Lord is a drag, but loving Jesus is an adventure.” Something like that…. Anyway, I have found myself trying to get back to simple, sweet relationship with Jesus and not be caught up in all the junk that can go along with ministry and church and leading. Lord, restore my joy and let it be my strength. Lord, teach me, help me to love. If I’m gonna go overboard in any area, Jesus, let it be that I over-emphasize Your love and joy.
We can get so hard and jaded as believers, we really can. Hung up in the minor league material that so many debates and fights and books are all about. My God, please help us…YOU DIDN’T HIRE US, YOU GAVE BIRTH TO US. I want others to be attracted not to “rightness” but holiness spoken through love and joy. As I continue to admire the hippy Jesus Movement, they seem more and more stupid for love. Oh, let it be so in our day Father…send Your Holy Spirit and move mightily through this arid, famished generation with wet, potent love. May it be so as the sweet psalmist of Israel spoke: “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.”