I've been extremely busy with "work" which is actually the reason I've been inspired to blog.
Last night, I was teaching my youth on developing a care for the poor and oppressed, THEN actually doing something about it and I challenged them that many of them may be called to actually go into missions or ministry, and it may be in areas that don't want to be. We then talked about the rich young ruler as an example...
Luke 18:18-23: "A ruler asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus asked him. 'No one is good but One -- God. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother.' 'I have kept all these from my youth,' he said. When Jesus heard this, He told him, 'You still lack one thing: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.' After he heard this, he became extremely sad, because he was very rich."
Each of us is called to full-time ministry. We may not get paid for it and we may not travel overseas for it, but we are all called to give up EVERYTHING, all that we have, especially that which is most important to us (for the rich young ruler, it was his possessions, others may be a relationship, hobby, well-paying job, or pride) and follow Jesus. I challenged my students with this question: "What keeps you from following God." What holds you back? What are you so holding on to? What is distracting you?
This morning as I was laying in bed, I was thinking about that question in my own life. And felt this burden of what has been keeping me from following God. Why I haven't felt as close to my Lord and Savior over the past few months like I was feeling a year ago. You may or may not be thinking: "you work at a church, how could you not be following God?" (I know that was the thought that kept running through my head). But, as weird as this may sound, I honestly feel like that has also been my problem. I "work" at a church and me following Christ has become more of a job than a relationship. I'm so busy and caught up in working for God that it has become a barrier in my personal walk with Christ.
You see, these last few months have gotten ridiculously crazy for me. I currently lead worship in our contemporary service, I preach about every other week in the contemporary service, plan all the contemporary services, run anything and everything technological at the church, do a lot of other things at the church, and occasionally squeeze youth ministry (which is my actual job that I used to spend 50+ hours a week on) into my weekly schedule. I feel like I have so much to do that I'm using all my energy to stay afloat, to keep my head above water, that I'm not moving forward in any way in anything. And time seems to be FLYING by. I was telling a friend the other day that a month ago only feels like a week ago to me anymore. I realize that I haven't talked to friends in probably months, but it only feels like a week or two. Hadn't seen family in probably a month when it only felt like a week. My time is all messed up!
You remember the sisters in the bible, Mary and Martha, the friends of Jesus. One night they invited Jesus over for dinner, and Martha was running around in a frenzy trying to make sure everything was perfect because the Son of God was in her house, but Mary just sat at Jesus' feet conversing with God's Son. And Martha was pretty ticket about the whole thing. She was mad at Mary and I think she was really mad at Jesus because Jesus wasn't setting it straight. He wasn't looking out to meet her needs there, and so she comes to Jesus and look what she says in Luke 10, "Martha was distracted by her many tasks: So she came to Him and asked, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things: but there is need of only one thing and Mary has chosen the better part...'"
Sometimes we make it too complicated. We get so busy building into the lives of everyone else that we forget about ourself. We need to meet our needs. We need to spend time with God. We need to spend time with others in fellowship and growing together in the Lord. I know I need an intervention, I need to find others that I can spend time in fellowship with (my age).
So....What keeps you from following God?!?!