Just Being with Jesus – I Press Toward the Prize – Phil. 3:13-14
Just Being With Jesus
Having just skilfully turned off my iPhone alarm without even waking up, I was now a full hour behind on my morning schedule. Not cool. I have a routine. A very consistent morning routine that makes me very very cranky when it’s disrupted.The iPhone snooze is way way way way way too easy to use!
The routine is simple. I start coffee, turn the heater on in my office, let the boxers outside, get my cup of coffee, read the Bible, pray, write the blog post, and then go to work. Now I was frustrated and trying to figure out what I would cut out of that routine.
The Gut Punch
Fortunately when I opened my YouVersion Bible reading program, it was a shorter reading day, so I zipped through it with near record speed. When I got down to pray, I was praying with a goal in mind. You talk about speed praying… I started praying like an auctioneer on crack.
For a minute, I thought about just going basic and reciting the Lords prayer, but I figured that was too obvious. Instead I just started hitting all the main points as quickly as I could.
I guess everyone has different experiences in prayer, but typically I enjoy meaningful and intimate time with the presence of God each day. The more I rushed through prayer that morning, the more uncomfortable it became and the less sincere I felt.
Have you ever been talking to someone and it was obvious that they wanted to hurry up with the conversation so that they could get to something or someone more important. When it finally dawned on me that I was being ‘that guy’, and that I was doing it to God no less, it was a bit of a gut punch.
Watch out for the ‘ministry trap’. Our desire to do things for God should never rise above our desire to just be with God.
I was trying to hurry up and get finished with God, so I could move on and get something done for Him. I consider my blog to be a ministry, but ministry should never take the place of our first calling which is just being with Jesus.
I think one of the easiest traps a devoted believer can fall into is the ‘ministry trap’. We serve a little, and then we serve a little more, and then before long we’re spending every available moment in some form of ‘Ministry’ for God, but we’re completely neglecting Him in the process.
The First Calling
Just being with Jesus was their first priority. It should always be ours too.
Mark 3:14 tells the story of Jesus calling the twelve disciples. “And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach” The disciples were first called to be with Jesus, and then to go minister. Just being with Jesus was their first priority. It should always be ours too.
I allowed God to correct my heart and skipped the blog. Then I even spent some extra time ‘just being with Jesus’. The morning ended up being a great time of devotion. It seemed like He honored the choice too by showing up in a special way.
The High Calling
Philippians 3:13-14 is a familiar verse that talks about forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to the prize of the ‘High Calling’ of God in Christ Jesus.
I’ve always heard that calling described in the context of ministry, but if you read the verses leading up to this you’ll find that Paul is desperately longing to know Christ more intimately.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings…” – Phil. 3:10a
Is it possible, that the high calling Paul was speaking of was simply the higher calling of nearness by a God who desires a more intimate relationship with each of us? What about you? Have you been so busy lately that prayer time is a quick to-do list for God, or are you taking the time to sincerely connect to your savior?
Take a moment right now, and just ask God to show you if you’ve been too busy for Him lately. Are you giving Him the best of your time, or are you giving it to all of the ministry you’re involved in? They’re both important, but never forget that you are first and foremost called to be with Him.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.