Where have I been? What I mean to say is that I have been a Christian for almost 30 years and have never been gripped by God like I have been recently. God’s love is becoming the number one motivation for all that I am and do. It is the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I pastor a church, and the reason I am a faithful husband and friend!
For years I have struggled with many areas of my life even as a missionary and a pastor. I have struggled with personal relationships with others depending on what side of issues they were on! But I am more convinced now than ever before that when God is at the heart of life; He literally becomes your heart beat! You live for Him, you breathe His will. This is not to say that there are not challenges out there in my life but it is a testimony to God’s faithfulness in the midst of those challenges.
The book of Proverbs has been particularly used by God in this rebirth of His love. Chapter one verse seven of this book of wisdom says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” When we place God in His rightful place on the throne of our hearts then we begin to see Him for who He is. Without any preconceived ideas or unrealistic expectations of what we will receive from God, the only thing we do is fall at His feet in true unadulterated worship! ‘The fear of the Lord’ has to do with understanding with our finite minds and emotions His greatness and our puniness! When we look at the creation around us, its detail, its variety, and its richness we can’t help but worship! How much greater it is to know His work of grace in our lives!
Too often in my life I have worshipped God for me and not for Him. How I sing, how I am dressed, who is looking at me, who thinks I am a great guy all are false motivations that blocked my ability to truly worship the Lord. Having said that, dressing well is a good thing, trying to sing on key is a good thing if I can do that but they are not the MAIN thing. Being a part of a fellowship of God’s people as we sing God’s praise is one of the highlights of my week but who cares if anyone is looking at you! It is all about Him.
Our battle with sin even as believers is incessant in this life. There never seems to be a time when we can get a break. We memorize Scripture and pace the floor trying to avoid those feelings and temptations that attack us when we are vulnerable to no avail at times. Could it be that we are trying to win a battle that on our own we can never win? When I first became a Christian I memorized I Corinthians 10:13,”There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I quote in King James Version because that is how I first learned it. God is the one who gives us the ability to win over sin when it comes a calling.
Placing God at the very center of life is not a new teaching that I have just stumbled upon. I have known it for a long time, ever since we sat in David’s basement and learned about it with a group of young men who were trying to live for God. I recall the material demonstrating how God occupies the very centre sphere of life and everything else on the periphery. Just like the coach before a football game, that is how it is supposed to be! But life gets in the way and we lose our way.
I am forever grateful that God never gave up on me when there were several times that I gave up on Him. I don’t know what the future holds but my commitment is to day by day place myself before His Throne and be still and know that He is God. Would you join me?