If we truly assess our lives and explore our priorities, not based on what we say but on what we do, it will be fascinating to see what we discover. Often we can get so carried away with our daily lives and even our ministries and do ‘good’ but is it of God? Who and what are we ‘consumed’ with?
How do we spend our time? How much of time do we give our work, our rest, our health and fitness, to those we minister to, to the loved ones we hold dear in our hearts and to God? If we are honest with ourselves, we often find that we take our loved ones for granted.
We often see parents working hard to earn money to buy the gifts and all the wants to satisfy the whims and fancies of their kids. The parents will tell the kids they love them and show it with these gifts. How many families are now at the dinner table preoccupied with their phones and ipads and what not? Even babies and kids are given these electronic items to keep them entertained. The kids don’t even get the necessary exercises for development then not only for their limbs but also for various skills. Single parents can often be distracted with finding a partner that they don’t give the love that the child yearns for and that makes the kids really insecure and worthless.
How much of time are we truly spending with the ones we love? How often do we share things with each other about our happenings and how much of time do we give one another to actually hear each other out, to know what’s going on in their hearts? Often people get carried away with ministries and go all out to help. Ways are found to overcome obstacles. But is this same love or fervour shown to the ones who love us or whom we love?
How much more do we do this with God? How much of time do we spend listening to His voice, reveling in His love, enjoying His embrace? Or are we task oriented or blessing oriented in the way we go to Him? What are our prayers all about? Is it Lord I want this and I want that, bless me, heal me etc etc? Or are we able to pray Lord, show me Your will and give me the strength and courage to do what You want as You know best and at the end of the day the purpose for which we are on earth isn’t about us but about His Kingdom? Are we able to surrender our fears to Him instead of letting our fears be our excuses to hold us back from what He is telling us to do?
Love isn’t about emotions but it is a decision. We need to love INTENTIONALLY. We are commanded – not an option – to LOVE. First and foremost we have to love God with ALL our heart and ALL our soul and ALL our mind and ALL our strength. It’s not telling God do whatever but it’s telling God we give it ALL to Him and we want to love Him and obey Him with everything that He has blessed us with. Our heart yearns to do what He desires us to do, not what our flesh and our minds desire. As we delight in HIS love, our hearts begin to resonate with His heartbeat and we desire His perfect and pleasing will for our lives as difficult as the will may be and those desires will be met.
When we come to the place of loving God and enjoying His love, being intimate with HIM, the fruit of the Spirit becomes increasingly evident – more joy, more love, more peace, more faithfulness, more self control etc etc. And then as His love flows in us and through us, it spills over to those around us. We are then given the second commandment to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Who are our neighbours? Those God has placed on our path – our friends, our families, our colleagues, our geographical neighbours etc. How much of love are we showing them? Are we loving them in the way we would like to be loved?
It is indeed often sad that we take for granted those who love us as we become comfortable with them.. that we know they will understand if we are busy, or want to rest or we want to look to our needs and commitments that we often neglect them.. to the point of ignoring them and their needs unintentionally. In fact we take their love and patience for granted. We don’t realise or see their hurts and one fine day we will wake up and realise it’s too late that person has moved on to those who do see their hearts and take time to cherish them or we will find that God has taken them away from earth.
Jesus went around ministering to people.. but He never got consumed by His ministries or passion for people. He always made time to spend with His Father. Jesus never simply ministered but He often was intentional to who and when and how. He had a group of people who went with Him wherever He went – including the ladies who were financing Him. Then He had the twelve disciples as His inner circle who He spent quality time with teaching them the ways of God. He also had His closest 3 disciples – the ones to whom He gave more revelations.
Often God may be showing us to spend our resources – time, love, finances in a certain way but then we can get carried away with where we think we need to invest those resources. Good without God amounts to nothing. And if we are taking God for granted then life is pointless.
Let’s really seek God’s discernment to re-evaluate how we spend our time, where our priorities lie, who we spend our time with, whether we are neglecting the ones we love or the ones who love us – including God Himself. Don’t take ANYONE for granted as it may be too late.