I made a new friend recently who is hungry for hope. He longs for the one light of hope that will pierce into the darkness he has been going through. He believes in God but life has been so unfair to him that he is at a loss. He doesn’t know how to make a connection with God because something has gone dry. His zeal has dried up. His desire to worship is almost non-existent and his faith is severely wounded. Church is just a gathering place for him where the social aspect means more than the spiritual aspect. I feel for him and I am sure many of us can relate to him. I have been talking to him about my experience with the Lord little by little, injecting a new take on hope as I go. He doesn’t want to hear lectures but he wants to see firsthand applications of the Gospel. In his eyes, God has gone missing. What I told him about myself is that I was a Christian for many years before I had an encounter that changed my life. There must be an impact. Jesus impacted me more than anyone could. Jesus spoke to me louder than any sermons I had heard. How did it happen? I rededicated myself.
God wants every part of us and not just the small sections that are easy to share. When I got saved I dedicated my life to the Lord but I only gave him compartments that were easy to open. It’s those deep cabinets that the Lord wants. It’s the double door cabinets that have so much room in the back that He wants. He doesn’t just want the door and the handle of those compartments. He wants the shelves and the backdrop. He wants the core of our existence. He wants to be invited into everything. It is that simple but it’s not easy to achieve. Can you think of areas of your life you are holding on today? Are there compartments that are being saved for later? Time is a compartment that we tend to keep for ourselves or if not for ourselves for things that are not God-related. We live in a world where time is money when the Lord says, “Time should be mine.”
When I let go of pockets of time and dedicated them to the Lord, I saw a change. I put my time in. I devoted the same amount of time through good days and bad days. That’s when I felt closer to God. That’s when hope became more apparent. The more time we spend with God the easier it is to receive joy, peace and love. If we feel like God has moved away, it is often because something is monopolizing our attention. The goal is to identify the distractions that are separating us from God. They might not be all that obvious but there are many distractions that are captivating us so much that God is given a back seat. Worship is amazing and great but it can be a distraction when we “worship worship” instead of worshiping the Lord. We can be so busy in the church running around and devoting our time to logistics and technicalities that our service to the Lord is compromised. God needs to be in the front seat of our journey. There is no secret. Give Him first place and you will always be ahead of the game! Give Him first place and He will bring hope back into your life. Give Him first place and joy will be you companion all the time.
Suggested reading: Hosea 10:12; Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:17