Thursday, April 30, 2009

Too Busy for Joy

When I don't take time to enjoy God, I lose my ability to enjoy people too. When I think that I can minister to people without first allowing God to minister to me, I dry up fast.

I was kind of a negative example of this while in Albuquerque. I basically thought “I’m only going to be here for 3 days so I need to be with people as much as I can while I’m here. I can catch up with God when I get home.” So I neglected enjoying God. Consequently, by Saturday I was really drained. Both spiritually and physically (I actually came down with a minor cold as soon as I got home) but more spiritually. I know I’m getting drained spiritually when I see opportunities to minister in front of me (someone says or does something that would give a perfect opening) and yet I don’t know what to do.

Sunday morning I finally took time to be with God for a while (and nurse my sore throat) and was trying to prepare for ministering in the jail in a few hours. I sensed God was telling me, “I’ve wanted to refresh you these past couple days, but you were too busy.” How humbling. Thankfully God is merciful and forgiving and He did give Dad and me a fresh filling of joy for the jail that morning.

God wants to bless you with joy in His presence (Psalm 16:11). Let Him.

This can be something as simple as sitting down with your Bible, and praying some verses back to God. (The Psalms are the easiest to do this with, since most of them are already in the form of a prayer, but with practice one can “convert” almost any part of Scripture into a prayer. One advantage of using Scripture as the starting point for our prayers is that it helps keep our prayers from becoming self-centered or off-target.)

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