The greatest command is to love God wholeheartedly. Intimacy with God is my life’s priority, before serving His bride. The Gospels inform us the second commandment is “like the first,” – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This is where acts of service, leadership and volunteering in PWOCI enter into my relationship with Christ. Service and love of others flow from intimacy with Christ. This command is important, it is “like the first,” but it is clearly SECOND.
It is vital that I keep first things first. I am not primarily “Asia Region’s President.” I am foremost a lover of God. The “secret place,” the “garden tryst,” the “tent of meeting,” must be central in my life. I cannot create intimacy on the run. Yes, I can worship while I drive or workout at the gym…but if the totality of my intimacy with God is “on the run,” intimacy will wither. My relationship with Jesus will lack depth.
I once found myself in a season where I consistently treated my garden tryst with Jesus as a visit to the gas station. I filled up when the gauge was on empty. Not because I loved being at the gas station, but so I could get to what I really loved – the adventure of a road trip. I found myself, coming to Him in prayer and worship, to be filled up so I could pursue my first love, the adventure of serving the bride.
Jesus asks, “Am I your first love or is ministry your first love?”
“Am I your lover or your ministry partner?”
“Forgive me. You are the lover of my soul. You are my heart. Forgive me for the times when I try to exist with intimacy on the run. May I always love You more than Your precious bride.”
I am changed. I set the table with the bread and wine of His presence; I slow down, pull away and make a conscious choice to commune with Him. I settle in for private worship, study and simple silence in His presence… Intimacy is love enjoyed….to BE with Jesus, hear His heart and long for Him. The response of the heart of God is lavishly explosive when I set my heart to love Him above all else.
He invites us to a place of intimacy in the midst of our serving. Will you join Him? My prayer is that each of us pursues HIM above all else. He calls us first and foremost to love Him.
*First shared at pwoc.org on Asia Region's page.
Living all of life before the face of God...