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A burden for ministry may take you to a place of service, but only a love for Jesus will keep you there. Cultivating your personal spiritual walk is not a bullet point on your ministry training checklist; it is the source of life and ministry.

Notice what Ezra (ca. 450 BC) did when he went to rebuild the temple. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid. (Ezra 3:6)

Before the work of the temple was ever started, they set up the altar and began worship. Worship preceded Work!

Paul admonished Timothy to, Exercise yourself toward godliness. (1 Timothy 4:7) Thomas Watson (ca. 1620-1686, Puritan preacher) said,The reason we come away so cold from reading the Word is because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation.”

George Mueller (ca. 1805-1898) said,I began therefore to meditate…not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul.”

Consider three basic questions about walk and worship:

  • Why? – The purpose of godliness is to grow in our relationship with Christ not to fulfill a responsibility. The idea is for us to study His example (Philippians 2) and abide in Him (John 15). We tend to become like the person with whom we spend the most time.

“If you ignore the “why of relationship” and go directly to the “what of discipline” we tend to see personal growth as legalistic.”

  • What? – Growing spiritually takes discipline; that is why Paul told Timothy to “exercise yourself toward godliness.” I think the best definition of discipline I have ever heard is,Discipline is remembering what you want.”

“If you stop and ask yourself why you are not so devoted as the (early) Christians, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.” (William Law – early 1700’s – English theologian)

“I know of no way to experience unbroken union and communion with our beloved Lord Jesus apart from a conscious, deliberate choice to spend time alone with Him each morning.
(Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

We have to make a decision and act upon that choice.

  • How? – Let me suggest some practical disciplines to consider cultivating.
  • Meditation – Psalm 119:27

When nobody tells you what to think about, what do you think about?

 Scripture Memory – Psalm 119:11

God guides us with His Word. How much guidance do you want?

 Prayer – Psalm 116:1, 2

If you talked to your best friend as much as you talk to God, would you have a best friend?

 Daily Devotions – 1 Peter 2:2

Do you have a time set aside to meet with God every day?

“Without exception, the men and women I have known who make the most rapid, consistent, and evident growth in Christlikeness have been those who develop a daily time of being alone with God. This time of outward silence is the time of daily Bible intake and prayer. In this solitude is the occasion for private worship.” (Donald S. Whitney)

Guard against the grocery list mentality as you approach your daily devotions. Before you read your Bible or pray through your prayer list, take a few moments to focus on God in worship. Considering who God is rather than what He does, can bring a new power to your personal walk.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks Mike
    Lately I’ve been using First15 to focus my QT. Focuses on Christ; Gives good content; YouTube worship song; focused prayer and application. Along with other habits this is keeping me fresh. Thanks Again

  2. Really awesome post, both principle and practical competing for center stage

    • John, as you know, when principle and practice work in harmony, our lives and ministries become more effective. It is so difficult sometimes to keep the balance. Thanks for joining the conversation. Mike

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