Recently, we have been reading a very good and challenging book by Pete Greig entitled ‘Dirty Glory’. In it Pete Greig writes about his journey of faith leading one of the largest Christian movements of our time, 24-7 Prayer. He writes:
“The vision is Jesus. Everything else is secondary – even the mission is less important than the man.” (p 54)
We feel very challenged by this. Often as Christians, and for us as full-time missionaries, the mission and the work become and the focus of what we do. Running programmes and serving in church, helping others, going to conferences, speaking in churches, and doing everything we can to be better Christians, can sometimes distract us from the importance of knowing Jesus in the power of his resurrection in the intimate place.
I must admit that amidst the busyness of moving house, starting missionary training and getting busy with all sorts of things, sometimes Jesus is the last thing on my mind!
Over the years I have developed a habit of creating “to do” lists on my computer. A permanent item for each day is… “pray”. It’s there as a reminder and as a desire. I pray everyday, even if just before bed or as I drive somewhere… but this sort of prayer is not always the sort that leads me closer to Jesus as it can become just an activity. This sort of prayer does not always flow out of a place of desire to get to know God more. It’s often a list of requests and items of thanks, but not as often is it a time where I just want to know what the Father has to share with me. The things that are on his heart.
In reading ‘Dirty Glory’ we have been reminded that Jesus is the focus. The work we are hoping to do in Goiania is secondary to the fact that we are called to be in relationship with the Father. We have been reminded that in order to be effective in what we do, we need to first be. We have been challenged to put Jesus first.
So in the coming days we are going to challenge ourselves to spend time with God. Waiting and listening…. asking him to share his heart with us. This will not be an item on our to do list, but a time to work on our relationship with Jesus. From 5th June we will post here (for a week) how that time is going and, if you feel like it, you can also join us in this challenge. The challenge is spending a few minutes each day talking to Jesus, working on our relationship with him, and listening for his heart (his hopes and dreams) for our lives.
Pete Greig writes:
“The vision is Jesus. Not Christianity. Not prayer, mission and justice. Not worship-leading or church-planting or evangelism. If you love Jesus you’ll do that stuff: you’ll pray and worship and go to church and preach the gospel – but in doing all those things, don’t lose the why, don’t get lost in the crowd.”
If Jesus is the vision… then we need to get to know him more. My prayer is that somehow Jesus will become the complete focus of my life. That I will be unapologetically be obsessed with spending time with him more than working for him. Instead of looking for people to help and introduce to Jesus, we will try to look for Jesus in the people we meet so that in everything we do we do it to be closer to the person in whom ‘live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28)