As leaders, hands-down the most vital relationship in our lives is with Jesus Christ. It’s also the most private, invisible, and perhaps for those reasons – easiest to shortchange. Yet, when our relationship with God is thriving, the systemic impact in our lives and leadership is unmistakable.
So how are we – today, in this season - responding to God’s standing invitation for intimacy?
As a visual learner, God occasionally gives me mental images to characterize a season in my life or confirm a direction He wants me to take. Paired with Scripture and discernment from other believers – these visuals are one of the ways God keeps me on track.
During a time of worship, the above image of Jesus standing waist-deep in a large body of water came to mind. I prayerfully pondered it and thought of Scriptures like:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden.” (Matthew 11:28) Yep, I could definitely relate to being tired and weighed down with the challenges of life and ministry.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 What a vivid description of life at times! I know the feeling of plodding along in a desert, bereft of living water.
“Times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:20) Aah, I’d like nothing more than to leave this hard, parched ground and wade into the water with the Lord. How invigorating to be with Him, talk with Him, go into deeper water spiritually with Him!
1. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” (Revelation 3:20) Is there a door to a room in the “house” of your life that Jesus is standing at, knocking on, and asking You to open – so together you can sort through and renovate what’s behind it?
2. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3) Is there an important question or nagging concern you’ve been batting around in your mind? God is essentially saying, “Call Me. Ask Me about it. I want to reveal my direction to you.”
3. “Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in…” (Ezekiel 47:5a) Is there an area in your life or leadership where God wants you to exercise faith, venture into deeper water, feel uncomfortable, and be in over your head so your full confidence is in Him?
Because God is always ready to receive us, always ready to forgive, commune, etc. – it’s easy to take His standing invitation for granted and put it off. But would we delay if a friend said, “You have a standing invitation to use our cottage by the sea.”? Or if another friend received a large inheritance and said, “You have a standing invitation to ask me for money for any significant initiative in your ministry.” Or, our most esteemed spiritual leader said, “You have a standing invitation to call me 24/7.”
As good as those offers are, God’s invitation to intimacy yields far more. A fresh awareness of His greatness. A solidified sense of our identity as His child. A specific direction for ministry. And the refreshment, recalibration, and renewal of our spirit that comes exclusively from spending time with Him. Ephesians 3:20 sums it up as “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” A standing invitation from God for intimacy is worthy of our constant “Yes!”
“A standing invitation from God for intimacy is worthy of our constant ‘Yes!’”-Lisa Hosler
What keeps you from responding to God’s standing invitation, and how have you overcome that? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.