While on the East Coast last week, I was reminded the importance of my time with God. As a leader, I often get too caught up in the time other people are spending with God and not caught up enough in my own time with God. As the leader of the discipleship ministry, I can easily look into someone else’s life and evaluate how well “we” are doing at growing them, yet for them and for me there is only one person who can make a difference in that relationship between them and God…you or me.
Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., said at the Whiteboard Sessions, “Find a watchtower, get with God. Seek Him.” As I have been kicking around that idea that I have known my whole life, it became apparent to me. When I was lost, He sought me. Now that I am found, I have to seek Him. In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of the lost sheep. Even though ninety-nine sheep were present, that wasn’t good enough for Christ. He wants all one hundred, not one less. Ninety-nine is unacceptable so he searches. But, a quick look at Matthew 7:7 tells us, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Persistent prayer is the only way to get on the same page with God. Jesus can spend half of eternity searching us out and if we don’t seek Him once He finds us, we are just lost in the crowd. I have to do a better job of getting out from under my “responsibilities” in order to take time to listen to God so I can follow Christ in the direction in which He is heading, with or without me.
All of this reminds me of a story…every day this year I picked my daughter up from school. Each day a teacher would lead the kindergarteners in a single line out the door by the line of cars for parents to pick them up. It didn’t matter where Abbie started in the line, she would end up last. She just wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing. Student after student would pass her as she was staring into space, walking as slow as possible. When we don’t seek Christ with each step – we fall back, and when we fall back we run the risk of getting separated from the Shepherd. I want to be in front of the line – close enough to hear what the Shepherd is saying about life and Kingdom, because that’s where I grow.