The last few days I have been in meetings with people from different churches in three different cities and towns. We have been discussing the same thing in each meeting. The topic: seeking and saving the lost.
As I have been out walking today – I walk three to four times a day covering 6 or 7 miles in any given 24 hour period – thinking things through and sorting impressions, feelings, and things the Lord has been saying to me during the meetings or about the meetings one thing became crystal clear.
In these meetings there were two kinds of believers. Those who were dealing well with issues and challenges in their lives and those who were feeling overwhelmed by circumstances and their current situation.
When you listened to the comments being made it became evident that one group of those participating in these three different meetings were ready to give, meet needs, reach out with the gospel and seek and save the lost. The others wanted to and, I believe, sincerely desired to be doing it but felt, at this point in their lives, unable to participate. It was like they were too pooped to participate. Life was heavy at the moment and it was taking everything they had just to keep their heads above water and one foot in front of the other. It was not that they were in trouble or in dire straights – simply “up to here” in the everyday affairs of life and it was coming at them faster then they were, at this time, able to handle. So, to add one more thing – reaching out to seek and save the lost – would cause a crash. Not going to happen.
Now, what made the difference between these two groups of people? It wasn’t the topic as it was the same in all three locations. It was not age or ability or family responsibilities – as the mix was fairly much the same in all three places. It was not education, finances, job situations, family life, marriage issues …. I have thought about all the people (I know them fairly well) and all the possible reasons or issues that would cause such a stark contrast – none of the above!
Here is what I think it is. One group, when they get up in the morning, have a shower to be refreshed, cleansed and ready for the day. Then they go into their quiet time because they know that just as their physical being needed refreshing and washing – that their spiritual being also needs to be refreshed and cleansed. They know that there are “times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Then having been with the Lord in their Bible receiving fresh heavenly manna they then move to the kitchen to make their toast and eat earthly bread. Remember – “man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). These people are ready to face the day and witness, sharing the gospel whenever they have opportunity. They are ready to give because they have already received.
The second group – because life has been and still is coming at them so fast and so much of life is coming at them at the same time – they no longer have that time in the morning set aside to be with the Lord and hear His voice, His directions for the day. They no longer take time to experience His love at the start of each day. They start the day running without thinking that their gas tank is almost empty from the day before and that they should stop and be refilled with the Holy Spirit – refreshed in the presence of the Lord. So, they run on empty for a while, then they keep going by sucking fumes and then they crash. This, of course, totally eliminates them from any fishing they might have sincerely wanted to do.
The solution: As simple – or simplistic – as it may sound the solution is to carve out time to be with the Lord first thing in the morning, every morning. “Seek first the Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33) and then you will be able to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Make a rule – no Bible, no breakfast!
God said that “if we would seek for Him with our whole hearts we would find Him” Jeremiah 29:13). That is exactly what we must be doing every day – first thing in the morning. Saints, it is time that we got our priorities straight no matter how busy we are. In fact, the busier we are the longer the time with the Lord in the early morning should be.
So, turn the television off and go to bed earlier. Come home from coffee with friends earlier. Put the book down one chapter sooner. Do whatever it takes it be able to rise early enough to have adequate time with the Lord each and every morning. It is foundational to your spiritual walk and obedience to the Lord. Foundational to becoming an effective soul winner.