I am so grateful for all that God is doing in my life, my family, and through our ministry team at Awaken Ministries International. It has truly been an incredible season moving to Nashville and stepping out into what we believe the Lord has called us into. God is doing amazing things right now; all the glory to Him! That being said, there is one part of my life that has definitely challenged me during this transition. It is something I have had to be very intentional about and have had to down-right fight to keep in it’s place. This one part of my life I’m referring to is my time with the Lord.
I am eternally grateful for all I experienced in the past 7 years of my life. I was blessed to do life with an amazing body of believers. I helped lead a church that truly experienced God in ways I never knew were even possible. One of my biggest lessons learned from that season was the importance of intimacy with God, and seeking the kingdom first daily. My church believed in, and heavily pursued, a lifestyle of intimacy with the Lord.
The people in my life know that this is a very important topic to me, and one that is way too expansive to be fully explored in a blog post (or a lifetime for that matter). But today, I really felt led to encourage the importance of seeking the kingdom first daily. This may look a little different from person to person. To me, it looks like waking up in the morning, being intentional about spending time in worship, His word, and in prayer. I also take one day of the week in the “desert” spending time with God. I say desert because I am from Arizona, but now my “desert time with God” has turned into “forest time with God”. Same God, different landscape!
Jesus pretty much lays it all out right here in this red-letter verse from the Gospel of John. The word “abide” is translated from the Greek word “meno”. According to Strong’s Concordance the definition for “meno” is to remain, abide, to continue to be, to last, endure, to remain as one. In the New Testament this same word is also translated into the following: continue, endure, last, remain. Jesus is saying that whoever “abides (continues, endures, lasts, remains, etc), in Me, and I in Him, he it is that bears much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” He is the way, the truth, and the life! (John 14:6) He is our source! Not only is He our source of joy, peace, and love, but He is also our source for guidance in this world.
Only through intimacy with Him, “abiding” in Him, can we know His true, real-time will for our lives.
He is our comforter, healer, and our guide. The enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came so that we may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). I am fully convinced that a connected-to-the vine life is the best life, and it is worth fighting for!
Judge according to the fruit. I have seen so clearly the fruit at both ends of seeking first the kingdom. When I am obedient to this scripture I stay connected to Him. He becomes my source and my power. When I don’t, my world seems to fall apart around me and I instantly get in my flesh. I am powerless.
Apart from Him I can do nothing. This, above all things, is worth fighting for and making a priority in our daily life.
So today I want to encourage you to seek first the kingdom in your life. Be willing to compromise on anything else before you compromise on your time with the Lord. Start your day in worship, in His word, and in prayer. Take some time out of your busy day and rest in the Lord. Take one day out of your week to devote to your maker. The end goal, the will of God, is to be connected to Him every second of every day (1 Thess 5:16-19). That pathway starts through our obedience every morning. I guarantee you will see good fruit in your life and in the people, family, friends, and relationships around you. It’s impossible to walk away from time with the Lord with anything but total joy, peace, and clarity.
He is the source of all good things. When we spend time in the Lord’s presence we get filled up with the Kingdom, and then we can release the Kingdom everywhere we go. We become big, beautiful, fruit-bearing trees for the Kingdom of God! Or, if you live in Arizona, a big, beautiful, fruit-bearing Saguaro cactus for the Kingdom of God. Either way the Lord gets His fruit!
Blessings and Shalom,