Last weekend Jeremy and I got to go on a little getaway and had the privilege of seeing Matthew West and Colton Dixon in concert. —AMAZING concert.— One of the best we have ever been to, if not, the best! The music of course was incredible but what made it more amazing was the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout the night. It was the fact that you could tell this man didn’t just get up there to sing and do a concert. He was truly making a presentation of the Gospel. Jeremy put it best when he said “this was a presentation of Jesus Christ with music mixed in…not music with a mention of Jesus.” One of Matthew West’s new songs is called “Live Forever.” As he talked about this song, it struck me. So much so Jeremy and I sat and talked about it for a long while after the concert. The song talks about the fact that we have 86,400 seconds in a day. Every single day we have 86,400 seconds to live….what are we doing with those seconds?
Well…….a ‘few’ of those are spent sleeping of course. Ha! But what is happening between the moment our eyes peek open until the moment they fall closed to rest again? The song says “I don’t want to live for now, I wanna live forever.” How true that is! So often we hear in this world “live for the moment” and things like “YOLO: You Only Live Once”. Sorry, but I believe that the YOLO statement is an excuse to getaway with doing stupid stuff. Ha! Welp, I don’t know about you but I am kind of done with doing stupid stuff and “living for the moment.” I want to live forever. I want to live with intention. I want to live with purpose. By saying “I want to live forever” I mean I want to live for my forever. My forever is with my God.
I have never had a bigger yearning and desire to see people come to know the Lord as I do now. Their was someone in my life that was not a Christian when the affair came out. They were of the mindset that they were a good person, so they would go to heaven. They watched all of what happened, happen and are now not part of my life. This person had even started attending church. The door had opened. I’m not sure that door is still open. Oh how my heart aches for this, wondering and hurting for this person. I pray for this person by name every. single. day. I hope for this person just as I hope for every person that doesn’t know the Lord, that doesn’t have the hope of eternity that Christ Followers do. While I have always had a desire to see people come to know the Lord, it had become stale. Where my focus went awry clearly my yearning for this had too. Now, it is more present than ever. Knowing that I was a stumbling block for someone to come to know the Lord hurts my heart. For that I pray. I cry out to the Lord for this person. I am determined to not be a stumbling block but instead a building block for anyone else that is part of my life from this point on. In order to be that – I have started to evaluate how I spend every second of that 86,400 seconds each day.
A few things I am pondering:
First, my time with the Lord. I have become ever so protective over my quiet time. Every single morning, I spend time with my Lord. I crave that time now. I want nothing else before I have that. My life had become so busy over the last several years that my time with the Lord suffered severely. The frightening thing is that my “busyness” was mainly from doing ministry. How in the world was I serving in ministry when I wasn’t spending time with the One who I was supposed to be ministering through? That friends, is where I failed. I failed miserably and the enemy snuck in. That is where in the last 9 months, I have developed an intimacy with the Lord that I will not give up. I never want to lose that. Even as life starts to gain momentum again, as my life is becoming “busy” again, I will not waver in my time spent with Him.
Second, loving others. How do I love others and love others well? To answer that question see above. (haha) By spending time with the One who is LOVE! I screwed up and hurt many that I loved BIG TIME….NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER do I want to do that again. I honestly wish I could take all the hurt that I caused to so many (my husband and my best friend to name a few) and put it on myself. But, I now want to love others better. Love them the right way, in a way I can’t do on my own. Jesus commands us to love others. He tells us we MUST love others. In John 13 he says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) Do you see what He is telling us there? He tells us to love one another so that people will know that we follow Him. Love others like God loves us. That is a supernatural love. That is a love that is only evident in a person that has been miraculously changed, filled with the Holy Spirit, living with a new heart and passion like no other. It is through this love that when people see it, they cannot deny that it comes from something bigger than human flesh. It is a love that gives us the ability to love people that we don’t really want to love, those that are tough to love, that have hurt us or whatever. Yep, we are commanded to love those that don’t ‘deserve’ our love. Just as we don’t ‘deserve’ God’s love. I have people that are really really tough to love and I know you do too! People have hurt me, people have lied to me, people have spoke poorly about me. But, I am commanded to love them. I know I am one of those people that is really tough to love for many: I hurt people, I broke peoples trust, I spoke poorly about people. He commands us to love one another. Not who we want, not the easy to love, but everyone. It’s a command not an option. So, I’m evaluating this in my heart and my life. I want to be better at this. Do I love others like He wants me to? Do I love EVERYONE like He wants me to? I want to, but do I? I know people are watching. I know the person I spoke of above is watching how so-called “christians” are loving, just like so many are watching all of us. So many lost people ask the question, “How do these people who call themselves ‘Christian’ live differently than I?” I want to live so different and love so big that it is blatantly obvious that something supernatural has to be going on. The love we show for others is the evidence we have to show others that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. I screwed that up – I want to fix it. Only through Him can I fix it.
As I ponder each second and I mean each and every second, these are the two things the Lord continues to reveal to me over and over again. It is an overwhelming since of “Love Him then Love others.” I truly believe if we protect our time with Him, be intentional about seeking Him first, follow the Word of God in through which we can love others as He commands us to – all other “things” follow suit. It’s about priorities. Him first, that’s it. My priorities were so whacked. Love for myself was put in front of everything else. Goodness – that is awful. But goodness am I thankful for the love my God has for me that He has given me grace and another chance and restored me to be a vessel for Him even through my yuckyness. I want to make every second count. I am praying for big things. Let me tell y’all – I have been praying about some supernatural things that could only happen through Him, but what a testimony they could be if they did. Things that are all about the love we should have for each other. “Love Him then Love Others.” We serve a big Big BIG God – He is all about doing big Big BIG things…I want to use my 86,400 seconds to be a part of those big things. I want to see more and more people come to know Him. I want to see radical things happen that blow our minds because no way could they happen without HIM! When my eyes close to rest at night, I want to fall asleep believing that I used every second to honor Him and bring glory to Him through loving Him and loving others supernaturally!
Our time here on earth is just a blip in eternity….make it count!