Our priorities reveal who we are and what direction we have chosen for our future. We always walk in the direction we are facing. David said it so clearly, “One thing have I asked of God and that will I seek, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…to behold the beauty of the Lord.”
Most people today would say that their ONE desire is to be happy, successful, rich, famous, popular, and powerful. Some folks who are a little more religious might say, “My one desire is to do the work of God.”
But David, the “man after God’s heart,” said that his main desire, which he sought with a passion, was to fellowship with God. His attitude was a living illustration of what Jesus later said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.”
The paradox of ministry is that it can become about what we DO for Him. What should be all about Jesus sometimes becomes all about us.
I’ve been on this journey with the Lord for a lifetime. I have at times gotten distracted from the one thing, and occasionally my focus has swerved off track. In fact, one of my greatest distractions in pursuing fellowship with God has been the work of God—the ministry. For some of us, ministry can become an idol!
The paradox of ministry is that it can become about what we DO for Him. What should be all about Jesus sometimes becomes all about us. The motives get subtly adjusted. I’ve done things for the church and for the work of God that later I asked myself, “Why did I do that?”
Self-preservation is a strong human instinct. Sometimes the preservation of our position, our power, or our place becomes the all-consuming passion of our lives. I’ve met some ruthless Christian leaders who have systematically eliminated any possible opposition to their leadership by removing good people from their organization. If we fall prey to this instinct, it’s not done for the love of God, but rather for the love of ourselves and our place.
In my sobering moments of reflection, I have at times wondered how much of my life and ministry has been lived with wrong motives. I don’t know—but God does. Sometimes what I wanted was not actually for the glory of God. With some reflection, I understand that God is so gracious and merciful that he continues to use me and all of us to build His Kingdom.
To be led by the Holy Spirit should be the normal way of Christ-centred living. We should be doing God’s work because we love God. We should build the kingdom for the love of the King!
Keeping “the main thing the main thing” is crucial. Pursuing God by personal prayer and fasting reflects our soul’s passion—that one thing that we have desired of the Lord and sought after. We should desire, above all, to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…” We are that temple of the Holy Spirit today. The house of the Lord is us—are we seeking His presence to be a permanent reality in our lives?
The ONE THING is a seeking, a passion, a focus of life to live in the very real presence of God; not to visit there, but to live there. To make Kingdom decisions that lead others to the presence of God. It’s in that presence of God that there is “fullness of joy.”
The one who chooses the right one thing will always bring glory to God and build the kingdom the way God wants it built. Seek HIM and seek him FIRST… every day.
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