Over the past few weeks, I have found myself navigating a tension. Since leaving my career to step into full-time ministry with our organization, YouPrint, my schedule has been busy. Between meetings, our radio show expansion and corporate engagements, my time has been filled. But beneath the full schedule is a lurking emptiness.
This weekend, as I was spending some time alone at the beach preparing for my sermon, I felt God say, “Don’t become so busy with this stuff that you forget to be busy with me.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. My week had been consumed with Godly things instead of being consumed with God Himself.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar season, here are a few thoughts to help rekindle that relationship.
Proximity ≠ Intimacy
A lot of times, it’s easy to think that we’re close with God, when we’re really just close to Godly things. But proximity does not equal intimacy. That’s a sobering thought to consider. Here’s a picture to help highlight what I mean.
Imagine a couple who has been married for years, but despite their proximity, they’ve never really had a relationship. There was the honeymoon phase, but as time wore on they forgot what that felt like. Although they’re still married, they’re not really together.
The same is true of our faith. A lot of us are married to good things like church, small group and even teaching God’s word. In some way, we convince ourselves that since we’re not “divorced” from God, that’s enough. But the truth is, we’re missing intimacy.
When we lack intimacy with the Father, faith fades into formality and our well-intended actions become busy distractions. But the great news is, God’s grace is overwhelming. Even if we’ve inadvertently neglected Him and put Him in a corner, He’s like the most loyal, loving dog we’ve ever known. He’s waiting, wagging His proverbial tail, for us to return.
We often defend our busyness with the nobility of scripture. To make it easier on our pride, we remind ourselves that “Faith without works is dead.” That is true. But consider this:
Faith without rest isn’t faith. – Kevin Adams
Do you remember the story of Martha and Mary? Who had the better thing?
The point is, resting in the presence and provision of our Father is always better than serving Him. This is how we restore intimacy.
Let’s go back to the couple analogy. Imagine the husband trying to prove his love for his wife by buying her jewelry. His intentions may be good, but he’s missing the point. The wife doesn’t want his stuff, she want’s him. But when she mentions this, the husband defends himself by showing all that he has done for her. Do you get the picture?
Too often we live as if we’re trying to get our Eagle Scout of faith by taking credit for our ability. As if our faithfulness is based on showing God our checklist of what we’ve done. But faith isn’t about our ability, it’s about our willingness to rest in His ability.
The bottom line is, you cannot spell relationship without R-E-S-T.
A number of years ago, my wife and I were on the verge of having a dead marriage. We were active in church and even leading a Bible study. But beneath the busyness, our faith had fallen asleep. During that season, God radically grabbed us and transformed our hearts. That process included mentoring and a cleansing of the toxic things we had allowed to creep into our lives. It was hard, but it forced us into true intimacy, with our Father and with each other.
I share all of this to say, please pause and get honest about what you’re allowing to navigate your life. If you’ve become trapped by the curse of doing more, know that God simply desires you to rest in His presence. And if you’re willing to engage the process with a courageously patient heart, He will transform you.
To help you dive into the topic of rest, we have created The 21-Day Spiritual Cleanse, a guided study to highlight and navigate the toxic spiritual patterns that restrict our faith. The Cleanse is available as an added bonus in The Portable Faith Community.
The ideas and thoughts shared above are property of YouPrint Faith & Personal Development, cofounded by Kevin Adams and Matt Ham. Join The Portable Faith Community, by visiting www.wakeupmyfaith.com. To inquire about mentoring, click here. For our weekly show, Wake Up Our Faith, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.