Fasting Day 5: Pursuing Intimacy With God Through Spiritual Goal Setting (01)
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. – Matthew 6:31-34
Practically all the goals that people set for themselves every New Year revolves around the physical. It’s always about new jobs, more money, the next holiday, business ideas, getting a new boyfriend, a new home, losing weight, saving more money, etc.
There’s actually nothing wrong with setting these goals. But Jesus has assured us that as we become more kingdom minded and seek after righteousness, we would achieve these things more easily than we would by just going after them.
Around July, 2016, I began to seek God’s help and direction in dealing with a major financial situation I found myself in. There had been a major shift in my business as a result of recession in my country. Clients were no longer responding for my services as they used to, as their priorities seemed to shift. So, among other things (reading books and scouting for new business ideas), I began to seek God for direction.
As I sought God, I realized that there had actually been a shift in my own life too. I didn’t realize this in any way because I was a normal Christian, involved in the work of God (so I thought). I give to the Church and involve in prayer, evangelism and other forms of ministry. So what was the matter?
One powerful thing that happens to us when we seek God is that we’ll begin to learn special things about ourselves and the world around us that we’ll never learn by just going to church every day.
Fortunately, while in several forms of prayer, meditation and withdrawal, I realized that everything I had done was done to fulfill all righteousness. In all earnest, I was now more committed to my business and making ends meet than I was to God’s call for my life and His kingdom.
God was not against my business endeavors and labors. But I only needed to understand a few things He had been bugging my mind with and re-prioritize. As I did and continue to humbly learn how to do, the other things I’m worried about begin to fall into place gradually and doors begin to open than I had ever thought about.
I’ve learned that a righteous person is not someone who lives a perfect life and doesnt make mistakes. Not at all. Before God, a righteous person is one who is regularly listening and following what He is saying to him or her.
If righteousness before God was measured on the basis of 100% perfect living, then people like David, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Paul and others would never have been qualified to be our reference points.
Many of us assume that by giving enough and involving in some Church activities, we’ve done what is expected of us. Those are not bad in themselves, but what is more important is connecting with God daily and really get to prioritize our lives and follow after His plans for our lives.
Friend, God is demanding a more close walk with you this year! He knows those things you need. He knows those things that have troubled your mind before now. Prioritize to seek His face this year, reconnect with His plans for your life, and other things will fall in place.
So in addition to your physical goals, set spiritual goals.
How would you like to improve your prayer life? How many souls would you love to touch through witnessing or charity? How would you like to improve your personal study life?
When we make God our number one priority, He energizes us to be more productive in other areas of our lives. His commandments, His desires, His love, should all be the center of what we are and desire to be. All other entities find their position as a result.
Sure, the Lord wants to give us blessing after blessing. He wants to open every window of Heaven and rain down gifts, both spiritual and natural, into our souls. He wants to fulfill the desires of our hearts. As we learn to pray and surrender to Him day by day all through the year, He gives us peace that passes all understanding and leads us to do great works for Him and for humanity.
Giving up and giving in is the hardest part. And it needs to be daily. The good news is…He takes care of it from there.
PRAYER FOR INTIMACY WITH GOD.
Study and pray more from these verses…