Life is full of those special moments that really make life worthwhile.
Discovering that you can finally reverse your car without hitting anything!
Finding out that if you breathe in deeply enough, you can still fit into your wedding dress!
Realizing that hair coloring really does work!
And then life is full of those extra-special moments that are printed on your heart forever.
Graduating from the university or getting that long-awaited promotion.
Realizing that you have found the one you want to wake up with every morning.
Holding your baby in your arms for the very first time.
Discovering that money doesn't make you rich, but friendships do.
And then, life is full of those extra-special, special moments, moments that you cherish in your heart like nuggets of gold, moments that bring unbelievable joy to your soul.
The very first time you heard God call your name, and you stopped to listen.
Or the moment when you looked down at your sins in despair looked up at the cross in hope, and experienced God's forgiveness for yourself.
The realization that God holds a place in your heart that no other one can, and you want to tell everyone about it.
The great thing about these extra-special, special moments are that they do not have to end if we choose to stop and listen when God calls our names each day.
One of the greatest battles that we have to fight as pastors' wives is the one where God calls us every day to sit with Him, talk with Him, and learn from Him. Unfortunately, our temptation is to ignore Him. Ask any pastor's wife, and she will probably tell you that she spends hardly any time alone with God on a regular basis. She will tell you it is one of the hardest battles she has to fight. In our hearts, we may want to spend time with God; in reality, the majority of us don't. Yes, we hear God call our names, but we pretend that we haven't.
God knows how great a battle this is for us. He knows that amidst the busyness of our days, the pressure of a demanding job, the struggle to take care of our children, and the dilemma to be the kind of ministers' wives that our congregations demand, time with God is always postponed until tomorrow. And so in Matthew 6, God says to us, "Seek you first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you."
Another version of that reads, "Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met" (The Message Bible).
I wonder what would happen in our lives if we really followed through on God's advice? How different could our lives be if we really put our time with God before anything else? How would it be if we let nothing come before our time alone with God?
Why don't we look at the key words in that passage and find out?
Steep Your Life in God-Reality
"Steep" is a strong, powerful word. It means to soak or to be soaked. So we are to soak our lives in God-reality. What is His reality? Everything that is written in His Bible. We are to know it, love it, and live it. His values, His aims, and His purposes are to become our values, our aims, and our purposes.
It is all too easy to live our lives as if this world were reality, instead of the world that God speaks of in the Bible. We can be so busy putting roots down in the world that we see that we forget the real world—the one that we cannot see, the world which speaks of the conflict between good and evil, truth and lies, eternal death or forever life. Steep your life in God-reality, and you will find that the distractions of this world will not have such a strong hold on you.
Steep Your Life in God-Initiative
Steep your life in God-initiative—this phrase is so exciting! This means letting God lead in every part of your life, inviting Him to open up doors to great adventures, great opportunities, and great ways to serve Him. It is giving God permission to make the first move, to take the first step, in every aspect of your life. When we steep ourselves in God's initiatives, it means that we want our lives to be fully directed by God. Don't be scared of doing this. God really has your interests embedded in His heart. Don't be timid of all the thrilling things He can do for you, if you ask Him to take the initiative in your life.
Steep Your Life in God-Provisions
Steep your life in God-provisions. This gives you permission to give to God everything that is heavy in your heart—the big problems, the little ones, the insignificant ones, and the gigantic ones. Share them with God and be confident that He will provide solutions that are even better than yours. Just trust Him, just depend upon Him, and see what happens.
Just as God provided for Abraham and other Bible characters, He will provide for your needs.
Then, when we steep ourselves in God-reality, God-initiatives, and God-provisions—we don't need to worry about missing out on anything. We spend an awful lot of time worrying about what we are missing out on in this world, but our lives could be so different if we worried instead about what we are missing when we do not spend time with God.
Sometimes our eyes are more focused on the riches of this world than the greatness of God.
The result of soaking ourselves in God's reality, His initiatives, His provisions is plain and simple—it is contentment. We will find that our everyday human concerns will be met. Sounds farfetched, doesn't it, too good to be true? Not so with God. God has a perfect track record as Someone who keeps His word. When He says He will take care of all our needs as a result of the time we spend with Him, He means it! In exchange for our time, God will give us His calm within our hearts.
God can give us something else, too, when we worship Him regularly—the ability to inspire others. Mia had been the pastor's wife at a particular church for nearly two years when one of the church members said to her, "You really have something with God. All of us in this church see it."
A few years later, in another church, a young girl named Alice said something similar to her, "You really have something with God, I know you have, I can see it in you. I wish I could have what you have." Mia started studying the Bible with her, and a few months later Alice was baptized.
Our relationship with God is probably one of the greatest things we can bring to the ministry. If you spend time with God, it rubs off; people see it, and they are encouraged to spend time with God too.
And that certainly is an extra-special, special moment!