By Johnson Roberts
Being in ministry can be draining. So many of our days are spent pouring ourselves out to others—with our time, our talents, and our focused attention. As Christians, we must remember that we can only pour out so much before our spiritual well runs dry. Jesus tells us that whoever believes in Him will have rivers of living water springing up from his heart (John 7:38). Belief requires a growing faith and that faith must be nurtured and cared for with purpose and intentionality.
As leaders in the church, we must take time to nurture and care for our faith in Christ. Personal relationship with God is the foundation of all ministries and without time with our Heavenly Father, we cannot effectively pour out our lives into our families, our church, and our communities. So how can we nurture our belief in Christ when there is so much to do? The answers are found in Scripture. Here are five basic tools to help you spiritually prepare for a life spring of service that will never run dry.
1. Start your day with prayer.
Jesus gives us a perfect model in Scripture for our prayer life. In Mark 1:35, Jesus rises early in the morning, leaves the company of His disciples to a solidary place, and prays. As Christians, alone time with God is essential. Jesus needed this time alone not only to talk to God but to listen. Prayer is about speaking to and listening to God. Therefore, we must do all we can to remove distractions from our circumstances when we pray.
Sometimes this means waking up before the kids or your spouse. Sometimes this means going and getting coffee and sitting still in your car. Perhaps you work in an environment that gives you quiet at the start of your day where you take time to pray. Regardless of you circumstances, each of us must prioritize alone time with God. There are many who argue that praying without ceasing is the best approach to conversing daily with God. While it is true that we should be mindful that the Holy Spirit is with us throughout our day, we must take intentional pause to speak with and listen to our Creator. Doing so creates an attitude of worship that will filter our words, thoughts, and actions throughout our day.
2. Reflect on the Scriptures
The Bible is the greatest tangible tool we have as believers to strengthen our faith. Psalm 119:25 says that the Word of God gives life to the soul. Therefore, we must study and meditate on Scripture to invigorate our faith and prepare us for service. There are many ways to accomplish this. Some use daily devotionals. Some have year or multi-year bible reading plans. Some journal their thoughts while studying and others use helpful bible study or bible memorization apps on their phones. However God challenges you, I urge you to prioritize Scripture in your life and study it daily. It gives life to the soul.
3. Invest in Godly Relationships
Throughout Scripture we see how Godly relationships lead to deep spiritual growth and effective leadership. Jesus’ closeness to His disciples helped prepare them to launch the early church. Ruth’s closeness to Naomi led to a new life for her that would affect the lineage of Christ. Jonathan’s friendship with King David eventually spared the young king’s life from Saul.
God desires a relationship with us, but He also wants us to grow close to others who know Him. Seek out Godly relationships and regularly examine the relationships you invest in. Are those relationships God-honoring? Are they lifting you closer to God or away from Him? Godly relationships are a blessing and worthy of our attention.
4. Flee from Sin
As fallen humanity, we all will inevitably sin. There is no escaping it. But, as Paul teaches in 2 Timothy 2:22, we are to flee from evil to pursue righteousness. This means that as we go about our day, we must seek to honor God in everything we say and do. This is the most difficult part of the Christian life because it goes against our human nature. But we can be encouraged that our struggle with sin is only temporary. For we have salvation in Christ, who conquered death and sin, providing a way to reunite us with a holy God. Our efforts to be righteous are nothing but a worshipful response to what God has made possible through His Son.
5. Live a Life of Worship
Serving God is a wonderful gift. Each day we get to celebrate the work God is doing in and through us where we live, work, and play. Worship is our response to all that God is doing in our lives. Therefore, we can confidently model an attitude of worship in every part of our day. Colossians 3:17 says that whatever we do, in word or deed, that we must do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God. This calls for a continued attitude of worship in each of us. As you spend time with the Lord, as you spend time with others, as you serve your church, and as you pursue righteousness—do it with a heart of worship.
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About the author: Johnson Roberts has worked as a Credit Services Representative at Brentwood Benson for ten years. He has a Masters Degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and is also a studio musician and worship leader in Nashville. He lives in Thompson Station with his wife and daughter.