“Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God”
Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.” April 23
I love this quote! It is liberating and a great reminder of what & who I am supposed to be. As a full time missionary it is easy to become completely consumed with “the work”. Spending time focused on “what” God has asked of us instead of focusing on Him.
For the first 7 years of full-time ministry we spent hours upon hours “working”; early mornings, and late nights, with little regard to ourselves, our family, our marriage, or even God. It was as if He was our Master Sargent. We came to Him for our orders and then ran off to “work”. Doing “the work” was the most important thing. Completing the tasks He had asked of us & doing a good job.
Then one day about 8 years in, He graciously allowed my world to fall apart. My physical health failed and I could no longer “do” “the work”. It was in that dark time that I realized that God longs to be the center of my attention. He loves & adores me. Yes, the ministry He has called me to is important, but more important than “that work” is and should be my relationship with Him. It was then that I began a new quest. One to put Him first and foremost in my life.
This quest is difficult; for the world around me is racing. It demands my time and energies: letters to write, questionnaires to complete, video conferences, building projects, monthly statements & fund raising, outreach teams to plan, boys to rescue, music to select, choir to direct, clothes to wash, meals to prepare, homeschool to facilitate, girls & a husband to spend time, connect, encourage and love. How does one have time to get it all done? And yet it is a rare thing. Like stopping to fill your car with gasoline, my time with God is the fuel that keeps me going. God calls me & draws me in. My time with Him refreshes and renews me, giving me the strength, perspective and wisdom to do “the work”.
So now, I continue to do “the work”, but my focus has changed. “The work” is no longer my priority. God is my priority; spending time with Him and concentrating on Him….listening then doing. Who would have known how much more effective (& content) I would be.