God: A Priority and Not an OptionI shared with readers on last week how I spent New Year’s Eve in church and the first 12 hours of 2010 with my some of my best and close friend crew. We sat at a round table eating a hearty breakfast and talked about the goals that we had achieved in 2009 and the goals that we have set for ourselves for 2010. It was a gay, gay, gay time as we shared our thankful moments, talked about the future and of course came for each other in the early morning hours as only friends can do.
By: Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell, Houston, TX
By: Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell, Houston, TX
As 2009 was coming to a close, I realized that I had spent most of the year in a spiritual daze. Yes, I had utilized my spiritual gifts of preaching, teaching, exhortation and administration to bless others. But, I knew that I had been walking around in a fog for most of the year and had not really focused on my own personal spiritual growth. (Anybody feeling me?)
I had decided that I would open up the New Year with a 40-day Daniel Fast in hopes of coming out of the fog. The Daniel Fast is a fast where you eat only fresh fruit and vegetables. You cannot consume any sugar, salt, caffeine, white flour, desserts or fried foods. That’s right, all the GOOD stuff.
In his book, “Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough”, Elmer Towns writes that the Daniel Fast focuses on health and physical healing. I will tell you now that although I am closely following the dietary guidelines of the Daniel Fast, I am praying about and meditating on a plethora of subject matters for my personal life and ministry while I also intercede for others. As a matter of fact, I had to pray about what I was going to pray about during my fast. My answer came as I was reflecting upon a posting that I had read while attending Facebook Church…yes, Facebook Church! If you are an avid Facebooker you know that you really can run across some postings that can be quite beneficial to one’s spiritual growth.
The posting that opened my eyes said this, “Never make anyone a priority that makes you an option.” Wow! I read that posting back in October. In that moment it spoke to a potential dating situation that I was in that was showing signs of failure before it even got off the ground. However, as the year came to a close and I was in prayer about what I needed to do in order to come out of the 2009 fog, I realized that the root of my issue was that I had allowed God to become an option in my life as opposed to a priority. I had been active in ministry all year. I had been in church on Sundays and during the week. I had prayed for others. I had preached sermons and taught lessons but, I again I say I had not taken the time to do anything to enhance MY OWN personal relationship with God.
As I gathered with my friends in the early hours of 2010 I didn’t have a list of things that I wanted to accomplish in this New Year. When it was my turn to share I simply said, it is my intention to make God a priority in my life and not an option. I knew then and know in this moment of writing that that goal included the fast that I would embark upon on January 5th as well as focused prayer and personal worship times. I knew that making God priority meant more times of study of not only the Bible but other forms of literature that support spiritual growth. And, I knew that it meant spending some alone time with God so that we can really reconnect.
I am thankful to say that I am on Day 11 of my period of fasting a praying and I have already experienced God’s movement in my life. It has not come without challenge however, I am much stronger to face and overcome the challenge because I am intentionally making God a priority and not an option.
As you do self-inventory I encourage you to ask yourself the question, “Is God a priority or an option in my life?” It is so easy to get caught up in taking care of the spiritual needs of others but, if you are not dually doing the work of pouring into yourself, you run the risk of winding up in the same fog that I have been living in for the past year or so. What you may be led to do may not look like what I am doing. That’s perfectly okay. My desire and I certainly believe that God’s desire is that you be closer to God today than you were on yesterday. Join me on this wonderful quest. You will be glad that you did!
Until next week…ROTFL with WJC!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussion.