Last year I worked part time and was in ministry part time. This year, for the first time in 7 years, I’ve been back at full time work. It has been and continues to be a challenge to maintain my heart alive towards Jesus as busyness takes over and the world assaults.
What’s interesting is that I work in a Christian workplace so I suppose what I mean by the world assaulting is the values of the world assaulting. The values of success and value being defined by performance, by what one does externally as opposed to how God defines us, first and foremost, by what is internal.
So below are five things I’ve been doing to keep my heart for Jesus alive in the midst of working full time.
Note: By heart that’s alive I mean a heart that is soft, tender and able to feel God’s presence and hear His voice. Christianity is not all about feelings but I would be remiss to say that it does not have a dynamic dimension of feeling to it. God still loves me when I don’t feel it but when I do feel it it empowers me to love Him in return and to stay connected with Him. We were made to be connected with God as our life source and if our connection with Him becomes more than 50% discipline and duty I guarantee that we will slowly lose our connection. Human beings are not well motivated by discipline and duty over long periods of time. Discipline and duty are good starting points but eventually and usually sooner rather than later delight, enjoyment and joy must take over if we are to sustain a particular activity in the long term. And the interesting thing: GOD MADE US THIS WAY! It’s because He’s a God with deep feelings and passion- in His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
1.Buy audio bible (http://www.thewordofpromise.com/). It only costs about $50 to buy the whole thing. You can put it on your phone or mp3 player or burn it on CD. Even if you can’t listen to it at work have it playing during your drive/ride to work or if you’re a stay-at-home mum just let it play in the background. You don’t have to be a hundred percent conscious of what is being read just let it wash over you (Ephesians 5:26). There is power in the word of God. It is sharper than a double edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) in the spiritual realm. A preacher once said, “The chariot the Holy Spirit rides best in is the word of God.” Fill your mind with the word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to come light it on fire in your heart!
2.Listen to messages from a speaker. For example: www.mikebickle.org. My advice though is not just to listen randomly but to ask God to reveal to you what He is doing in Your heart right now. Then search out this topic by listening to messages on it. Be one who searches. Scripture makes it clear that it is to the ones who seek and search and ask and knock that revelation of God will be given (Proverbs 3: 3-5, Proverbs 25:2, Matthew 7:7). The point of searching is to find unto delight and joy at the beauty of God (For more information on this read here). Also, listen to something and someone that/who touches your heart. Don’t just do this out of duty and discipline but actively seek out speakers who will touch your heart and draw you closer to God and into His Word.
3.Pray in tongues. The power of praying in tongues is still largely a mystery to me (1 Corinthians 14:4) but I know it does something. It’s not just an experience of the Holy Spirit, it is a gift useful for the building up and strengthening of the inner person. So I’m pressing in for more on this one.
4.Take your bible to work and leave it open on your desk. This simple yet courageous act will keep you remembering God through your day and serve as a witness to those around you. Choose a particular verse or passage to focus on each week and leave your bible open to this passage. It will help you to remember to keep it in mind. Even better, print that verse out and have it on your desk. As you go through your day read it to yourself and meditate upon it.
5.Listen to the IHOP webstream (www.ihopkc.org/prayerroom). Listening to IHOP-KC’s webstream is like listening to audio bible put to music. Music helps the word go into our hearts. Listening to one set is like listening to a really good sermon, you feel spiritually filled afterwards. Here’s an example: