One Thing 3/8/12

Mark 3:13-15 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons.

“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” This is a quote by one of the most powerful and prominent ministers of the 20th century. Alan Redpath had been the pastor of Moody Church, was the president of Unevangelized Fields missions organization, and in 1962 he became pastor of the great Charlotte Chapel in Edinburg Scotland. He traveled all around the world preaching conferences and wrote many best selling books on living the Christian life. In 1964 at 57 years old he suffered a severe stroke that almost took his life. He very slowly recovered through it was extremely difficult, and in the process suffered from severe depression that lasted for many months. As he eventually reached a place where he was able to think clearly enough to look back at his life and to hear God, he realized how crowded and busy his life had become in doing the work of the ministry. His schedule had become so hectic caring for his own church and traveling all over the world to preach, serving on Boards, etc., that he had slowly begun to neglect his own soul. He still prayed, and read his bible, but he didn’t seek God as he once had. Seeking God was no longer his One Thing priority, instead doing God’s work had become the most important thing.there were so many demands, and his participation was so imperative. In the midst of his slow recovery, God spoke those words to him, “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”
S.S. 1:6 “Do not stare at me because I am swarthy,( burnt out)
For the sun has burned me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
They made me caretaker of the vineyards,
But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.

This is a real danger that Christians and especially Christian leaders fall into; they become so busy doing God’s work that they forget that their first responsibility is to take care of their own vineyard (Their own souls walk and condition). We forget that the width of our ministry (true anointed ministry) among men must be determined by the depth of our relationship with God. In S.S. 8:12 the Shulamite is able to say, “My very own vineyard is at my disposal;”
In that passage in Mark Jesus called them to be with Him and then He could call them out to preach. Being with Him is His priority and must be ours. It doesn’t matter if you are a Preacher or a laymen whose called to carry the gospel everyday into this fallen world, the order is the same. He wants you, and He wants to hear your voice, and see your presence stilled before Him. He wants this to be the treasure of your life, not ministry. The secret place of the steep pathway must become your favorite place.
S.S. 2:14 “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is lovely.”

From a life that slows down to be with Him, you’ll find that then you’ll have something to say that will sets people on fire, not just fires people up. What an awesome thing to think; He wants to be with me, and that is more important to Him than anything I can do for Him. Resting at His feet, beholding His face, and hearing voice is more important to Him than serving Him.
Maybe those words from God to Redpath could also be reversed to say “Beware of the business of a barren life.” Hmm??
Have a great day In Christ, making sure to take care of Your Vineyard. Oh, by the way, Redpath did recover and lived until he was 82, he never again forgot the lesson, rearranged his life, and God used him in remarkable ways those last 25 years