by Heather Bock
When I returned from LIT, a one-day conference for women in their 20s and 30s passionate about communicating Christ, put on by Living Proof Ministries, my husband was wary. He knew I was excited, and he was happy for me, but he was concerned.
I’ve come back from conferences before–two Christian writing conferences–and both times, I returned with a long list of items to accomplish. I learned a lot about what I need to be doing if I want to be a published author someday, and I stepped up my game in a big way. For the most part, that was good. It’s a lot of hard work to get a Bible study published, and I want to be faithful to tell others what God has taught me. I hope whatever I say in my Bible study and blog will be an encouragement, and that through them, others will know more about God, causing them to turn more towards Him. However, this has made me busier than I was before–really busy at times. Writing might be important, but my first ministry is to my own family. Greg was concerned I would add more to my list that might pull me away from quality time spent with him and the kids.
I thank God, though, that His message to me at this conference was not to do more tasks for Him. As I mentioned last week, He gave me a clear message to keep on with what I’m doing–to stay faithful to the task He has set before me.
He did, however, call me to something–depth with Him. He wants me to do all I used to do to stay close to Him before I became so busy; He wants me to return to my first love. If I don’t, He will not be able to use me except as a warning to others. As Beth Moore said at the conference, “Secrets manifest.” What I do or don’t do in my private, quiet times with God will come out for the world to see.
- I must go back to daily Bible study instead of the spotty, random times I’ve been having with God.
- I must go back to using my actual Bible or Scripture written on paper to study. Using my phone to read the Bible is way too distracting for me.
- I must go back to daily prayer with my heart engaged, for myself and for my friends and family. I haven’t been out of touch with God, but I haven’t been as in touch as I used to be.
- I must go back to private daily worship, like when I used to regularly pour out my heart in love to Him.
- I must go back to Scripture memory. How long has it been since I regularly recited verses, putting them in a place in my mind where I could pull them when needed, where the Holy Spirit could bring them up when needed?
My heart lifted as I listened to Beth Moore talk to us about grit. We need grit if we want to follow Jesus and have any kind of effectiveness for His Kingdom. Well, that’s a good thing because, oh, I have grit. God has given it to me in abundance. I used to apply it to fiercely protecting my time with Jesus, but in the last six months or so, I have mostly turned it to my pile of work instead. How can this be?
Jesus says in a scary passage in Revelation (Rev. 2:2-5) to the church in Ephesus that He knows they have had perseverance and have endured for His name’s sake, but He says, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent.” These Christians were working hard for Jesus’ sake, but they had lost the heart behind it.
These are sobering words, but I find hope in them. I can, and if you are headed the direction I was heading, you also can repent. We can use the grit God gives us and turn to Jesus, our first love, and in doing so, we will stay LIT.