By Francis Frangipane
If Satan cannot distract you with worldliness, He will overwhelm you with weariness. Indeed, how easy it is to wear ourselves out; even good works done without recharging ourselves in God can drain us of life and energy. Daniel speaks of a time at the end of the age when the enemy will attempt to "wear down the saints of the Highest One" (Dan. 7:25). God never intended for us to do His will without His presence. The power to accomplish God's purpose comes from prayer and intimacy with Christ. It is here, closed in with God, where we find an ever-replenishing flow of spiritual virtue.
Weary in Well-Doing
In the early 1970s, during the beginning of my ministry, the Lord called me to consecrate to Him the time from dawn until noon. I spent these hours in prayer, worship, and the study of His Word. I would often worship God for hours, writing songs to Him that came from this wonderful sanctuary of love. The presence of the Lord was my delight, and I know my time with Him was not only well spent but also well pleasing to us both.
However, as my life began to bear the fruit of Christ's influence, the Holy Spirit brought people to me for ministry. In time, as more people came, I found myself cutting off forty-five minutes from the end of my devotional time. On occasion, ministry to people extended into the night, and I stopped rising as early as I had.
Church growth problems began to eat at the quality of my remaining time; ministerial expansion, training younger ministries, and more counseling and deliverance crowded the already limited time I had left. Of course, these changes did not happen overnight, but the months and years of increasing "success" were steadily eroding my devotional life. In time I found myself in a growing ministry but with a shrinking anointing to sustain it.
One day an intercessor called who prayed regularly for me. He told me that during the night the Lord spoke to him in a dream concerning me. I was eager to hear what the Lord had revealed to my friend, thinking perhaps He was going to increase our outreach or maybe supply some needed finances. I asked him to tell me the dream.
What the Lord said had nothing directly to do with the projects and priorities that were consuming my time. He simply said, "Tell Francis I miss him."
Oh, what burdens we carry -- what weariness accumulates -- when we neglect the privilege of daily spending time with Jesus. I cried as I repented before the Lord, and I readjusted my priorities. No longer would I counsel people in the mornings. I would spend this time again with God.
I was sure I would lose some of the people who had recently joined the church. These were people who had come specifically for personal ministry. I knew I would not have the same time for them as before, but I had to make my decision for God.
The next Sunday morning I announced to the congregation that my mornings were off limits, consecrated to God. "Please," I said, "no calls or counseling. I need to spend time with the Lord." What happened next shocked me. The entire church rose and applauded! They wanted a leader who spent more time with God! They were tired of a tired pastor.
As we enter the coming days, our primary activity will be to minister to Christ. Certainly there will be increased pressures. There will also be times of great harvest and spiritual activity. No matter what circumstances surround us, we must position ourselves first and continually in the presence of God. For to miss our time with Jesus is to miss His glory in the day of His presence.
Father, it is the fragrance of Jesus, cultivated in secret, that manifests through us the knowledge of Him in every place. Forgive me for being anxious and troubled about many things, when to sit at Your feet was the only necessary thing. I choose now that better part, and gratefully receive from Your intimacy the better things which shall never be taken away.
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Days of His Presence, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.