I was in downtown Pittsburgh one afternoon sitting at a red light and, as I looked over to my left, I saw a large construction site being developed. The men had their work belts on, were carrying different pieces of building materials, and were intently focused on getting their jobs done. The architects had their drawings spread out as they reviewed the plans with the foreman. The cement trucks were all lined up on the street ready to pour the foundation. I was wondering where they were going to start pouring—then I saw it—a giant hole.
How deep was it, I wondered? I sat up in my seat as tall as I could to see how far they had dug into the ground. It went deeper and deeper. I was amazed how far down it went until I could finally see the bottom.
In that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit gently moving on my heart and speaking softly to me. “Jim, you can only go as far for God as you have with God. The greater the size of the building the deeper its foundation must be.” I thought of Jesus’ words, “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke 6:48 ESV).
Immediately, I understood what He was saying. I could see my life in front of me; I could see the desire that my wife Cathy and I have to walk with God, to bring Him glory and to build His Church in whatever way He would choose to use us. He was gently reminding me that the higher we desire to build in His name, the deeper we must go in our relationship with Him.
The higher we desire to build in His name, the deeper we must go in our relationship with Him.
I thought of all the Christian men and women of God I had read about, those used by God generations ago and those being used by Him today to build His Kingdom. I could see the one common denominator. They, unlike so many others, understood what their priority truly was, “to be with Him first.”
You can only go as far for God as you have with Him; there are no shortcuts for anyone and there never will be. We must have our spirit man, the real us, in God’s presence continually because it’s there we are fed and watered. It’s there we minister to Him and He changes us. Remember, the very first act God our Father did upon accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was to tear the veil that separated mankind from ever walking into the holy of holies. Before that day, only the high priest could enter God’s presence. Now it is open to everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and is saved. Our greatest privilege is to be with God.
Our greatest privilege is to be with God.
I knew that God was waiting for me to discipline myself to spend more time with Him. I knew that His desire was to show me more of Himself and the true power of prayer. I knew that He was offering me what He has for all of His children, a deeper life with Him. He was waiting for my response. It wasn’t long after this that God’s blessing in so many areas of our lives just exploded. It was as if this secret, “the secret place,” was no longer a secret to us. Prayer had become the reality God had intended all along.
James 5:16 says, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Each of us must come to the realization that we can accomplish much more in every area of our lives when our attitude and actions about prayer are “effective and fervent.” God delights in answering those fervent prayers, but most of us in every walk of life have believed the enemy’s lie that we are “too busy” for time alone with God.
God delights in answering those fervent prayers, but most of us in every walk of life have believed the enemy’s lie that we are “too busy” for time alone with God.
No one is too busy to seek God in the quiet of the secret place. We must pray for our pastors and our church leaders, that they will strengthen their time alone with God no matter how hectic their lives might be. We can pray that the church will come together to pray as they seek God’s face for the congregation. We should pray for one another as we remember that we can only go as far with God as we have time with God.
Copyright © 2018 Jim Maxim. All rights reserved.