Pursuing Jesus Above All
Micca Monda Campbell

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirst for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalms 63:1 (NIV)

There is a tale of an elderly woman in the church who served the Lord for years. Instead of seeking the help of others, she did most of the work herself. She was head of women’s ministry, taught Sunday school, sung in the choir, was on the prayer team, and counseled the pastor on a regular basis. She was tired, worn out, and longed for heaven. Yet, because there was still so much work for her to do, she feared that she would never die. Eventually she did die. I guess God wanted His job back.

Nevertheless, from the perspective of most, today’s successful leaders, whether in the Christian world or secular, are much like this woman.

Somewhere between her calling and service to God she took over, rushed ahead, and set her own agenda. It happens to the best of us. In our service to God we can easily slip into pursuing ministry instead of pursuing Jesus, and miss the purpose of our existence. The same is true in every facet of our lives. The pursuit of happiness, opportunity, or even being a good parent, can get in the way of simply pursuing Jesus.

What are you pursuing? What is it that you really want? Is it a successful career that you covet? Is it to be a musician, a doctor, or to author a book? Maybe it’s a spouse you’re dreaming of, or the desire to be a mom that you’re longing for. Whatever your dream is, it’s a God-given dream. In addition to giving you the dream, God has also given you what it takes to make your dream come true. We don’t arrive at our dreams by our own efforts, nor can we make them come true all by ourselves. We get there by pursuing God.

I have found in my own life and ministry that when God reigns in my heart, blessings and opportunities pour down faster than I can make them happen myself. The best way to get where you’re going is to surrender your dreams to God.

We are always in a hurry. God never is. While He has given us the vision of what we are to become, it may not be a reality in us yet. We have to let God work in our lives until we are ready. The dream is not what needs shaping. It’s us. God often prepares us for our dreams through adversity in our lives.

Don’t be discouraged if your dream seems unreachable. No matter what your circumstances are, God is at work shaping and preparing you for it. You and I may achieve some sort of success by our own pursuit, but it will never satisfy us like pursuing Jesus and waiting on Him to bring our dreams to pass.

When God alone is our true treasure, reward, and prize; when He is all we long for, seek after, love and adore, then He gives us the desires of our hearts. Only then are we ready to fulfill our purpose. No other person or thing can satisfy us like Jesus or prepare us for our God-given dreams. What are you pursuing?

Dear Lord, You know the dream I have tucked away in my heart. You know how I’ve longed for it to become a reality. I trust You today. I give You permission to work in my life preparing me for that dream. While You work, I will simply pursue You and be satisfied until my dream is a reality. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Application Steps:
Today give God permission to shape you for His purposes. Determine to pursue Him instead of your dream. Then, as God reigns in your life, watch how He pours down blessings and opportunities that can only come from Him.

Are you ready to fulfill your purpose in life or does God still have some work to do?

Are you consumed with pursuing opportunity or Jesus?

Who will accomplish your dream faster - you or God?

Power Verses:
Psalm 36:5, “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (NIV)

Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (NIV)

Psalm 63:3 “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (NIV)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch! How I needed to read this. This is what got me into trouble the first time and I burned out doing ministry. I needed to see this today and thank you so much!

Blogger Carrie said...

With Fall just about here and every ministry under the Sun about to kick-off, I too needed this reminder. Thank you Lord for the loving nudge.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This devotion really pulled at my heart today! The statement, "In our service to God we can easily slip into pursuing ministry instead of Jesus", really made me think about who's kingdom I'm trying to increase.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed this and I'm glad He made it possible for me to put my children in Christian school. Praise God! I know this is what He wants for them.!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My pastors continue to tell me to slow down, the congregation continues to YELL DO MORE! Time to Listen to what God says...Thanks for the reminder!

Blogger Sisterlisa said...

Great devotion. It reminds me of a book about being a Mary or a Martha.

I often found myself pursuing opportunities rather than Jesus. Especially when I volunteered at school. I'm thankful to be homeschooling now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful devotional. A great reminder for me to pursue God and continue to do so. Sometimes it is so easy to pursue ministry instead. Thanks for keeping me on track.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pursue being a great mom so much that many times I seek that before I seek God.
Dear God,
I choose to leave pursuing my dream and allow you to work in me and shpae me for the purpose that you have for me. Help me to seek you not only in times of need, but all the time. Prepare me and work in me designing and shaping me into the mother and wife you want me to be. Help me get back up when I fall and not wallow in failure, but know that youare there to fill in where I fall short and to help me get back on track. Help me make a priority of seeking your face each day so I can fall into your arms instead of going it alone. Give me wisdom about my children. Forgive me for harsh words and short tempers for judgemental thoughts. I pray that you work in Peter's heart and pull him back to you. I love you and thank you for the blessings you have given my family and I pray that I not take them for granted but that I will hold fast to them and be grateful in speak and spirit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that I read this devotion at my United Methodist Womens monthly meeting and they loved it. I even had one elderly women who rarely even speaks ask for a copy of it. Thanks for your wonderful insight and encouraging words.

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