“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4
First things first! Have you noticed how much easier it is to complete a task than build a relationship? A task is something to be checked off your to-do list. You determine what and when and how it will be done. A relationship grows over time and requires the cooperation of both parties over time. In fact, time spent together results in personal changes and may even alter your original task list.
As “fishers of men” we have been commissioned to “make disciples.” (Matt 28:19-20). It’s tempting to reduce the making of disciples into a number of tasks to be completed. You know, like teaching the mechanics of prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and witnessing. We’d like to believe if we pass this information on to a follower of Christ that we’ve honored God’s command to “make disciples.”
But God is calling us to cultivate relationships with people. Of course, it will involve teaching and the passing on of spiritual insights. But the Lord desires that it be done in the context of a relationship. We are called the “family of God” for a reason. Families interact, spend time together, and grow closer.
The Psalmist tells us that this principle even applies to our relationship with God. Intimacy with God is not simply praying more, meditating more, giving more, witnessing more, etc. We are to “delight” ourselves in the Lord. We’re to spend time with and make time for God. A relationship with God is much more than Biblical literacy. Relationships require time. Relationships require interaction. Relationships require commitment. Relationships require emotion. God wants us to get to know Him by spending time with Him and learning to love what He loves.
As we “delight” ourselves in the Lord, we will find that He empowers us to accomplish the task He has given us. In fact, His agenda becomes our agenda when we delight ourselves in Him. The Psalmist put it this way, “He shall give you the desires of your heart.” The desires that appear in your heart are the product of “delighting yourself in the Lord.” As we “delight ourselves in the Lord” our desires will naturally become very similar to His desires. When you love somebody you become much more like them and want to be a vital part of their life’s agenda. God’s agenda happens to be that of reconciling people to Himself. Our role in reconciling involves the “making of disciples.” That’s what “fishers of men” do.
So what are you waiting for? Cultivate your relationship with God by spending time getting to know Him. Get into the Word and spend time with His people. As you “delight yourself” in Him, you’ll find that you have so much more to say about Him to those you seek to introduce to Him.
You know the old adage, “People don’t care how much you know until they first know how much you care.” Instructions on how to reconnect with God will be much better received in the context of a growing and welcoming relationship. Effective “fishers of men” will do well to make time for relationships as they pass the GOOD NEWS on.