Several years ago, I visited Edmonton for the first time and participated in Missions Fest Alberta. [Continue reading below the graphic.]
Though my primary task was to visit the children’s programs to get some ideas for our local missions fest later that year (I headed up the kids’ program for four consecutive years), I also got to attend the young adults rally one evening. The speaker was Nizar Shaheen, a Nazareth-born preacher and the founder of Light for All Nations, an evangelical television ministry in Burlington, Ontario, that reaches out to Arabic-speaking people with the gospel.
Shaheen urged the young people to examine their spiritual priorities and to move beyond the timidity and fear that hold so many of us back from boldly living out our faith. He emphasized that, as Christians, we must operate from a position of power — God’s power — and not weakness. We read in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.”
However, he also pointed out that the only way we can tap into this power is by first placing ourselves in the perfect will of God. Several times Jesus said that He came not to do His own will, but that of God, who had sent Him. How much less should we focus on our own wills but, rather, seek the will of God, our Father?
Shaheen listed three key personal and spiritual priorities each Christian should have, and I’d like to share them with you, too (with my own comments):
- Love God supremely — In other words, we must love God to the maximum degree. God must rank #1 in our lives. He must have the highest authority and greatest importance in our lives.
- Follow God unconditionally — It’s rather useless, pointless and meaningless to call oneself a follower of God and then not obey Him or walk in His way or go where He leads. If we are truly Jesus’ disciples, if we are sincere when we call Him Lord, there must be no situation where we say, “Sorry… I’m not going there… I’m not doing that.”
- Serve God wholeheartedly — Most of us serve God to some degree, but how many of us do it wholeheartedly, i.e. with our whole heart? Does every fibre of our being rejoice in serving God? Are we ready to serve Him at any given moment, when He pleases, or only when it’s convenient for us?
These points really challenged me about my commitment to God. Will you join me in setting our spiritual priorities straight in the coming month?