Graham Cooke: pgs. 38-39
A sixth question could be added to that list:
✦✦ WHAT CURRENTLY DISTRACTS YOU FROM ENJOYING THE
PRESENCE OF GOD?
Martha was pulled away from Jesus’ presence by her sense
of duty and by the work necessary to house a guest of Jesus’
stature. What interests you most has taken a piece of your heart.
If the combination of people and things in your heart is greater
than your love for God, your spirituality will hit a ceiling and
level off. Often we do not know where God is in our life because
we have not given Him much room to move. The clutter of our
other loves and desires, legitimate though some may be, can
prevent His reality from being expressed. In extreme cases, they
can even shut Him out all together.
Many Christians are lukewarm in their fellowship with the
Lord because the balance of their love and attention is swung
away from the Father. Idolatry has such a beginning.
His love raises the water table of all our other affections:
it’s as if our love for others comes up ten levels because of how
we feel about Him. When God rules out of your absolute love
for Him, all other loves improve and increase.
Whatever comes between God and us is an idol. Whether
it’s our leadership, career, business, ministry, family, or anything
else, it’s an idol. At that point,
we are headed for either a pruning
or a serious chastisement because
God is a jealous God. He will not
have anything come between Him
and His children. Take some time and make sure your life is in
“WITHOUT WORSHIP, WE
GO ABOUT MISERABLE.”
Jesus’ words to the church in Ephesus need to ring loud
and clear in our spirits: “Remember therefore from where you have
fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly
and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” The
lampstand represents the place of revelation, influence, and
ministry—a beacon of light to ourselves and others. God must