By Luke Holmes
In the last decade scientists have found that about two-thirds of the world’s largest rivers have been obstructed, mostly by man-made dams, or disrupted in other ways.
At just over 1,400 miles, the Colorado River is nowhere near the longest river in the world, but on it sits the Hoover Dam, one of the largest dams in the world, rising 726 feet above the river. This dam created Lake Meade which contains enough water for 29 million households and creates enough electricity to supply more than 1 million people a year.
Many good things can come from obstructing a river. But there can also be problems. Scientists believe impeding certain rivers can create ecological disasters, displacing people, animals, and forests. Changing a river’s course can also impact droughts, floods, irrigation, and a food supply. Scientists call these large rivers the “lifeblood of the planet” and are worried certain dams could cause irreparable damage.
Flood-control, jungles and forests, and fishing depend on rivers flowing freely. When rivers don’t flow freely, many of the benefits of rivers also dry up.There is a significant danger that what we would call “good things” in our life can block our intimacy with God. — @lukeholmes Click To Tweet
A similar principle is also true in leaders’ spiritual lives. Worship, service, evangelism, and so many other things flow freely when there are no obstructions in our walk with God. But there is a significant danger that what we would call “good things” in our life—family, education, career, and other good pursuits—can block our intimacy with God.
In a 2019 study on pastors’ views of discipleship in their churches, Lifeway Research uncovered that nearly two-thirds (65%) say they are satisfied with the state of discipleship and spiritual formation in their local church, while 78% indicate there’s room for improvement. More than 4 in 5 pastors (83%) say they have an intentional plan for discipleship. And pastors are using a variety of methods to encourage spiritual growth in their churches.For pastors or other church leaders, the greatest danger is when we let our service for God disrupt our intimacy with God. — @lukeholmes Click To Tweet
It’s good that so many pastors develop plans and want more for their churches. But we shouldn’t strive for deeper growth in our congregations at the expense of our own personal discipleship. For pastors or other church leaders, the greatest danger is when we let our service for God disrupt our intimacy with God.
We have to prepare lessons, check on members, prepare for camps, lead VBS, and do many other good and necessary activities in the life of the church. But all of the good those ministries provide aren’t worth the loss of our intimacy with God.Our service for God must flow from our intimacy with Him. — @lukeholmes Click To Tweet
Our service for God must flow from our intimacy with Him. Those waters aren’t always guaranteed to flow. Much like how rivers are the “lifeblood” of the planet, so our daily time with God is the lifeblood of our ministry for God. Don’t become so overwhelmed by what you are doing for God that you forget to spend time with Him. It’s alarmingly easy to fall away from God while working in and for the church every day.It’s alarmingly easy to fall away from God while working in and for the church every day. — @lukeholmes Click To Tweet
Your ministry will suffer when that river dries up. When the lifeblood of your walk with God gets disrupted, the effects are always felt downstream. Keep that river flowing by spending daily time in prayer, Scripture, and fellowship with God. Rest assured, the result of that time will always be felt downstream too.