A few years ago I woke up to find the room spinning around me. I tried to stand up but I couldn’t and found myself on the floor. Since I hadn’t experienced anything like it before I was definitely worried. I booked in to see the doctor and he told me I have mild Vertigo. I had heard about it before (one of my favorite golfers suffered from it years ago) and knew a little of what it was. It was really the strangest thing. Other than the dizziness I felt totally fine. No headaches, nauseousness or pain, just the sense that everything around me was on the move.
According to Wikipedia Vertigo (from the Latin vertō “a whirling or spinning movement”) is a type of dizziness, where there is a feeling of motion when one is stationary.
It made me think about spiritual Vertigo. So often in the busyness of service we allow ourselves to get too overwhelmed. Everything seems to be moving along fine but life is actually spinning around us. We can’t quite put our finger on it. Maybe we’re just physically run down and need a break.
Maybe we are spread too thin emotionally and can’t deal with the stress that being active in service can bring. Yet quite often in my life it’s something much simpler: a detachment from the life source.
Jesus said to his disciples in John 15:5, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
That’s really the secret to stopping the spinning. I have a tendency to do a lot. Last spring I had commitments every evening for 26 nights in a row without a break. I quite often have many things on the go at the same time. Some I enjoy more than others, but there is still a level of responsibility. So it’s vital that I come away from all of the craziness and just focus on the Lord. Staying plugged into the Vine is the only way to bear good fruit.
Cutting back is not easy
It’s been a challenge for me to evaluate my service for the Lord and cut out things that are not causing me to bear good fruit. It’s not an easy decision and often-times others involved are unhappy or disappointed with the decision. Emotionally it can take its toll.
But if we are to be true to what the Lord is calling us to then those tough decisions need to be made even if it means a ministry or service comes to an end. I am a firm believer that if a ministry is the Lord’s ministry and He is asking someone to step back then He will have someone else in mind to carry it forward.
Going through the motions
How are you handling your service for the Lord? Are you simply going through the motions with no passion for the work? Are you realizing that some things need to change? Remain in the Vine and draw your strength and direction from His leading. He will never lead us into something that is not for our best and His glory.
Of course maybe you are at a point where you are not involved in serving the Lord or you know you could be doing a lot more. It’s time to evaluate priorities and re-align them to His will. According to Scripture our service falls into 3 main categories in order of priority.
1. The local church
The local church is the primary arena for using the gifts the Lord has given us. It’s among our local brothers and sisters that our most involved ministries should be focused. The local church is also the place where we should be putting the most effort in terms of serving one another.
The New Testament teaches us a lot about serving others. It’s not difficult to find brothers and sisters to serve. There are young people who need a guiding hand, there are widows and shut ins who need comfort and encouragement, and there are hurting lives all around us who need the love of Christ shown to them.
2. Reaching the lost
The second priority for service is in reaching the lost. This isn’t always a part of a local church since personal evangelism is important as well, but if the assembly is active in evangelism then we should also be active with them as fellow-laborers of the Gospel.
We must never forget that while we may not have the gift of evangelism, we are all called to be witnesses and to make disciples. We are to reflect the character of God and as much as possible speak to others about Him.
3. Caring for the needy
The third priority (yet still very important) is our service for others in the world. We are commanded to feed the hungry and comfort the outcast. We should not neglect those who are struggling and need support. This is also a great way to lead them to the Lord and reflect His character.
How are you serving the Lord? If you are unsure of the answer then maybe it’s time to plug back into the source and get a fresh, renewed perspective on His plans for you. If your life is spinning, cut back on things that are hindering your spiritual life. Tough decisions require touch action.