One day as I was taking a leisurely stroll with my two dogs, we came across a small flower bed. One of my pups curiously began smelling the flowers with the cutest expression of delight. I had already been pondering in my heart some things as we were walking, when the thought came to me, "Don't forget to smell the roses." As I thought upon this phrase I began to think of how it applies to our walk with the Father.
Recently my life was in a bit of a whirlwind. I found myself trying to figure out the next steps of my life after being laid off from my job. During the same time, I was in the beginning stages of starting a new ministry. In times like these, it's easy to lose focus on our number one call above all other things... to know God. As simple as it sounds, it is an utterly profound revelation. There is a common belief in the body of Christ that needs to be addressed. One that says because I have a ministry or a title, therefore, I know God. This belief is not true. To know God is to walk with Him, not to do things for Him.
Ministry is a beautiful thing that God values and calls each one of us to in some form or fashion. But let us not mistake the act of ministry for intimacy with God. How does one walk with God? Let's look at Adam for a moment. The Lord would come down in the cool of the day and walk and fellowship with Adam, as friends do when they share all things under the sun during a warm visit with each other. That sweet fellowship was never meant to be broken.
The book of Genesis Ch. 3 gives an account of the fall of Adam and Eve. It says that after Adam and Eve had become aware of their sin that Adam heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden as before. But when the Lord called to Adam this time, he hid for fear of the Lord because he was naked.
Sadly at the time of the fall, the sweet fellowship between man and God was broken for a time. But in God’s mercy, He has restored that place of intimacy with us through Jesus Christ. When we give our lives to Him He gives His life to us. What a beautiful exchange. The Holy Spirit allows a place of unbroken fellowship with the Father.
Because of the Holy Spirit taking up residence in us who believe, we can now walk with Him and talk with Him as designed in the beginning. God desires to walk with us through the garden of our lives and fellowship with us the way He did with Adam. He loves to teach us, to guide us, and to just plain spend time with us with no words spoken.
In Psalm 25:5 David says "Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation, for you, I wait all day long". When I read this, I just imagine King David walking through the palace in silence, waiting for God to speak, longing for the Lord with a pure heart. In God’s presence is the fullness of joy (Psalms 16:11). As we learn to walk with God and abide in His presence, we will find that the joy of knowing Him will supersede all other earthly things. It will trump all substitutions for His presence that we sometimes unknowingly adopt.
Let’s put away the busyness of doing things for God and set our hearts to know Him instead. I believe we will find that the overflow of knowing Him will become that ministry in which He has purposed for us to do. Take the time to smell the roses with God. Let's slow down and take a leisurely stroll while sharing our hearts in oneness with Him.