I have lived through seasons of life where Jesus was an occupation.
I read the bible only to search for sermon material. I prayed because that’s what preachers are supposed to do. I served so that others in the church could see me serving.
Maybe worst of all, when Jesus was little more than occupation in my life, I found myself easily frustrated with people, suspicious of their motives, and cynical about their potential.
But the good news is (and those of you who speak Methodist will understand this) prevenient grace doesn’t stop once we come to faith.
God’s pursuing grace is relentless in our lives, even when we’ve been in full-time ministry for many years. In my season of dryness, God was still working on me even though I wasn’t looking for him.
And among the many pearls of beauty that God dropped along my path to win my heart back, none was more powerful than a fresh encounter than Colossians 3:11: Christ is all and is in all.
Those words are now in my mind and on my lips throughout the day.
I divide people according to political party, theological persuasion, sexual behavior, ethnic background, or nation of origin, and the Lord thunders out: Christ is all and is in all.
I become complacent about my inner life in the spirit and define ministry by what I do rather than who I am, and the Lord thunders out: Christ is all and is in all.
I dwell on my weaknesses and assume the worst in others, and the Lord thunders out: Christ is all and is in all.
I drown out times of solitude with the noise of social media and the entertainment industry and the Lord thunders out: Christ is all and is in all.
And with that repetition, I realize that I am on my way to a new place in life, one that has a familiarity because it’s like the early days of faith and of ministry.
Jesus is no longer occupation. He is pre-occupation.