Attentive to His Presence

Gary Wilkerson

“With my whole heart I have sought You … Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You … I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways” (Psalm 119:10-11, 15).

As a ministry leader, I occasionally ask myself and my co-laborers, “Why are we here? Why do we do what we do? What is our purpose?” The short answer on the surface is that we conduct a worldwide ministry to build up the body of Christ, reach the lost and minister loving care to the needy. The real answer to the core question of why we are here is the same for both the youngest disciples of Christ and the most experienced, wise ministry leader. The answer is we’re here to minister to Jesus.

It is impossible to minister to our Savior and Lord unless we begin in his presence. No Christian will ever be misdirected, misguided or get off base if he or she starts out in Christ’s presence and never leaves it.

King David is an example of the importance of this practice. He faced enemy armies that required quick, purposeful thinking in the midst of life-or-death situations. And he had to rule a divided kingdom between Israel and Judah. So how did David accomplish his purposes to bring glory to God and end up as Israel’s most renowned king?

David moved in victory because his heart was to minister to the Lord in every situation. The Bible makes this clear in his actions and in all the worshipful, yearning psalms he wrote. Ministering to the Lord was always at the forefront as David pursued the words God set before him.   

Another example is Samuel. He was known as a great prophet in Israel but not because of his strategic relationships to kings and leaders. Scripture makes it clear that Samuel had a heart to minister to the Lord from a very young age. Even as a boy, Samuel was continually in the temple seeking God’s presence, and that relationship above all gave Samuel influence with people from the lowest rung of life to the highest offices in the land.

David and Samuel show us that to achieve the works of God, we have to know his presence. The same holds true for every believer today. Following the Lord means being Jesus-focused, Jesus-centered and Jesus-empowered. The Bible calls Christ the Alpha and the Omega — the beginning and the end of all things — and that applies to our lives. He has to be everything to us!