George Mueller (1805–1898) is remembered for his massive ministry to orphans in England over a century ago. John Piper does an excellent biographical sketch of his life here. In listening to his sketch, I will always remember this quote from Mueller about the one goal he sought after each morning.
The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was . . . how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished . . .
Mueller exhorts others with the same counsel.
According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled condition for the last five and thirty years. For the first four years after my conversion I knew not its vast importance, but now after much experience I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ: the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God, having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself.
Don’t just do devotionals or have quiet times as an end in themselves. Remember, God’s Word is a means by which God draws us close to Himself that we may delight ourselves in Him. More than anything, may all we do be a means to be happy in the Lord.
If I am happy in Jesus, a pursuit of and labor for holiness will follow.