Life today is fast paced and busy. No matter what stage of life you are in, your daily schedule is jam packed with things to do: work, meetings, school, conference calls, kids practices, being a mom taxi, church, family time. Not to mention the things you have to do at home like clean, cook meals, laundry, outdoor work, etc. There is not enough time in the day to do all these things.
So when I ask you if you are spending time with God, I may get a smart comment from you:
Who has time for that? I don’t have any more time left in my day to give to God.
Now stop for just a minute and think about the above responses. Imagine this is the response someone gives you when you ask them if they have time to spend with you: to help you or to listen to you.
It hurts, doesn’t it?
These words take on a new meaning when they are spoken directly to you.
Who has time for you? I don’t have any more time left in my day to give to you.
Imagine how God feels when He asks you to spend time with Him.
Hurt, disppointed, sad.
Not exactly the way you want to make God feel.
Then how come we say this to God?
We are only human and we aren’t perfect. We don’t mean to upset God when we tell Him we don’t have time to spend with Him. The truth is….our time is precious to us and our priorities are out of whack.
Just recently I read a book by Glynnis Whitwer called, “Taming the To-Do List”. It’s an excellent book for anyone whose to-do list is overwhelming and whose priorities are not in the right order. Glynnis talks about how we tend to procrastinate those things that we know we need to do, but may seem overwhelming and we’re unsure of where to start.
For some of us, spending with God isn’t a top priority in our lives. We have a list of those things that we need to do each day. Unfortunately, time with God is not at the top. We’ve got too many other things to do than sit down for 15-30 minutes and read God’s Word and pray.
Here a few things that have helped me make God the #1 priority in my life:
Get Up Early I know what you are thinking. You already get up early enough. You’re calling me crazy and insane to think that you are going to get up any earlier than you already do. But, the one thing I had to force myself to start was setting my alarm clock 30 minutes earlier than usual. You want to know what time I get up during the week? 5:00 am. Crazy, right? Yes, I am, but I do it becauase it means spending time with God before my day gets hectic. I have chosen to make God a priority in my life and especially in the morning. I find that my day goes a lot smoother if I do. The more I did it, the easier it became. Now, my body automatically wakes up around 5:00 am every day (even on the weekends when I don’t want to wake up that early).
Look what it says in Mark 1:35:
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
If Jesus can get up, then I will do my best to get up and pray, too. Who’s with me?
Have a Plan
Now that you’ve got yourself to wake up at that God-forbidden hour, what is your plan? If you don’t have an idea of how you will spend time with God, then your mind will easily lose focus. It’s possible you will fall right back asleep (I have done this many times before). Spend time beforehand praying and asking God what He wants you to do and how He wants you to spend the time together. Once you do that, you’ll know where to begin reading in your Bible.
Then, find some devotionals that you like and start reading those every morning. Some of my favorites are:
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Proverbs 31 Encouragment for the Day (you can sign-up to receive these via email at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/)
The First Five App (also by Proverbs 31 Ministries and ready to download on your phone or tablet: http://first5.org/),
Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado
Having a plan is great because it keeps you on track and your mind focused, but also make sure to leave room for the Holy Spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct you, guide you, and speak to you. This may mean choosing a different book in the Bible to read that day, or even a different devotion. Just remember to be flexible and be open to the way the Holy Spirit leads.
Find a Place Having a set place for you to spend time with God is helpful in making this a priority. This space becomes special and sacred as it’s your place with God. You read His Word and connect with Him in this place. When life gets crazy and you need to feel God, you can go to this place and rest in His Presence. Now, I am not saying that God is not present everywhere, because He definitely is. I’m just saying that it’s easy to connect in that place because you spend your time there every day with Him.
For me, this place has becoming my sitting/writing room in my house. It’s got very large windows that overlook the backyard and the beautiful mountains. It’s a very peaceful room and I absolutely love it. Another place I spend time with God is in the Sanctuary at our church. I love going in there, especially in the early morning when I arrive there for work. Total silence. I usually put in my earbuds and turn on the worship music and sing my heart out. I might read Scripture or a devotion, but I also just like to sit in silence and listen to what God is saying. That space at that time has become very special to me.
God desires to spend time with us. He longs to be in a close relationship with each of His children. You are one of them and He wants you to make Him a priority. If you are a list maker like myself, then schedule in that time with God every day. Maybe the morning doesn’t work for you. Find a time, though, that is best for you to spend with God and stick to it. Make it a priority.