"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you." - Hosea 10:12
We all lead busy lives. Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 organization or a stay at home parent, 24 hours in the day often feels like a lot less time than you need to get the things done on your growing list of errands, meetings, and commitments. As Christians, we are no different. We don't find the workloads easier because God somehow takes half of the load and does it Himself. We still have the same urgency on our work as the person in the office or cubicle next to us, even as we lean into Jesus to help us be all we can be. Life is still hectic and fast-paced for us; and this can often feel overwhelming, especially when we try to make a conscious effort to fit Bible study and devotion time into our already packed schedules. We know that this is what God wants for us, but sometimes we don't quite know how to perform the greatest balancing act of our lives.
I will be the first to tell you that I struggle with this as much as any other Christian does. Though my job is in ministry, the workload I have and the deadlines I need to meet, often make my mind a jumbled mess of to-do lists and "work". I rush rush rush all of the time to get things done and before I know it, my day is gone and I wonder how much I have actually gotten done that means anything at all. Some days I am so busy, I struggle to fit in time with God until the evening (other than prayer) and I feel as though I have cheated Him of precious time to speak, listen, and mold me. I often feel regret and shame as I wonder how someone, who has built their whole life around serving the Creator of Heaven and Earth can get so busy, that time with Him is hard to find. I know many of you feel the same and I want to tell you that I am glad you feel this way. Glad? Yes, glad. Not glad that you feel ashamed, you should not feel ashamed, God is not mad at you; but glad that you have such an intention and desire to spend time with God, that it bothers you when you do not. That is a fantastic place to start.
When we are making time for God, we have to remember that God is where it all starts. Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." We want to invited God into our lives first, because without Him, we really have no chance of making everything else in our lives work. When the Apostle Paul was writing to the Philippians from prison He said, "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12-13 NLT) God has made us capable of all things He has asked us to do; but, He certainly has not made us capable of doing them alone. We need to spend time with Him and invite Him into our world each day so He can help us stay on track. The best time to do this is before you do anything else in the day and it doesn't really matter if all you have is 10 minutes or if you have a full hour of study and worship. All that matters is that you are taking time to speak to Him, hear Him, and learn from Him each and every day!
We should also remember that the Lord calls us to be fruitful, not busy. Colossians 1:10 reads: "So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."Being fruitful and being busy aren't necessarily the same things. Busy can incorporate a lot of things you, yourself, aren't really meant to do. They may be things you have agreed to, and keeping commitments is good; but so is reassessing commitments to see if they are achieving anything within your life, your family's lives, or adding to the Kingdom of God. This is the whole idea of being fruitful. Being fruitful means that you are producing something with your efforts, and that something is meant to last. If the things you have on your list to do are not bringing you joy (which is a type of fruit in itself) or producing fruit, perhaps it is time to reevaluate whether or not they warrant their time in your life. Now, this isn't to say that we should not do things simply because we enjoy them; as I said, these things also produce fruit by means of joy. However, if we are sacrificing all of our time with God, just so we can be entertained, we are missing the point of why we are here and what our time with God can be!
Finally, we should reimagine what spending time with God looks like. Sure, it is important to pray, read your bibles, and seek out devotional time to learn more about God and communicate with Him... but, what about those times where all we feel like doing is belting worship music into the emptiness of your room or car or sitting in silence, staring out the front window listening for His voice? These are also great ways to spend time with God and although I would urge you to study your Bibles as much as you possibly can, because this is the way the God primarily communicates with us and teaches us about Him and ourselves; the way you spend time with God is truly between you and Him. There is no right or wrong way as long as the intentions are right!
This month, I invite you to join me in a month-long study of the promises of God! Each day, there are short passages to read and meditate on and I will be discussing them live on Instagram each day of the month to help you broaden your understanding of the passages as well as take questions and thoughts from others. Don't forget to follow along on Instagram and join in! Below you will find this month's reading plan to get you started and I hope to see you over on Instagram Live as we make time for God TOGETHER!