Your Life Is Too Important Not to Make Time for God
Your Life Is Too Important Not to Make Time for God
Busyness can be a major source of anxiety for anyone and everyone. When I was working full-time and had young children, I vividly remember describing my life to a friend as being like a rubber band that kept getting stretched and stretched, and that I always seemed to be on the verge of breaking from the tension and stress. When I chose to quit my executive position in order to be at home with my young children, I thought everything would calm down significantly and that I’d have lots of free time. Ha—the joke was on me! I soon realized the demands of running a household with young children had their own set of challenges, and I felt that I had even less time for myself than I did while working outside the home, much less any ‘free moments’.
The consequences of extreme busyness can be harmful and can impact virtually every aspect of our lives, especially our spiritual growth. Sadly, many women tell us that time with God often ends up unchecked on the to-do list — if it makes the list at all. Whether you’re a full-time homemaker or work outside of your home, there’ll never be a shortage of excuses for not making time to be with the Lord. Spending time with God sure wasn’t on my ‘list’ until my life became so unraveled that I had no choice but to make major adjustments in my schedule if I wanted my life to actually reflect what I said was most important to me.
In the midst of the busy-ness that was causing me to feel that my life was spinning out of control, the Lord beckoned to me with these words that had been etched upon my heart as a child; I’d read them often as they were cross-stitched and hung over my grandparents’ doorway:
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” C. T. Studd
I’m so grateful that God brought to my remembrance that ‘anchor quote’ when He did.
I’m also thankful that He placed people in my life at that time who also encouraged me to put a relationship with God as the ‘main thing’ in my life. Below are three things that helped me decide to reorder my life, and I hope they will be an encouragement to you too.
1) A friend of mine challenged me with the question of whether I would make time in my day to meet with the President if he called and said he was coming to my house for a visit. Whether you’re a fan or not of our current— or even former— president, please don’t allow that to cloud your judgment as you hear that challenge. I encourage you to just think of being asked whether you’d make time to meet with a person of earthly importance to you: it could be a Hollywood celebrity, a sports star, or a pastor you admire. What would your honest response be to that question? I remember thinking, ‘Why of course! I’d clear everything off of my calendar to meet with him.’ My friend went on to say that the ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’–the Ruler of the Universe– extended to me the privilege of meeting with Him every day; was I not willing to make time in my schedule to meet with Him? I was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit that if I was willing to give time in my day to be with a person of earthly importance, how much more willing I should be to clear my schedule to spend time with God! That friend also said: “If Jesus made it a priority to spend time with His Heavenly Father while He lived on earth, shouldn’t I make it the priority of my life too?”
2) Another friend of mine who was a very busy and successful attorney shared that he’d committed to reading the Bible through in one year, he told me that daily habit was making a tremendous impact on his life. I remember thinking, “If he, who’s extremely busy with his work and young kids can find time to read the Bible each day, then I can make time to carve out 15-20 minutes each day to read God’s Word as well.” I will be forever grateful for his challenge as I can attest that reading the Bible through each year–I’m now on my 28th consecutive year– has taught me more about God’s character, His wonderful ways, and has built my faith in Him and reduced fear in me more than anything else I’ve ever done. Recently a friend of mine thanked me profusely for challenging her to do the same thing 17 years ago; she said it had the same life-transforming effect on her. If you’ve never done it before, I strongly encourage you to take the challenge to read all through the bible this year, or even over the next two years. There are ‘One Year Bibles’ you can purchase, and there are lots of different plans for reading through the Bible that is available. Another great way to know the ‘full counsel of God’ by knowing all of His Word, is to listen to it on CD or on a Bible app. I promise you that getting into the Word will get the Word into you! By spending time reading or listening to His written Word, you will come to know Jesus— the Living Word, the Light of the World, the Living Water, the Breath and Bread of Life, and you will realize He is able to order your steps and nourish your soul like no one and nothing else can!
3) I asked several people I knew whose lives appeared to be ‘healthy and whole’ what was the ‘secret’ to their successful lives. Each of them radiated love for God and a love for other people that was manifested in acts of kindness, glowing smiles, and a contagious positive, joyful, confident, contented demeanor. Each of them shared with me that their ‘secret’ was their relationship with Jesus. They said they made time each day to read the Word of God, to pray to Him, to listen to the Holy Spirit speak to them, and to regularly gather with other believers for encouragement and support. I wanted to be like them. The fruitfulness of their lives encouraged me to want to do the things they did, which has resulted in me pursuing a relationship with God by spending time in His presence. What I have found is that if you want intimacy with God, you must spend time with Him. No one would expect to have an intimate relationship with a person on earth without spending time with that person, yet, we somehow think we can have intimacy with God apart from spending time cultivating a relationship with Him. The way we spend time developing that intimacy is by reading the Bible–His love letter to us– and by spending time communicating with Him in prayer, and in fellowship with other believers. The better we know Him, the more we will know that we can trust Him with absolutely everything that concerns us: that is the secret to being set free from every fear, and being set free to live the abundant life He created us to enjoy!
I have realized I have too many important things I want to do in my life that I can’t afford NOT to make the first order of my day–as well as the priority of my life–spending time with God. He is the One who created me with a plan and a purpose, and I need to make sure I hear from Him each day to ensure that I am ‘on track with Him, living in accordance with His will. As I look to Him and lean upon Him rather than depend upon my own understanding, I know He will direct my steps in a way that will lead to righteous, God-pleasing living, which is what produces peace, joy, and true contentment.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV
God has been so faithful to lead me as I have looked to Him and trusted in Him. How I regret the years I tried living life on my own terms and without regard to Him Who make me and knows what is best for me
Below is an adage that I heard that has stuck with and guided me, and I hope it will guide you as well:
“Your calendar is your creed, what you believe in you make time for.”
What is it you really believe is most important in life? Does your calendar reflect that belief? What is God calling you to eliminate from your calendar so that you can add to it what is most important and eternal?
The grass withers, the flower fades but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8 ESV
I encourage you, to invest in a relationship with God by learning to know Him through His eternal Word, and you will reap the greatest of dividends! You truly can’t afford to if you want to have a life well-lived.