I often find myself caught up in being busy, doing things that aren’t important and forgetting what is necessary. After working for 8.5 hours, I want to recharge for a couple of hours before completing chores at home. Time slips away, and soon I have to go to bed to prepare for the next day. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with this. However, it tends to go wrong when I don’t set aside time with God.
Living my life away from God is dangerous. I am likely to stay positive and continue to be a “good person”, but lose the power of Christ living within me. As I lose focus on God, I find myself drifting away, like a boat in a river that hasn’t anchored to stay still. When distractions come in, it’s hard to draw the line and say no when they encroach upon the time that should be spent with God. The next thing I know, I’ve missed my morning devotion 4 days in a row…
It’s times like this that I pull the bible back out again and start reading. 2 Timothy 3:16 says ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.’ After reading, peace returns to me and I find myself wondering why I got distracted in the first place. Being close to God is so powerful and amazing, I don’t want to live any other way. Yet, there I go again, isolating myself from God by filling my days with entertainment and social media.
Can you relate to this; filling your day with things that are fun for the moment, but distract you from God in the end? This happens to me far too often, so I have asked two people to keep me accountable to daily devotions. What do you do to keep your focus on God and remain consistent?
This morning I was peacefully sleeping until my alarm rudely awoke me. I thought ‘Do I have to do my devotions this morning? Surely missing one morning won’t matter.’ I started to fall asleep again.
Can you relate to this kind of morning? Have you ever felt so tired that a previously important commitment loses its appeal? The problem with thinking this way is that one morning off turns into one week off, which then turns into a month off, and so on.
So, I had to get over myself and get up. I forced my eyes back open and sat up. I got out of bed and started reading the Bible. The power in those words began to hit me. The impact grew over time. I became aware of God’s presence.
1 Corinthians 15:58 says ‘So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.‘ God takes notice of what you do. Are you pursuing God? On the harder days, are you remaining consistent?
Acts 21:1-4, 7-8 tells the story of Paul travelling through various places and encouraging Christians as he went. Just focusing on the travel, it says ‘After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara. There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia. We …landed at the harbour of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo. We went ashore, found the local believers, and stayed with them a week…‘ (Skip verses 5 and 6) ‘The next stop after leaving Tyre was Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed for one day. The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food.‘
This story illustrates the passion Paul had for God and the Church. He travelled the world teaching and encouraging believers wherever he went.
The passion Paul had for God and the Church inspires me. However, when it comes to my life, I can so effortlessly get busy with unimportant tasks. I never intend to put God below other things, but it is so easy to find fun and exciting things to fill my day.
Does your life reflect the passion Paul had? Travelling the world is obviously not required to pursue God passionately. Loving God looks different for everyone, but is there an opportunity to bring your passion to a higher level? Do you find yourself ‘too busy’ to spend a meaningful time alone with God each day?
I was thinking about my life in the context of eternity. I am alive for a short time (120 years if I’m blessed), yet there are many times I don’t live like it. In my studies, I don’t always give 100% of my effort, and in my job, I don’t always go the extra mile. Most importantly, I realised I was not going all in with my relationship with God.
Can you relate to this? In many situations there is room for improvement, but how far should you go? Your time is limited, so how should you prioritise it?
Colossians 3:23-24 says ‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.‘
Matthew 22:37-38 says ‘Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.’
Therefore, do the best work you can, knowing you are serving God, not your boss/lecturer/teacher/pastor and prioritise your relationship with God above all else.
Some days I feel as though I could climb Mt. Everest, conquering the day without effort, while other days I want to stay in bed watching movies all day. I think we’ve all been there, unmotivated and undisciplined, but at what point does this turn from a bad day to a bad week, to a bad habit?
Thankfully, God is with us at every turn. He has our back, keeping us refreshed when we go to Him. Isaiah 40:31 says ‘But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.‘
I am so thankful for God’s grace for me. He always gives me strength when I pray.
Tonight after a successful night of bible study I was highly motivated. I went to the gym and started thinking. As I lifted weight after weight, I realised at that moment that no single event in my life determines my future. I have to decide every day if I want to run or not. I choose whether to win or lose.
I cannot put my trust in myself, nor can I sit back and do nothing – faith without action is dead. Every day brings new opportunity, and each successful day builds onto the previous ones.
If you are discouraged by what life has dealt you, move past it by kneeling by your bed and praying! Next time life is too much, go back again and pray. Tomorrow may be even harder than today, but again, pray.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 says ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.‘
Don’t give up.
When I was in school, I liked to follow the path of least resistance. This path is simply choosing the most comfortable option for every decision. When I should have studied, I chose to read a book, or play outside, or talk to family, or do anything but study. The problem is, this behaviour made me undisciplined. Later in life, I would have to face this problem.
It is always convenient, but not beneficial to pick the path of least resistance. Why do you think fast food exists? The most comfortable choice always looks very appealing. The life God has for me does not have much in common with the path of least resistance. This life, one filled with love, is not easy to follow. Every day I choose to surrender myself to God. I accept what His plan is for this day.
Galatians 2:20 says ‘I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.‘ Surrendering each day may not be easy, but it is worth it.
I now live by faith in Jesus!