By Henry and Richard Blackaby
Time is the most valuable resource business leaders have. How you choose to fill your calendar has profound implications. Giving time to God involves sacrifice, but it is the most meaningful offering you can bring to the altar as you worship Him. Honoring God has a cost. Neglecting time with the Lord in favor of other pursuits is, in essence, idolatry. The hard truth is, when we do not have enough time for God that says more about our view of God than our busy schedule.
It is illusory to think you will have more time later than you have now. Even retired people confess their lives get too busy for God. Now is the time to adjust your schedule. Extra time will not magically appear on your calendar; you have to be proactive and plan for time with your Lord.
A frequent question we hear is, how much is “enough” devotional time? The key is unhurried time with God. This allows for reading your Bible, pondering what you have read, praying and listening to what God might say to you. If you are constantly checking your watch, you are obviously distracted and not experiencing unhurried time.
Unhurried time with God is the best time-saver of your day. Allow God to focus your mind on the things He knows are important. Let Him prepare your heart for the challenges He knows you will face that day. Many business leaders have marveled that the Scriptures they read in the morning were exactly what they needed to know when a situation cropped up later that day. Christian business people often share examples of how God strengthened them in the morning so they were prepared when the day held inevitable tests and difficulties. People who assume they are too busy to spend unhurried time with God underestimate how God will equip them to be at their best throughout their workday.
You may say, “But you don’t know how busy I am!” The answer to that is, “You don’t know the God you’re going to meet!” We are not talking about a religious exercise. The God who fashioned the universe and created life itself wants to engage you in conversation. He is in the present and in the future, and .He knows every detail of your life. Time spent with God is never wasted. Moreover, He gave up His only Son to suffer for your sins because He loves you with an infinite love. Are you certain you are too busy for Him?
People often lament that they are not morning people. Our response to that is, “Get over it!” If someone wanted to close a fabulous business deal and asked to meet with you for breakfast at 5:30 a.m., you would undoubtedly be there punctually and sporting a good attitude. What are the possibilities for your life every time God meets with you? He spoke and the earth came into existence (Gen. 1:6-7). God’s Word brought the dead to life (John 11:43). Jesus’ voice gave the blind their sight. The Lord spoke and sinners were transformed into saints (Mark 2:5). With a word Jesus instantly stilled a storm (Matt. 8:26). What is the potential for your life every time God communicates with you? Is it worth getting up early?
Jeremiah 7:13 describes an incredible moment. Almighty God claimed, “Because I have spoken to you time and time again but you wouldn’t listen, and I have called to you, but you wouldn’t answer.” It is inconceivable that God could be prepared to meet with us, but be stood up because we resent rising early to meet with Him!
Here are some practical things you can do to make time to spend with your Lord:
– Give up television. It is bewildering how many Christians complain of their lack of time for God, but they religiously watch their favorite TV shows. Planning for unhurried time with God may mean you forego late night news programs so you are fresh and alert for God in the morning.
– Aim for an early bedtime. Avoid filling your mind with images, sounds or issues that will resonate in your mind late into the night and into the morning, distracting you from focusing on God.
– End your day with prayer. Focus on God as you retire for the night. Ask Him to give you rest and offer to Him the stresses and worries for the coming day.
– Renounce the snooze button! When the alarm goes off in the morning, get up!
– Do whatever you need to do so you are awake and alert in the morning. You may need to have a shower or have coffee before your time with God. There is no point in rising early to meet with God if you are comatose!
– Audit your schedule and ruthlessly eliminate time wasters. You can find various times to meet with God if you are intentional about it. While commuting to work you can listen to the Bible and Christian devotionals on CD. You can read your Bible while traveling on a plane. Make technology work for you so you can study God’s Word while you travel. Install Bible programs on your handheld or biblical software on your laptop.
– Try to schedule your day so the most pressing business is not early in your morning. This will help allow unhurried time for prayer first thing in the day without having to fret about your first appointment.
– Do not be drawn into frivolous, idle talk. Hours can be wasted at work in meaningless conversations that, if that time had been used productively, would have allowed you more discretionary time with God.
There are numerous ways to free up time so you have more to offer the Lord. The bottom line is that you will give your time to what is most important to you. As you begin to spend unhurried time with the Lord, you will find it becomes a priority in your heart and not just in your calendar.
From, “Christian Professional”/Page 8-9/Summer 2008, by Henry and Richard Blackaby
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