A young college student was finding it difficult to schedule daily times with Christ in the midst of her busy class load. “I know I should make prayer a priority,” she told me, “but I just never seem to have time to fit it in!”
One College Student Gets Serious
Finally, she began scheduling daily quiet times and writing them on her calendar. She determined to treat her prayer times as seriously as any other assignment, deadline, or meeting she had planned during the week.
As she protected her devotional life, she found that not only did she gain a renewed closeness in her relationship with Christ, but her work was more productive and her grades went up. That’s the beauty of God’s ways. When we build our life around His priorities, everything else we need falls into place (Matt. 6:33).
It’s Just Not Realistic!
Most of us desire to know God more than we currently do. We sense our need for more of His presence and power in our daily lives. We feel an aching spiritual hunger in our souls for “something more” in our relationship with Him.
And yet we often balk at doing the one thing that would bring us closer to Him—spending time in His presence. In our rushed and frenzied culture, it’s all too easy to fall for the lie that it’s just not realistic to spend quality time at the feet of Jesus.
Building Your Life Around Him
But in order to find the real and lasting intimacy with Jesus Christ that we long for, we cannot merely try to fit Him into our life when it is convenient. Instead, we must learn to build our lives around Him.
If a husband and wife only spent a few minutes with each other each week, their closeness would begin to wane. The same principle applies to our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we truly want to know Him, we must put a high priority on spending time in His presence, praying, laying our burdens at His feet, meditating on His Word, worshiping Him, and letting His still, small voice speak to our hearts.
The Bible offers a practical solution for growing closer to God: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). Whenever I catch myself saying, “I have too much to get done today to spend time with God,” that’s when I know spiritual apathy has crept in and my priorities are backward.
Time in God’s presence very rarely just happens; instead it must be planned into our day and purposefully protected. Corrie ten Boom said, “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord, and keep it!”
Excusing Himself Early
I will never forget hearing the story of a preacher who was given the privilege of dining with one of the most powerful men in the country. As soon as dinner was over, the preacher rose from his chair to leave. His host looked at him in surprise. “Don’t you know that men all over this country wish to gain an audience with me? Why are you leaving so soon?” The preacher replied, “I have an appointment with the King of the universe, and I dare not be late, and I dare not be tired.” Talk about keeping your priorities straight!
Take some time to prayerfully evaluate your daily schedule:
- Are you allowing plenty of time to cultivate your relationship with Christ, or are your quiet times short and rushed?
- Do you devote your best energy and time to prayer, or do you simply give God whatever is left over at the end of the day?
- Are you clear-minded during your times with Christ or distracted and tired?
Whatever It Takes
Ask God to show you what practical changes you might need to make in your life in order to keep your time with Him your highest priority. Keep in mind that you might need to cut things out of your life in order to truly build your life around Him. Be willing to do whatever it takes to make time for your relationship with Him, even if it means having less leisure time or less time on social media. Remember, nothing is more valuable than daily time in the presence of your King!
Make a Plan
Plan a specific time every day for prayer and time in God’s presence. Treat it as seriously as you would any other scheduled meeting or appointment. It doesn’t mean you should never pray spontaneously, but having scheduled “appointments with God” each day will ensure that your priorities stay correct and will help you gain the closeness to Christ that you long for.
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