It’s the kind of question that comes once in a while and when I’m not prepared for it, I’m convicted.
“How’s your time in the word?” one of my closest friends texted recently. She’s the kind of friend that has full permission to ask the hard questions. We’ve built that trust with one another over the last decade. I won’t be judged by giving her an honest answer.
“Not good,” I wrote. “I need to make the sacrifice and just make it happen.”
Laziness and slothfulness is sometimes my natural bent. Discipline hurts; like lifting 15-pound weights when you haven’t set foot in the gym for the last five years.
In my heart, I knew I was suffering from not making my time with Jesus priority. Instead, I was filling my time with exercise, cleaning my house, Facebook newsfeeds, meeting with others, taking care of my family, and working on writing projects – all of which are beneficial and necessary in their own way. But opening my Bible, journal, and spending time in prayer which I know is what always feeds my spirit, was not at the top of my to-do list.
Read this: Why it seems that God isn’t working in your life
I was addicted to busyness and productivity – a common issue for many of us. It’s practically become our identity – all the more with technology today. But it was hurting my spirit, and it took a friend that cared deeply for me to tell me not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed.And knowing that she’s a woman of the word and prayer, her gentle prodding encouraged me to begin cutting out the clutter.
The next morning I decided to get up with my husband in the early hours of the morning and open my Bible with him. I downloaded a reading plan from the Bible app (Authentic Prayer by James MacDonald) and joined friends who are reading along in the app too. I dug out my journal and wrote prayer requests for family and friends.
See, we have a choice every day to fill our schedules or our souls first. We decide what takes precedence. And Satan would do anything to keep you from being in God’s word enjoying intimate fellowship and communion with the lover of your soul.
See, we have a choice every day to fill our schedules or our souls first.
I once heard a pastor say that if we’re too busy not to pray or be in the Word, we’re simply too busy. We may need to take a hard look at our priorities and schedules to see what needs decluttering. This might mean unplugging from our devices, deciding to pull our kids out of sports so we can eat dinner around the table again, or weeding out anything that makes us ineffective and overwhelmed. They could be good things, too, which may require a sacrifice (that could hurt!).
That morning while in God’s word, my kids came upstairs with bellies growling for breakfast. I was ready to face them and the day ahead. The quiet time fueled my faith and satisfied my hungry soul. I wasn’t so quick to act in my flesh either. I didn’t realize how much I missed being with Jesus until he opened my eyes to see my desperate need.
The depressed mood I’d been in for several days was gone and I was reminded of my purpose again. Joy had returned to my heart and my eyes shifted from being consumed with self to serving others.
The more we feed our spirit and put Jesus first, the more we’ll desire to hear from the Lord and we won’t settle for less. Our schedules lose the power they once had over us.
So, I’ll now turn the question to you, “How’s your time in the Word?”
Now watch this: Pursuing biblical literacy in the new year: Part 2
Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife, mother to four, and writer in rural Colorado. She’s the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. To read more from Samantha, visit her blog: www.samanthakrieger.com