February 24, 2017
I’m always amazed when I can find time to fit something extra into my schedule … picking up one of my kids … taking a phone call from a pastor … talking to someone who needs help with an addiction … checking out a decent late night movie … even writing another devotional. No matter how full my plate is, I can always find room for something that might “taste” good to me.
My friends and family all say their plates are packed, too, and so we all are busy planning, working and doing. But, here is the contradiction. Regardless of how busy we are, we easily and often add in spur-of-the-moment activities. But as children of God and believers in Christ, even though we surely want God in our lives, do we make room for Him as easily as we make room for all those spur-of-the-moment endeavors that are far less life-giving and important and to us?
You see, because we can’t see and touch God concretely, in the beginning of our relationship with Him, it’s tough for us to enjoy solid time with Him. Our frame of reference pushes us to measure our interactions with Him against other familiar, tangible, stimulating, immediately satisfying human experiences. Making room for God translates into making time for God, and then expecting and actually knowing He will come. The dates you make with God will greatly benefit you, even though you’ll wonder at first how there will be enough time to complete the activities you need to put off in order to spend that time with Him.
Some of you need extra motivation to make a regular date with God happen. Well, listen to this closely. If you don’t find time for God, you will wander away from His awesome plan for you and travel a more painful path. Then He will definitely come looking for you anyway, get your attention, and speak to you. Listen up, you might not like what He has to do to get your attention. Please hear me. From personal experience, I can say that when I plan regular time with Him there is less discomfort and pain and more peace and fulfillment in my life and then what I offer the loved ones in my life.
When I neglect time with God, He chases me down, having to hit me upside the head to get my attention and divert me from the minefield I am choosing over Him. Other activities are knocked off my schedule (often in abrupt ways) to dethrone the idols I prioritize over Him. You don’t want to go through that experience, believe me. Been there, done that, and it’s not pretty. If you think I am being extreme, just think of the last time your agenda or schedule was interrupted or took a detour. That was probably God seeking you out, grabbing your attention, and trying to rearrange your priorities so your life will be more fulfilling.
Today, focus on making some “elbow room” for God. Find a way to spend some time with Him, either with others or by yourself. Start to look at these experiences as investments that will bring a tremendous return as you grow in your appreciation of Him and the peace and power He offers. When you put Him off too long, He definitely comes looking for you. This is because He loves you and wants to save you from the distress of living life without His power and peace. Please don’t wait to be chased down. Whether you make time for God and experience joy or you ignore Him and reap sorrow is your decision, so choose well.
O Heavenly God, My life is so filled with “stuff” that I often squeeze You out – please forgive me, Father. I want to make room for You. I know You pursue me. And when I don’t pursue You, You come looking. Because You want my growth and perfection, You will dethrone my other idols, even if it hurts me. When that happens, give me eyes to see Your care and instruction instead of being hurt, resentful, and short-sighted. Guard me from Satan’s deception so I can see Your love clearly in these encounters. I pray this in the name of the One whom You sent to make room in me for You, Jesus Christ; And all God’s children say – AMEN!
But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; Galatians 1:15,16
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26