Too often, we tend to be passionate about the things that do not matter, fanatical fans about what realistically will not last beyond the blink of an eye just another of life’s finer moments. Yet we are afraid to be, or even appear as if we are fanatics for Jesus. We seem determined to divvy Jesus out to the world at large in what we conclude to be acceptable portions. We must be in the right place, at the right time, in the presence of the right people, many of us are very much unwilling and some even afraid or ashamed to appear to those around them as fools for Jesus, even if it is for His sake.
I thank God today, I do not love Jesus as much as I used to, I love Him so much more. That is to His credit, and I am deeply grateful. He is what makes it so exciting and so worthwhile, and He is the one who empowers me to walk “a long obedience in the same never-ending direction.” As I write these words today more than ever, I want to know Christ with greater intimacy; I want to be closer to Him. How about you?
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11
Start today being real with yourself what is preventing you from giving Jesus first place in your life. Allow me to answer that for you by summing up in a single word… life. Do not just let your life happen to you, choose now give it ALL to Him, acknowledge Him as Lord of your life and he will tell you what to do with it or in the end you will wonder where it all went. One of the wisest people who ever lived was King Solomon he is also the principal writer of the book of Proverbs where we read in Proverbs 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Even a perfunctory reading of this splendid treasure reveals the acute sayings of the wise King Solomon are as relevant today as they were some three thousand years ago. The theme of wisdom and its necessity in our lives only finds its fulfillment in Jesus. We are continually encouraged in Proverbs to seek wisdom, get wisdom, and understand wisdom. We also read in Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” and again in Proverbs 9:10 it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” If you are going to endure as a follower of Jesus, you must consciously choose not to squander your life or let it idle away, but to give it up and over to Him to invest it in what matters.
You may be saying I want to stop wasting my time but what can I do, I have tried repeatedly only to fall back into life’s routine, where do I begin. A great place to start is making the words of Colossians 3:16 “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” a reality in your life. Holy habits such as meditation, prayer, and church should be deliberate unwavering commitments. When left to our own devices to direct our life our choices will always show what we value most: TV, internet, sports, personal hobbies, work, friends, or will it be God’s Word. What are your choices? Paul says in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. When will we get off the proverbial fence and truly allow the transformation to begin in our own life?
The fact is our hearts and character will not change until our habits change that is accomplished with the free will provided to us that gives us the ability to choose. Time in God’s Word does not just happen. You must choose wisely to make it happen. The Apostle Paul author of Ephesians wrote a letter to the church at Ephesus and when we read it today, it would seem that, God through him intended that all who desire Christ-like maturity would also receive this writing. Paul in speaking to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 5:15-16 he tells them to “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…” can’t you hear someone in the crowd saying what’s the big deal Paul, are there not twenty four hours in a day? To which Paul responds, “because the days are evil”. I, submit to you for consideration these very words apply to many of us today who squander meaningful time on meaningless things in these evil days.
What an immeasurable joy and incomparable privilege it is to spend time in God’s Word! There is nothing like it. Its depths are endless. You can never exhaust it. Moment upon moment, Day after day, year after year, it always has more to offer. My desire is to absolutely realize what the Psalmist says in Psalm 119:27 “Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on and talk of Your wondrous works.”
My plea to you is that you set aside time each week to plan, particularly to plan your life of prayer and Bible study. Here’s a thought, since Sunday is the first day of the week and not the last day of the weekend and it belongs to the Lord anyway, try taking ten or fifteen minutes each Sunday before you begin planning for the mundane week ahead and think through when you will pray and what you will study for the week. Give some thought to how God might want to use you that week in a special way and how you will be available. Plan the letters you need to write, the Bible verses you want to learn, share, teach your children, or the visit you want to make, the book you want to read, the neighbor you want to talk to, etc.
God is a God who does all things according to plan. Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem because of the most loving plan ever conceived. He planned for our joy; without question, we ought to with great vigor plan for his glory.