I was driving into work this morning and begin to think about how I spend my time. I started to do the math in my mind about how much time I am actually awake vs asleep. I probably get between 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Most of the time it is closer to 7. That leaves 16-17 hours a day when I’m awake. THAT is a lot time. As I began to think about it, I have to confess that I was somewhat ashamed about all the missed opportunities and just how I sometimes squander time. And then I felt the Lord saying to me “and you think that 20 minutes you spend in the morning with ME is too much some days when your schedule is so busy?” Nailed. Just being honest there, but how often do we let other things crowd out our time with Jesus? Got me thinking about how Jesus took time away to be with the Father.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left
the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
I read Mark 1:35-39 and a few things jumped out at me as to the importance of why we should begin our day in time with God and some truths about that:
1. Jesus started his day with time with God (v35). Kind of self-explanatory there but it says to me that He gave this time priority. He got up and left, he took the time, went to a place and basically said, “This is the most important thing I can do to begin my day..period.” He had to disconnect, get away. I think some of us, including myself, are addicted to email, twittering, facebook, blogging, etc….just technology in general. Maybe Sportscenter for you 🙂 Shut it off, turn off your monitor, get quiet and listen.
2. Jesus managed His time (vv)36-37. I can’t remember if it is John Maxwell who said it or not, but it is SO true: Manage your time or someone else will manage it for you. You have to take back your schedule. You don’t have to be rude about it, just let people know “I can give you 5 minutes now or 20 minutes later”. The disciples came up to Jesus saying, “everyone is looking for you”. This is especially true in growing churches and ministries. As the scope and breadth of your church increases, so will the number of people wanting to manage (take) your time.
3. Time with God gives focus to my life (v38). I often reach points in my day where I just feel totally overwhelmed…like the tyranny of the urgent is about to do me in. My to do list is screaming some days, the red light on my phone telling me I have messages, my inbox that had 4 messages that morning now has 20, etc. Yet, time with God gives focus to my priorities, what I should focus on today vs. what can wait or even a ball that I just need to drop period versus trying to juggle. Jesus said he wanted to go to some nearby villages and preach because “That is why I have come.” That is laser focused. Most of the successful people that I know are successful not because they are “balanced” trying to juggle everything but because they are focused, targeting the best things.
4. Time with God prepares me for the battles ahead (v39). The Bible says that Jesus traveled throughout Galilee preaching and driving out demons. He was prepared for some INTENSE ministry and spiritual war because He had plugged in to the time with God. This is huge! Anyone in ministry knows the toll and warfare that you experience when you reaching people for Christ and snatching them from Hell. The heat is on bigtime. It is draining emotionally, physically, spiritually….everyway possible it just empties you. Time with God not only prepares for life, it renews me.
Anyway, just thought I’d share some things that jumped out at me this morning. I hope that you’ll TAKE the time to spend with Jesus today. It is so worth it.