April 23, 2014.
What do you devote you time to? Mostly work, school, leisure? Recently I have notice that my time devoted to God has been waning, and this is a concern to me. I’m not talking about things I do at the student center and the activities we put on, but I mean actual time spent specifically to teach, spread or learn more about the word. I think devoting specific time to God each day, preferably out of the first fruits of our time, is very important in anyone’s spiritual walk and maturity.
Do you remember the story of Abraham and Isaac? Isaac was the promised child to Abraham when he and Sarah were much to old to have a child. Isaac was a miracle given to Abraham by God. But then the story takes a turn as God tells Abraham to offer his son Isaac on an alter as a test of his loyalty. Now, we know how the story ends, with Abraham being stopped from offering Isaac by intervention of and angel and with him passing the test, but I think there is a subtle lesson about time that we can gleam from this story.
“After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.”
Notice what Abraham does after his call. The record says “so Abraham rose early in the morning…” What God had asked Abraham to do was something that we would think to be impossible. At the very least, we would have dreaded doing it the whole time. But Abraham arose early in the morning and traveled three days to do the will of the Lord. Now thats devoting time to God.
But that isn’t the only place that we can see devotion. Where better to look than to the Messiah?
“And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus went to spend some time with the Father as his hour was about the be upon them. The first lesson here I think is that he prayed for an hour. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have ever prayed for an hour straight. This is a great example of devoting time to God. But there is a second implication made here. When Jesus comes back to find his friends sleeping, he says, “Could you not watch one hour? … The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” One hour doesn’t seem to be a big sacrifice to Christ. The disciples should have been able to do it. But they were human, as we all are. We are weak and tired.
It is hard to devote our time to God. But why? It’s not all that hard to devote it to the things that we feel like are “necessary.” We go to work. We go to school. We go on vacations. We find time to socialize and have fun. But when do we give time to God? I am convinced that the excuse “I just don’t have time” won’t cut it in the end. If we say we don’t have time, then I think we need to reevaluate our priorities.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)
Suggested Daily Reading: Genesis 22, Psalm 119, Mark 14.
Let us spend time with The Lord.