I Just Don't Have Time
Friday, July 23, 2010

“At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place.  The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them.” (Luke 4:42)               

     Let me begin today with an apology for my lack of writing the last few days.  Like most of you, I have been very busy, getting up in the dark, and returning home long after bedtime.  Day in and day out my routines seem to separate me for what I truly love doing – sharing the thoughts that the Lord has given me.  The sad thing is, the thoughts keep coming, but the sharing has ground down to a slow creep.  Now I fill you with this diatribe of excuses, because in the passage above, I am humbled by the Lord.  Each of us has millions of excuses as to why we don’t spend time with the Lord and don’t do what we were created to do.  And the reason is clear.  We let the world divert our attentions.               

     We live in a fast paced world filled with multiple opportunities and gadgets to separate us from doing what needs to be done.  Cell phones go off in church; people sit in one meeting starring at the iphones and blackberries, with attention on the next; computer games and social networks; meeting government requirements for doing our jobs; friends who have nothing to do, therefore believe you have the same schedule; traffic jams; idle conversations; and legitimate demands on our time to provide a living for our families are all real reasons we don’t seem to have enough time to give to the Lord.  There is an overused illustration and whether it’s true or not, I do not know.  But it is well worth repeating here.  Once a person, learning Martin Luther spent up to three hours a day in prayer, asked the Reformer, “How can someone as busy as you spend so much time in prayer?”  And his reply was, “It is precisely because I am so busy that I must spend that time in prayer.”  We have all heard that story, and in the back of our minds say, “Yeah, but Luther’s business was about doing God’s work, so that was part of his job.  I need that time to give to my job.”               

     There are two reasons, I believe, we don’t have time for the Lord (I am preaching to myself today).  One is that we simply don’t understand what our job His.  We do not understand the reason God placed us on this earth.  We hear preachers say we are to live for the glory of God, but we have managed to secularize and rationalize this to mean that we deal with some degree of Christian integrity in our daily affairs.  But that is only fractionally true.  What living for the glory of God means is living our lives for Him.  And we cannot do that without spending time with Him.  We must do the former (deal with integrity) while never neglecting the latter (spending time with Him).  For how else will we know what and how we are to deal with each encounter He places before us each day?               

      Last year’s hero was an unlikely pilot named Chelsey Schullenburger.  Chelsey as you recall, guided a wounded airliner into the Hudson River, using the greatest skills known to his profession, combined with the most adroit decision making that has ever occurred in the cockpit, to assure that not one human being lost their lives.  Now my question is, did he practice that occurrence every day, so that when the real test came, he would react appropriately.  Of course he did not.  The airlines would quickly go broke crashing planes into a river for pilot practice.  No, what he did was prepare his mind and actions by dedications to the principles of flying.  So that when the test came, he reacted as if he had done it a million times.  You see, you will encounter many things today, known fully by the Lord before they happen.  And your ability to glorify Him in those encounters directly relates to your relationship with Him – and that takes time.  But make no mistake about it, your purpose for being is not the encounters, but to glorify God in those encounters.               

     The second reason we don’t have time for the Lord is that we yield to the pressures of the world.  And those pressures are not unique to us.  Jesus had those same pressures.  Scripture gives us three occasions where Jesus’ time with the Lord were interrupted by people who thought His attention to them was more important.  Twice He sought prayer, as way His custom, where we see people hunted Him down and interrupted His quiet time.  Once He sought some vacation time, and was hunted down by a woman desperate for her child.  In the passage above, people wanted Him to simple stay with them to feed them and to heal their sick.  But His mission was to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God and He would not be deterred.                 

      Jesus knew His purpose (and told us ours).  The very purpose of our salvation is to accomplish the good things God has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10).  That is why we are here.  And to do that we must spend time with God.  And Jesus accomplished His purpose, not by yielding to the demands of those around Him, but by listening to the Father and carrying out His purpose.  That is how we live for the glory of God.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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Victor, ID 83455

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