“i didn’t have enough time…”
how many times have you heard that line? how many times have you SAID that line? i think we are all guilty at one time or another (or all the time…lol) for saying that. if the truth be told, i think most of us don’t even know a person who has learned how to control their time; someone who doesn’t have to work for time…but time works from them. if we do know a person like that (i know a few), we esteem them to a high and lofty place and honor them for achieving the “impossible”.(small note: james says that taming your tongue is the hardest thing to do…not taming your time) but God has equipped and enabled ALL of us to control our time properly…to make the best use of every minute.
why am i talking about this? why when it comes to “thinking about God” is time such a big issue? there are two reasons why time is such a key to thinking about God:
1. God calls for patience and persistence.
yes, the almighty merciful God refuses to work at the split second when it comes to our lives. He chooses not to act immediately. i’m not saying He doesn’t care or does it just to annoy us. God wants us to learn patience and longsuffering in the place of prayer, finances (etc) AND in questioning/thinking about Him. if He wanted to, He could dump all the knowledge of who He is into our spirits and we could live the rest of our lives like that. but (to borrow the phrase) “what we get to easily, we esteem to lightly” and knowledge of Him is to be taken very seriously. He desires us to search Him out. to spend hours, days, weeks and months on end over questions related to who He is.
here in america we do not understand staying focused and persistent on a single issue. last friday i went to chikfila and had to listen to a family complain on how slow the service was (app. 10 mins). we are so used to a fast food, microwave, in and out, over and done with in 2 minutes sort of world. but god refuses to live there. being God, He dwells outside of time! the Bible declares that to God “a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day to Him”. He lives and works from a place of eternity, which is unbound by worldly restrictions such as time.
and He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “in a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘give me justice against my adversary’. for a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming’.” and the Lord said, “hear what the unrighteous judge says. and will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? will he delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily.” – luke 18:1-7
Jesus tells His disciples a story of the widow and the unjust judge. the point of the story is to encourage His disciples to “cry out to Him day and night”. and to those who do “He will give justice (answers) to them speedly.” the reason why we don’t get answers quickly from God is we are not making the time and persistently asking Him questions. we ask once and then blame God when He doesn’t answer (like He ever has to). patience and longsuffering are not just fruit of the Spirit…they are fruit of seeking God consistantly. therefore…
2. God rewards those who spend their time wisely.
i already talked about God granting answers to those who are before Him in a persistent way. but i wanted to highlight (once again) that thinking and questioning God takes a severe amount of time…more time than living a life not thinking about God. it takes more effort to live wisely (regarding time) than it does carelessly giving away your life to anything and everything. shawn blanc says in one of his blogs:
It’s a difficult paradox to grasp but the nitty gritty of it comes down to the fact that our life in God requires more energy, time and focus than our “not life in God”. We have to be diligent about how we spend our time and especially diligent about how much time we actually spend before the Word, with God in prayer.
it’s so easy to be distracted and i do believe that God values our time more than we could ever. i believe every minute we spend before Him in thought and prayer are treasures to Him, and He would love to give us His treasures…if we would stay long enough to recieve them. He longs to give us answers, but when it comes to giving us the answers in fullness, He desires to wait until we give Him the opportunity to…which is more than just a quick two minutes. i know in my life, God has spoken amazing things to me in the “two-minute” gaps…but how much more does He have to tell me if i would stay two hours?
i encourage everyone to schedule time…plan it out…time that you can sit before God and seek Him. time that you can “gaze at the beauty of the Lord and inquire (bring questions) about Him in the temple (not just a church)”. He’s longing to answer…are we longing enough to do what it takes to listen?