What is more essential in your life – your work or your relationship with God?
Is time with God more important than time with your husband or kids?
Is God more valuable to you than a good night’s sleep?
I’ll bet you likely wanted to say “yes” to all of those questions, but you were also scoffing at each of those ideas.
My work pays my bills and allows me to put food on the table! I have to make that a top priority.
My time with my husband and kids is already so limited, I can’t possibly sacrifice that for anything else.
I barely get enough sleep to function as it is, there is no way I can cut that down even more.
God is supposed to be our top priority in our lives. If someone were to ask you to list what’s most important to you, in order, it would probably start with God, then family, and go on from there. And yet, for many of us, we can go days without spending any time even thinking about God.
Sure, we go to church every Sunday, and even volunteer on one of the ministry teams, helping with the children’s church, serving coffee, or singing in the choir. Some of us even attend a weekly small group.
But a daily time spent reading and studying God’s Word, praying, and praising God? Who has time for that in their everyday lives? Those are filled to the brim with responsibilities and obligations. There is simply no room to slow down and spend an extended period of time with God. Our relationship with God tends to be on an as needed basis. We pray when a crisis hits. We think about reading our Bible but settle with just thinking good thoughts about God as we run from activity to activity.
We were created to spend time with God.
Our purpose on this earth is to know and seek after Jesus. I know that sounds so lofty and spiritual and entirely impractical when faced with the realities of our daily life. But that doesn’t make it untrue. God created humans in His own image to have community with us. He longs for us to desire to know Him, to seek Him, to catch a glimpse of His love and faithfulness, each and every day. And I’ve found that the more we are in tune with this reality, the better our lives tend to go. The more we place our focus not on our never-ending, exhausting to do list, but on the face of our Creator and the source of our strength, the more we are able to tackle all that life throws our way.
How is it possible to make this a reality though? Where do we find the time in our schedule? What could we possibly change to make room for a daily time with God? Today, I want to share with you some practical ways that you can make space in your busy, daily life for time with Jesus. No matter what your circumstances, I can promise you, making daily time with God a priority will only make things better.
1. Decide to make time with God a priority.
If I’ve learned anything from my experience with my running streak it is simply that the decision and commitment is the first and most vital step in the journey toward making something a habit. You can’t tell yourself that you will try to spend more time with God. You can’t say that you will work on it. You have to decide that you will. No excuses. Nothing’s more important. You are fully in and committed.
Is God important enough to you to set all other responsibilities and obligations aside and focus on Him, each and every day?
2. Spread it out.
While it sounds lovely to spend the first hour of every day soaking up God’s presence, praying and praising Him, studying His word, and growing deeper in your knowledge and understanding of Him, the reality is that for most of us, this just simply can’t happen on a daily basis. Even if we wake up in the middle of the night, there’s a very good chance that a kid will somehow figure out how to interrupt our time.
We simply do not have an uninterrupted hour to dedicate to anything, no matter how important it is to us. But this isn’t an all or nothing thing. And in fact, God wants to be involved in our lives all throughout our day, not just in the one-hour time block that we schedule with Him.
So don’t feel obligated to find a huge stretch of time to commit for your daily quiet time. What if you wake up five minutes early to drink your cup of coffee in peace while you say a prayer over your day? Could you put on worship music during your commute to spend time thanking and praising God while you drive? And then you pull up one chapter of the Bible to read before you dive into your email inbox when you arrive at work, just a couple minutes earlier than usual?
Look for small pockets of time throughout your day to tune yourself into God. He’s not looking for you to ignore your life, He just wants to be a part of it.
3. Recognize that you will need to sacrifice something.
If your daily life is already full to the brim and you aren’t spending a regular time with God, something will need to be cut. Maybe it’s your sleep. It might be the extra work you put in after the kids go to bed. There’s a chance it might need to be some of your TV watching time. Or maybe it’s that volunteer responsibility you agreed to that takes up way more time and energy than you thought it would.
Something has to give. Look closely, and prayerfully over your daily routines. God will reveal to you areas that could use an adjustment.
4. Use technology.
While I love to have my Inspire Bible with beautiful crinkly pages, a fancy pen or highlighter, and a journal to write out my thoughts, none of these things are entirely necessary to build a relationship with God and study His Word. In this day and age, the Bible is available in hundreds of translations with the tap of our finger on that handy device that is constantly with us.
When I’m on the go and not able to have my favorite Bible, I pull up the YouVersion app on my phone. There are reading and devotional plans that can help you in your study. You can even listen to the Bible through the app. And finding specific verses is incredibly simple with the search feature.
Other apps you might want to try, include the SheReadsTruth app. They offer a variety of Bible study plans to help guide you in reading and studying scripture. I also love the Scripture Typer app to help in memorizing and meditating on Bible verses. Bible Gateway is another great app that can be used as an alternative to YouVersion or in addition to, as they have some Bible Commentaries and Dictionaries that can help in unpacking scripture.
With online resources and apps on your phone, you can have an in depth time of Bible study and meditation anytime and anywhere. If you find yourself traveling without your Bible or with a few extra minutes in a waiting room, pull out your phone and meditate on God’s word. A little time here and there can make a big difference.
5. Get the family involved.
While I think it is important to have an individual time alone with God, it can also be incredibly valuable to spend time studying scripture as a family. In our house, we have “devos” during breakfast on weekdays. While the kids eat, I read a short Bible passage and devotional to them. We are currently using the Old Story New book that walks us through the entire New Testament. It takes just ten minutes each day, which fits perfectly into the time it takes for them to scarf down a bowl of cereal. There are always a few questions for us to discuss and we finish up with a short prayer.
It has been amazing to see that even just a short time can make an impact on my kid’s knowledge and understanding of God. And the kids look forward to this daily time together. When my mornings get off track and I don’t have time to sit with them to do our “devos” they are always disappointed.
You really can make time with God a priority as a busy mom.
Life is busy. No one is denying that! There is always far more to do than we have hours in a day. Things come up unexpectedly and derail our best-laid plans. We are just one person, but it would be real handy if we could just split ourselves into two at times in order to attend to all of the obligations and priorities that we need to handle.
Our most urgent and vital priority though should always be Jesus. When we place Him first and foremost above all other things, He is able to orchestrate our days and our lives in ways that we could never have imagined. We will need to sacrifice and decide that we will commit to our relationship with God, but when we do, He has promised that He will meet us there. He will show us His glory, His favor, and His goodness. Will we trust Him enough to believe that He will reward our faithfulness with His goodness?
Today’s Action Step
Commit right now to making your relationship and time with God a priority. And then take this challenge one day at a time, and even one segment of the day at a time. Look out for small bits of time that you can use to spend time in prayer, read your Bible, or worship.