by Rhonda Jones
The twenty-first century demands our attention twenty-four hours every day, seven days every week, and today’s culture often demands us to keep busy. Busyness, according to today’s world, is productivity. And for Christians, this often means that we get caught up in work, school, hobbies or family outings, and with every looming promotion or midterm exam, we push God into the background. We get so wholly focused on the minutia of the lives we lead here on Earth, and in the process, we distract ourselves from the one thing we should always long for: His presence in our lives.
The world says that we must keep busy, but the Lord has told us to follow a solitary path, to find time to spend alone with Him. Seeking the Lord should be our highest priority, but because of busyness, we often spend more time with work, projects, or other demands than we do with God.
So how do we navigate a world that demands we keep ourselves occupied, when God should be our highest priority? How do we keep ourselves from becoming too busy for God? Here are some ways to shift your focus away from all the noise, cut out busyness, and find your way back to the Lord and His presence.
1. Give God the First Fruits: Prioritize.
The Bible says to honor the Lord with the first-fruits of all you produce, but if you’re as busy as many Christians find themselves these days, you’re probably not giving Him your all. This means that you need to stop, step back, and examine your priorities.
It’s easy to get caught up in work, school or whatever else you have dedicated yourself to, but do these things bring you peace? Do the things on your to-do list make you better, stronger in the Lord’s eyes, or do they just serve to make you busier? Are you spending your time on things that strengthen your faith and your relationship with God? Or is your busyness turning your attention away from His Glory? In keeping yourself occupied with tasks that don’t serve your love for God, you are forcing yourself to settle for a brief, intermittent relationship with Him.
So put God first. When you put together your to-do list, set aside time that you can spend to work on building your faith. Focus wholly on Him every day instead of giving him half of your attention while saying grace at dinner.
2. Know That You Need Only the Lord.
The Bible discusses our busyness in the story of Martha and Mary. The Lord says in Luke 10:41-42 that Martha is worried about many things– she is overwhelmed with her life and the tasks she must complete– but she needs only one thing in her life. He says that there is a time in life to stop working, to cut out all the busyness, and listen to what the Lord has to say. In order to truly listen to His word, you have to stop serving (stop working), sit down, and listen.
What does this mean in literal terms? It means that we, as Christians, need to avoid overwhelming ourselves with serving mankind when we should be serving the Lord.
This means that we need to learn how to say no when people or situations ask us for more than we can easily swallow. If your schedule is already full, and a coworker or a friend asks you to do them a favor that will chew up yet more of your time and attention, know that the Lord has given you permission to tell them no. Your friends and your family are important, but you exist to serve His Glory, and there comes a point when other obligations become distractions. Say no to things that will exhaust you.
The most important thing about fighting busyness is to remind yourself that time spent with the Lord is not wasted time. Even if you have an approaching deadline for work or school, the time you have spent working on your faith and acknowledging the Lord is not mere procrastination. Your work situation will change and projects will continue to pass by, but your relationship with the Lord is forever. Let God be your rock in today’s hectic, busy world. Do not distract yourself from His Love and you can find peace even in a world that demands constant action.
If you have a difficult time disciplining yourself to spend time with the Lord, check out the many products we have, Christian Meditation and affirmation Cds, courses, challenges, and books that promote developing a deep and intimate relationship with God.
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