Luke #63 – Time For Everything But That
“And when it was day, He departed and went into a desert place” (Luke 4:42a – King James Version).
I remember very plainly that I was sitting in my office when the planes struck the twin towers in New York. My pastor and I went to his house and watched the news. We did not speak for an hour and a half. We were listening; we wanted to know what went wrong and were in stunned silence at the events that we witnessed.
Every time I go to the doctor the nurses put me in this little room. Eventually the doctor comes in and at some point he sticks a stethoscope on my chest and back. We both like to talk, but when he is doing that we are both silent as church mice. I want him to hear clearly to tell me what’s wrong and he wants to listen intently to hear if anything is wrong. I don’t want a single thing to interfere with a proper diagnosis.
I was working through a personal prayer and repentance guide at a recent retreat when I became convicted of the time I actually devoted to my prayer life. Part of that morning’s retreat instruction was to spend time, and I mean serious time, praising God. As I went through my repentance guide I kept thinking I pray quite a bit, but I don’t have the time to spend that these instructors are urging me to spend in prayer! Finally, the convicting voice of God broke over my protests and excuses and made me realize that I have time to watch Sportscenter almost every day and many times TWICE a day. I realized that I MAKE time for the things that I want to do!
I know that you all know where these illustrations are going by simply reading the Scripture for today. Jesus rose early to have QUIET time, alone with God. I am sure that the hectic ministry that He did in Capernaum required a time of refreshing, but I believe that more than that was His desire to fellowship with God on a personal and intimate level.
Having a meaningful quiet time is essential for a good walk with God. We can say we don’t have time, but we seem to have time for anything that we WANT to do. We have time to pursue hobbies. We have time to go to movies, watch TV, listen to music or play video games. I have been freshly convicted of this and Lord, before You even now, I repent. Having a quiet time with God is not only something I want, but something I desperately need. Do you feel this is important too? Do you feel the drawing of God; calling you to spend more intimate time with Him?
Most of our days are filled with shocking events; our emotions are shocked. We need to sit still before the Lord in the morning to prepare for those things and sit still before the Lord during them so that we may survive and thrive during them, and sit still before the Lord after these events to recover from them. We need to hear from God; gain HIS perspective on things.
There are things wrong with each of us; most of it sin that we may not even realize (sinful thoughts and attitudes are often hard to detect with a quick analysis). Like going to the doctor, we need to be silent and still before the Great Physician as He examines us and shows us the things that ail us. We need all the distractions to be out of the way that we may hear clearly during these quiet times with God.
More than recovering from days of shock and more than being examined, we need to experience intimate fellowship with Almighty God on a regular basis. That may require that we rise early or depart from our normal routine. I am sure we will have to sacrifice something to make time for God. I am also sure we won’t regret it. The question: will we do it? When it comes to spending time with God, alone, unimpeded, it seems we have time for anything but that.