Making Time for God

Making Time for God

by Jonathan Collins

Around November and December of last year my schedule was the busiest it had ever been. Every single major project and final paper in school were due around the same time. I had to prepare for giving a lesson in youth group, and still had to drive two hours a day to commute to school. Beyond all that, I tried to squeeze in all of the other things I wanted to do: work out, eat well, spend time with my family, time to rest on my own. Needless to say, I did not consistently spend time with the Lord in my schedule. 

However, one day at dinner, I prayed and asked God that I would put Him first despite my busyness. In response, God put a thought in my head: “What does it mean to put God first right now in my own life?” At that moment, I didn’t have an answer. So, after dinner, I asked God to show me. And over a very self-reflective hour, God was slowly revealing to me what my life looked like and what I prioritized. As if being shown myself in a mirror, God was showing me who I was. The statement, “I am a student that cares about good grades and values doing what I want,” rang in my ears like a bell. Upon reading Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” I was reminded again of how I should be seeking the kingdom of God first, which I was not doing. Because I was not making time to be with God in my own schedule, that meant that I was not putting God first. In a way, by not spending time with God, I was acknowledging that God was not as important as the other things that I “had” to get done. 

Naturally, though, there were periods of time when I would give God pushback. I would think, “but I have to get this done.” God would respond “Is that as important as spending time with the Word? Everything on this earth has a price. The Word is priceless.” 

In the end, I started setting time apart each day for God by waking up earlier each morning. It was not easy at first. Sometimes other things (my phone, my other habits) would get in the way. I then learned that I needed to address those through means of setting myself apart from them. As a result, I would let those around me know that I would not be answering them during the time I set aside while also finding a place of solitude, which started out as my closet. In turn, that cut off some time I could have used for polishing assignments, but I do not regret that at all. Being a follower of Christ will require sacrifices. Our bodies are to be a living sacrifice to him. That’s how we know we’re following Him first (Rom. 12:1-2). 

Practically, there are several ways in which you could get started reading the Bible today. A Bible reading plan might be helpful, but that’s not the only way to do it. Another way is to pick a book of the Bible and read a section or chapter of it each day. And if time is really short, you could read a Proverb or a verse of Scripture you want to memorize each morning and try memorizing it by repeating to yourself throughout the day. Alternatively, one could try setting a timer for 5 minutes, or 10, or 15 where all distractions are put away – and you just start praying. Speak to God with whatever comes to  mind. Rely upon the Spirit. But don’t stop until the timer goes off. 

So, fellow believer, since last December I have been able — albeit with struggles — to make time for God daily in my own life. So now I turn things over to you. In your own life, is God number one? Do you have time in your schedule to learn from God’s word? Going forward, I would like to encourage you to take some time alone with God for self-reflection to see what God reveals to you. My prayer for today is the same prayer I prayed before dinner that one day: we would put God first despite our busyness and do our utmost to live our lives as if we are actively offering our bodies up to God as living sacrifices. 

Jonathan Collins is the youth intern at Living Hope Church and a student at Lancaster Bible College. 


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