What do you crave?
Matthew 22:36-38 (ESV)
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
Have you ever had the insatiable appetite for something? Chocolate cake, a hot-off-the-conveyor-belt Krispy-Kreme donuts, cold water after a five mile run, the book of Revelation, your bed after dancing all night with your girlfriends, wait, back up, Revelation? What??? Yes, Revelation. Think about it. Have you ever been obsessed with reading your Bible? Have you hungered after it like a newborn is desperate for milk? Here’s what Peter says about it, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” – 1 Peter 2:2-3 (ESV)
The pure spiritual milk he is talking about is the Word of God. On the same note, what drives your life? What do you have an appetite for? Where do you spend most of your time? What do you spend most of your time doing? As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” When we diet the first thing we usually have to do is start tracking everything we eat. Have you ever done a diet log? Writing down each day what you eat, how much you eat, and how many calories you eat? You cannot know what to change until you know what your current habits are. You may do this with your finances too. Tracking where every penny goes. I challenge you to do two things.
First, take a look at your checkbook and figure out where most of your extra money goes. Set aside cost of living and then tally up where you spend your extra cash. Do you spend your money on movies with friends, concerts, clothing and shoes, expensive purses, cars (this one is big for the boys but it has gotten increasingly important to us girls too,) how about eating out, or your drinking habits both coffee and alcohol. You can make your own list, this is just a short one based on what most people frivolously spend money on that they claim just disappears
Second, take a look at your waking hours and figure out where you spend most of your extra hours. Set aside your work hours and then tally up everything else. Don’t include your commute time in your work time. That is still yours. Do you spend your extra time watching TV, or how about social media? That one seems to be one of the biggest time suckers even overtaking our TV time. Do you have a long commute where you listen to the news or radio or perhaps your commute is with a friend where you casually talk about nothing important. Right now I bet you are spending tons of time online researching all you can about wedding ideas and finding the right vendors.
Taking inventory on where your extra time and money goes will help you to see what is really important to you. I often hear pastors state that we need to “carve out time for God everyday.” Hmm. That is odd to me. Actually it is pathetic. If I told you I were going to eat just one large meal a week and then each morning I would have just one bite of cereal, but don’t worry because each day I would change up my bite. Tomorrow I might have a bite of banana, and the morning after that I will be sure to eat a bite of broccoli, then the next morning a bite of chicken to get my protein in. You would think I was nuts. You would also tell me if I was serious that I would most likely die from malnutrition. And yes, you would be right.
So what makes us think we are spiritually full by getting 15 minutes of bible reading in, 15 minutes of prayer time, and 1 hour of lesson time from your pastor each week. The timing that I just listed is, I’m guessing, even more than you actually commit to right now. It is what a stronger Christian might serve up to herself. You might be lucky if you even get to church this week let alone open your bible AND pray every single day of your life. Oh, but you pray all the time, in the car here and there, when you are brushing your teeth, and all sorts of other times throughout the day. Oh, I see… well then in your case you are just fine. Keep it up. How’s that working out for you?
So, is carving out 15 minutes or perhaps even 30 minutes a day with your creator fair when you are spending 4 hours watching TV, 2 hours in a mindless commute, 4 hours on Facebook, etc. etc. etc. You get the point. I’m going to challenge you again. After you have completed the first two challenges, I want you to insert time with God into at least half of the mindless time things you are doing. For instance:
- If you watch 2 hours of TV a day spend one hour watching TV and one hour reading your Bible.
- If you spend 2 hours a day commuting to and from work, try spending 30 minutes each way praying out load to God in the car or listening to the Bible. You can get quality recordings for free online.
- If you spend 1 hour reading fiction or magazines, try 30 minutes in a Bible commentary learning something new about God.
- If you workout at the gym for 1 hour a day, try going on a walk with God in prayer. It is fun to do a gratitude walk where you tank God for as many things as you can think of in beat to your walk pace. Or, at the gym listen to a recorded sermon on your phone. You can find a bunch of amazing sermons by searching for a topic you want to listen to at www.focalpointministries.org or checking out some sermon libraries online.