“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
I’ve been a Christian almost my entire life. My family and church life is very conducive to my relationship with Jesus, and I try to stay as close to God as I can through frequent prayer and Bible study. I’m also a multi-talented visionary, so my life is filled with lots of dreams and projects. My family lives on a farm, and my dad owns several homes that we rent out to people, so we work together as a team to get things done.
Recently, a family moved out of one of our homes, so we’ve been cleaning it up for the next tenant to move in. When you add that to the normal farm work, and to my new part-time employment at a local Orscheln store, you can guess that life has been very busy for the past few months.
Because of this, I’ve had little time for my writing, drawing practice, or music, but I’ve also had little time for much Bible reading or serious prayer. I had continued to work on my projects occasionally to keep them going—mostly attending only to the basics—and I had also read my Bible when I had the chance, and of course I continued to pray daily; just not as often, or for as long, as I would have under less trying circumstances. Unfortunately, I soon noticed that my spiritual life was not as good as it had been. With all the distractions, it had become difficult for me to keep the mindset that, as a Christian, Jesus must be the most important part of my life. Other things occasionally began to seem more important to me that our relationship.
Now, when I noticed such things happening, I quickly corrected my thinking, asking God to help me remember what is truly important as I put myself back into the right mindset of following Christ. But the fact that I seemed to spiritually “cool down” so often worried me. Sometimes I felt guilty for continuing to spend any of the little time I had maintaining my projects—even though I was convinced that most of them, at least, were things that God had called me to do.
At last, during the alter call at church one Sunday, I decided that, whatever happened to my projects or anything else in my life, I had to do something to get closer to God and, more significantly, to stay there. Since I had so little free time anymore, I thought, I would devote all of the time I did have to prayer and spiritual study. I would place all projects—including my current writing project, a new novel titled Superboy—on hold, until I had more time again.
As I knelt at the altar, just after I made this decision, I had another realization. I asked myself: Did God put me here on earth to read His Word? Did He put me here to pray?
I knew I wasn’t here to spend all my time writing novels or music. But I realized then that God didn’t mean for me to spend all my free time praying or reading, either. I saw then that I was put here to serve Him—to do what He calls me to do, in each individual day. That would certainly involve praying and reading the Bible, but it could also involve writing, speaking, visiting others, or just about anything else. God doesn’t want me to spend all my time reading the Bible, any more than He wants me to spend all my time playing the piano—but He does want me to accept and follow His plan for me.
Of course, I’m not saying that prayer and Bible reading aren’t all that important—they are among the most important things we can do. And, under different circumstances, perhaps God would have wanted me to spend most of my free time, for a few weeks or so, in prayer or study. But that’s the point—we must be willing to do whatever God calls us to do.
You see, I decided to spend all my extra time doing devotions, but that isn’t much better than deciding to get a certain project done—either way, I’m doing what I think is important; not necessarily what God wants me to do. So instead, I’m dedicating each day to God, and trusting Him to show me, every day, what He wants me to do.
This conclusion may sound as if I’ve strayed away from the original point of this article, but I haven’t. My problem was that I had a hard time staying close to God; that problem was solved when I stopped thinking about what I “needed” to do, and started asking God what I really needed to do. Since I’m thinking about Him frequently, I feel closer to Him; since I’m re-dedicating myself to Him several times each day, other things don’t become more important to me than they should.
So how is your relationship with God? Do you have the tendency to forget about Him while other things cry for your attention? Or do you feel like you have to spend every spare minute of your day reading the Bible in order to please God? Either way, I’m sure this will help you if you apply it to your own life. All it takes is a willing heart—and I’m convinced that, when we want what God wants, He’ll make sure we know exactly what we’re supposed to do!