This week, between teaching and preparing, I found myself making excuses for not doing my Bible reading. Now, it’s not that I wasn’t spending time with God. Instead of doing my Bible reading, I worked on a devotional to share before class on 2 days. Another day I had not gone over the notes for the class I was teaching, so I spent my time with God going over it and praying through what I was sharing that day. Friday I forgot about a meeting with our security guards which took place at the time I would normally be writing, so that took up that morning. In all, 4 out of 5 mornings this week I was distracted from my intentional time with God just listening to Him through His word and prayer.
This morning as I read Luke 4:40-43 I was really convicted. Jesus had all the reason in the world to not get up early to spend His regular time with His Father (and I believe it was a regular thing for him). Luke 4:42 almost gives you the impression that he stayed up all night ministering to people, healing the sick, casting out demons, etc. Luke 4:40 Begins with “Now when the sun was setting… “ Then Luke 4:42 says, “And when it was day…” It doesn’t say anything about Jesus stopping to sleep. And yet, “He departed and went to a desolate place.” In Mark 1:35 in talking about the same account, Mark says, “And rising very early, while it was still dark, he departed, went to a desolate place, and there He prayed.”
This was certainly not the testimony of my life this past week. Jesus made time to be with His Father. He was intentional about it, even during times of intense ministry. I believe it was a result of those times that God’s Words were on the tip of his tongue when he faced temptation. (Luke 4:4, 8, 12) It was during those times when he heard the voice of His Father, and received the instruction/direction for what His Father wanted him to do. (Mark 1:38; Luke 4:43) It was by spending intentional time with His Father that he was able to minister in confidence and able to speak God’s word boldly (Luke 4:36).
I want my life and ministry to be characterized by those kinds of things.
- God’s Words, on the tip of my tongue, ready to dispel the lies of the enemy and declare truth.
- Know with confidence the direction God wants me to go in ministry.
- Able to minister with confidence, knowing God is going to be speaking His Words through me (Is 50:4-7)
- Spending time with God is the most important part of my day.
- From my time with God, I will acquire the weapons I need to fight the battle I will face in my mind today. (2 Cor 10:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 5:8)
- From my time with God, I will gain the confidence to know and follow the will of God for me today. (Rom 12:2)
- During my time with God I will yield myself to God and begin my day choosing to be available for God to use my life to do His work (John 14:10)
- I choose to not allow anything to distract me from this time.