In the last post, we talked about putting God in front of everything else in our lives. Today, we’re going to look, specifically, at giving him the first fruits of our time/energy. Below are some questions that should help us start evaluating this area.
1. What do I spend my time/energy on? (Really think about each moment of your day. Even the mundane stuff.)
2. How much of my time/energy do I give to God and God alone? (That is, how much time do you have with just God. Not prayers-on-the-go (although these are good). How much time do you spend just fellowshipping with God?)
3. During how much of my other time am I in communication with God? (How often during the day do you seek God’s guidance?)
4. From what areas of my time/energy have I excluded God? (This is a hard question to think about, but I think it’s an important one.) When during my day am I most disconnected from God? During what activities do I least seek God?
5. What part of my time/energy is used in a way that I haven’t consulted with God about? (I think this is another important one. What commitments or routines do you have that you haven’t asked God about? What do you take for granted as “part of your day” that God might want changed?)
Of course, all of these questions have to be answered prayerfully. If you’re open to it, God will reveal areas where He’d like to be more involved in your life.
Although it can seem hard to carve out time with God from our busy schedules, time with God is never wasted. Consider this scene from Jesus’s visit to His good friends’ (Mary, Martha, and Lazarus) house (Luke 10:38-42):
As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
So much is going on in this little passage, but for now, we’ll focus on how the two women were using their time: Martha was making preparations for an incredibly important guest (and His crowd) — I think if Jesus were coming to visit us, most of us would be very busy with preparations. And think of all those last minute things that Martha was probably scrambling to get done during this passage!
Mary, however, is sitting at Jesus’s feet, listening. Not helping Martha. And Jesus commends Mary’s choice to leave all the work to her sister!? Not exactly. Jesus commends Mary’s choice to spend time with Him. He doesn’t want Martha to be left with all the work — He wants her to spend time with Him, too.
If I were Martha, I’m pretty sure my jaw would drop when He said Mary had made a better choice about what to do with her time. Here I was SERVING Him, and Mary gets the praise?
Is it possible that Jesus would like you to spend more time at His feet and less time on yours? Over the next few days, try to spend more time with Jesus — even if it means something else doesn’t get done. Make the choice that can’t be taken away from you.
If you’re struggling with a particular aspect of giving your time to God, please feel free to share in the comments below (or in an email, if you’re more comfortable with that: firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’ve been successful at giving God the first fruits of your time, please share some of your strategies below!