POST #3: (becoming) fully submitted, Part 2

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: awomanforhim@gmail.com).  If you’ve been successful at giving God the first fruits of your time, please share some of your strategies below!

Want to read more?  Start the (becoming) fully submitted series from the beginning.  Or read the next post in the series: (becoming) fully submitted, part 3.

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5 responses

  1. Awesome thoughts and really hit home for me. I have a ton of things to do right now around the house, with church, future planning, etc. and have to remember that a checked-off To-Do list isn’t God’s top priority. Love the line: Is it possible that Jesus would like you to spend more time at His feet and less time on yours? It’s really easy for me to get caught up in the tasks and lose sight of the Master. Keeping a Mary heart in a Martha world is a hard thing to do but incredibly necessary. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  2. I loved that too – more time at his feet and less time on yours. Sometimes we feel so guilty if we aren’t “busy”. I think we need to encorage each other to let that go and continue to increase the time we spend with the Lord. Excellent thoughts on this blog!

  3. Thanks, ladies! God gets the glory for that “feet” line — but any typos you find are mine!

    One thing I have trouble with in this regard is hospitality and a clean house. I really don’t like to have people over unless the house is really clean (and there are brownies on the counter), which, in the past, has kept me from showing hospitality when I should.

    I’ve really been working on this, though, in a couple of ways. First, we’ve simplified the house and gotten rid of a lot of stuff. Second, I’ve tried to remember that it’s relationships that matter to (most) people, not a clean house. So, I started with a very close friend (who has seen the house pretty darn dirty at this point!) and then moved to a new friend (who saw a pretty picked up, but not perfect, house). Actually, he came over when I wasn’t even here (which is extra nerve-wracking) because he was coming to see Dan, not me.

    So, yes those are tiny baby steps, but I’m determined to keep at it!

    1. I agree!! I don’t like to have people over unless we are TOTALLY picked up either! While I don’t want to be disorganized, sometimes I am envious when my husband doesn’t notice the pile of mail or extra hair things, etc. laying around. I would like a spot for it all!!! However, I have been noticing that does give me a constant feeling of “keeping up” with it all, and more often than not, drowning because I’m not keeping up with my expectations, feeling inadequate because of it and feeding a vicious cycle. I think God may be telling me recently, that while things like a clean house and other busy tasks may not be inherently bad, I feed my insecurities by trying to keep up with them instead of finding my worth in Him instead. Therefore, I need to spend more time at His feet!! So not only did this post confirm for me the importance of making Him a priority in general, but I took it as a reminder that my self-worth should be found in more Mary moments than in what I get accomplished. I guess my battle is learning to balance the time/priorities without the importance of the accomplishment of it???? Does that make sense at all?? hahaha!

      1. That actually makes a ton of sense! Doing those tasks regularly without having your self-worth wrapped up in them can be hard.

        I will say, though, that (as long as company isn’t coming over), I’m the one in this house who can overlook the pile of mail, etc. And, yeah, it’s kinda nice to be able to do that sometimes. 🙂

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