It wasn't until Sunday morning, at 8 AM just a few hours before church started, that I realized I had no way to get my presentation onto the projector. I knew what I needed. I needed that iPad adapter! I pulled out my phone and hunted for Best Buys in the area. None of them opened before 10 AM on Sunday mornings. That was too late. I hunted for some Radio Shacks and found some that were open at 9 AM. But they were far from church and I needed to be at church at 9. I got in my car and drove to them anyway, hoping that somebody would be there early. I knocked on the storefront windows and waited around at three different Radio Shacks. But in the end, I hung my head in defeat and drove to church without my prize.
All of us would like a closer walk with God. All of us would like to know the Bible better. All of us would like to have the kind of prayer life where we saw clear answers from God. All of us would like to feel God's presence leading us. But how much effort do we actually put into pursuing Him?
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
We spend hours tearing through seasons of our favorite TV shows on Netflix because we want to see how it all ends for Dr. Who. We follow the stocks and financial trends without fail every day to make sure our money is safe. We camp out to ensure we can be the proud owners of a brand new X-Box or Playstation. We even get the friends and family together for a Harry Potter marathon and finish it off with a trip to the theater for the final movie. And I drive all over town like a maniac for a small piece of plastic.
But when it comes to God... We often skip our daily time reading the Bible. Sometimes we forget to pray until we really, really need something. When we read something in the Bible we don't understand, we might check the footnotes. But if the answer isn't there, we usually don't go through the effort of looking at a commentary, searching online, or asking our pastor. We spend a few minutes on God and give up when we find the Bible to be boring or don't feel like He is there. We may seek Him, but usually we don't seek Him with all of our heart.
Don't be discouraged. We all fall short in this area and slack in our pursuit of God. In one sense, God is ready and eager to meet with you and to reveal Himself to you and to walk with you. Even if you only spend one minute reading the Bible in a day, God can use that. God does sometimes answer last minute prayers. God does draw near to you when you draw near to Him.
But at the same time, you're never going to really know God until you give it your all. You won't go past the shallow stuff with Him until you start carving out the time for Him. You're not going to feel that deep guidance, have an amazing prayer life, truly grasp the Bible, or have that amazing walk with Him until you start putting your whole heart into it.
So you and I are left with a choice. God promises that we can find Him. But He tells us it will only really happen when we give our all to that pursuit. We give lots of heart, time, energy, and attention to so many things in our lives from family and friends to money and entertainment. We see payoff in those areas when we give them all we've got. God promises payoff when we give Him our full attention as well. The question is simple: Is He worth it to you?
If He is, then how are you going to prove it with your time and actions? Here are some questions that have helped me assess and rearrange my priorities so that I am pursuing God with all of my heart.
1) What things take up the majority of your time?
2) Of those things, which are just not worth all of that attention?
3) How often do I read the Bible? Pray? Worship? Spend time with other believers?
4) Of those things, which one do I want to focus on specifically this month? How can I swap this in my schedule for the answers I gave to question 2?