When I first became a Christian in 2010, I spent a lot of time pursuing Jesus. Not only did I spend my time in the Word trying to get to know this God who had radically changed my life, but I constantly prayed (in the car, while brushing my teeth, walking from point A to B, whenever I could). I didn’t just want to deeply know God, but I wanted Him to deeply know me. At the end of each day, I would sit down and reflect, journal, pray, and just be with my Rescuer. I lived my life, but my number one priority always belonged to Jesus. I was swept up in Him. He was everything to me.
As time went on, my time spent with God changed. After college, life quickly became complicated, chaotic, and busy. Days fluttered by, and before I knew it, my intentionality with God dwindled. Between working full time, going to graduate school full time, and finding a church and solid community my time spent with God soon became inconsistent and more surface level. It was very seldom that I took the time to be vulnerable with God; to reflectively process and examine my experiences, feelings, emotions, and reactions to life around me. My reflective time with God no longer held such a high priority in my life and it showed. I started to feel trapped in my sin and extremely disconnected from the One who gives my soul life. I constantly felt drained and defeated. Satan saw that I was losing my foothold and he saw his opportunity to pounce (1 Peter 5:8)
As my relationship with God and intentional time spent with Him became a lower priority in my life, the lies and negative thoughts I started believing increased. I started to think and make excuses like:
- God doesn’t care if I spend time with Him or not (lie)
- I’m too tired (excuse)
- God will understand; He knows that I’m busy (excuse)
- I’ll just make sure I spend time in the Word or praying tomorrow (excuse)
- I can figure this out on my own (lie)
- I don’t need God (lie)
- Devoting parts of my day and life to God doesn’t really matter (lie and excuse)
- I believe in God; isn’t that enough? (excuse)
My life was to the point where my relationship with God wasn’t even close to being my top priority. I shoved my relationship with God under the rug, only going back when I realized I couldn’t do things on my own or had no control over certain things in my life. I was ashamed of how complacent I had become with my relationship with God. I was ashamed because my relationship with God became a one-way street. I loved God. I believed in God. I still desired to know God and pursue God. I had just lost sight of my priorities. I allowed worldly things to take the throne of my life that was designated for God and only God. I spent time running after work, with friends, seeking validation from others, attending events, and chasing experiences; anything to keep me preoccupied from admitting I had put God on the back burner. In actuality, that is exactly what I needed to do; to open myself up to the One who spoke me into motion and be vulnerably honest and raw with Him. I was sick of feeling unsettled. I was sick of feeling isolated. I was sick of feeling unfulfilled. I was sick of the weight and darkness of trying to do everything on my own when I had someone chasing after me the entire time.
I needed a life change and a heart change. I needed to get back to where I started; making my relationship with God my first and most important priority. I needed to learn how to prioritize. This meant slowing down, saying no to things that overcrowded my schedule, and allowing my time with God to transform and renew me (Romans 12:2). The truth is that spending time with God was the only thing that was going to restore me. When we are intentional with pursuing the living God, our souls are refreshed, satisfied, and fulfilled. We experience a type of wholeness that is only experienced when we are deeply rooted and connected to the One who gives eternal life!
The reality is that there are so many things in this world that attempt to steal us away from the Father. Whether it’s working, not wanting to miss out on spending time with friends, watching Netflix, or whatever other commitments or desires you may have our number one commitment and priority should always be to our Savior, our Redeemer, our God. Saying yes to Jesus and no to the World is a daily decision. Every day we have to ask ourselves, “Am I going to choose God or the world?” Choosing the world may often be easier, but choosing God is life-giving, purposeful, and God-honoring.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”1 John 2:15 -17