I bet if I asked you if you've ever killed someone, you'd probably answer with a no. And I'm sure that if I asked you if you steal on a regular basis or if you lie habitually, you could answer both questions with a no. But how would you answer if I asked you, "Do you spend time with Jesus everyday?" I would venture (no pun intended) to say that most of us, if we answered honestly, wouldn't be proud of our answers.
It's no secret that we are busy people. Too busy. Some of you may struggle with finding time to spend with God. Others of you may not know how to spend time with God. Or maybe you're like me... my biggest struggle is staying attentive. I'll sit down to read or write or pray, and I'll get distracted by the dirty kitchen or my phone lighting up or my puppy wanting to go outside. Trust me, you're not the only one who has a hard time with this. But I'm not writing to tell you that you won't get to heaven if you don't spend 30 minutes in prayer each day. And I'm not even writing to tell you that you can't have a thriving relationship if you struggle with spending time with God. I'm writing to tell you that if you aren't actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus, you've forsaken your first love. (Revelation 2:4)
You see, you might be following all of the ten commandments. You might be doing all the "right" things... giving to missions, helping the needy, loving and respecting your spouse, being honest all the time, etc. All of those things are important and pleasing to God, but they're not the MOST important. In Matthew 22, Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. He should be our top priority. There should be nothing more important than our relationship with Him. Think about it, God literally has everything you could possibly need and more. Why wouldn't you want to spend time with him and seek him as much as you possibly can?
I know this sounds much easier than it actually is. The bottom line is that our culture today is one of busyness and chaos. We have to really love something or find value in it before we try to fit it into our busy schedules. But what we can't forget is the reason we were put on this earth, and that is to worship God. That's the #1 reason we're here. In that case, everything else that's so "important" in our lives should come second. Our relationship with God should never be prioritized below anything else. No task or chore should be of more importance than our opportunity to pursue a relationship with God.
To be honest with you, I've struggled with this lately. I've been making other things in my life way more important than my relationship with my King. And it has totally shown, too. A few days ago, I ran across a Journal Challenge on a blog by Heather Lindsey, who is the founder of a women's movement called 'Pinky Promise' (all you ladies should totally look her up...she's awesome!), and it has totally changed the way I do my daily devotions. I encourage you to look into it by clicking on the link above and try it yourself. If you're not into journaling, find another way to challenge and motivate yourself to spend time in the presence of God on a daily basis.
Once again, there is no magic behind the amount of time you spend doing devotions or the place you go to do it. It's not about WHAT you do or HOW LONG you do it. It's about the fact that you are being intentional about nurturing your relationship with God. It takes effort to get into the habit of intentionally making time for God. But soon enough, you'll be at a place where you can't get through your day without stopping to chat or worship or listen to his voice.
Remember, the Ten Commandments are important, but if you aren't obeying the Greatest Commandment, nothing else matters.