Making Time for God

I know what you are thinking, but this is not about making you feel guilty.  On the contrary, I want to show you what happens when you sacrificially make time to spend with the Father every day.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he out up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying” (Mark 1:35).

Why Did Jesus Get Up Super Early?

Jesus got up “early in the morning while it was still dark”.  Why early in the morning while it was still dark outside?  Because getting up early is harder than staying up late.  He wanted it to cost him something.  He wanted the Father to know that he valued his time with Him by making the sacrifice of getting up early.

I think that Jesus chose the hardest time of the day to spend with the Father, and made it a priority to spend that time with his Father.

Why do I use the word “appointment” instead of “time with God“?  Well, the phrase,  “Time with God” has the connotation of “whenever we get together“.  “Time with God” involves less sacrifice.  “Appointment” says, I have meet with him at a designated time.

We make appointments to meet people all the time.  For example, if I were to go in for a job interview, I would be sharp, alert, clear minded, well-rested, and above all, on time for the interview, (meaning at least 10 minutes early), for the specified appointment.  If I showed up late to the job interview, would you hire me?  Probably not.  You would think that I didn’t value your time, and that I didn’t take the job seriously.

I’m Not a Morning Person

It is super easy to justify why we can’t get up earlier in the morning, but keep in mind that we all get the same 24 hours to spend each and every day.  The only difference between each of us is how we choose to spend that time.  “Well, I’m not a morning person”.  I get it.  Neither am I.  In fact, I have to shower every morning to wake myself up, so that I can be alert and think clearly.

I want to be ready, alert, and thinking clearly when I meet my creator each day.

I don’t want to give God what’s left over of my day.  I want to give him the first-fruits of my day, and I think that is what Jesus modeled for us here in this passage.

What Would it Look Like?

I am not going to sugar coat this.  It involves sacrifice.  You would have to treat that appointment with incredible care, being certain that you did not allow anything to distract you or prevent you from being on time to that appointment.

It would mean no looking at Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platforms before your meeting with God.  No turning on the TV or radio to check the news.  No texting.  No responding to an email that came in overnight.  No YouTube videos, etc.  No distractions. You get the point. 

How Do I Do This?

Let me start by saying, if you are currently not in the habit of meeting with the Lord at any time of the day, get into that habit first. Meeting with him is the priority. Not the time of the day. Having said that, again, I believe that Jesus was modeling what it should look like for us, putting the Father first before anything else that we do. But again, if you currently are not meeting with him each day, set aside a portion of your day to do just that, be it 30 minutes or even 15 minutes. Just meet with him at a specified time.

Out of that relationship, there will come a time when you will want to give more to him, and you can give more to him by honoring him with the first part of your day.

Now, if you are a little more mature in the Lord, and are not in the habit of starting your day out with him, start by getting up 15 minutes earlier than normal and make it a point to set that time as the time that you will spend with the Lord. You will be amazed at how soon habit develop, and that 15 minutes will turn into getting up 30 minutes earlier, then 45 minutes earlier, an hour earlier, etc.

You want to be certain that you prepare your mind for what God has for you when you meet with him.  When you intentionally choose to listen to nothing but His voice prior to your appointment, in effect, you are showing him that you place a high value on hearing his voice when he speaks to you, and he will speak to you.

Making your time with the Father the priority of your day speaks volumes to him.  It tells him that you respect him.  It tells him that you value your time with Him.  You honor God by being on time (or even early), for your morning appointment.

Is this Really Going to Make a Difference?

Jesus thought so.  That’s why he got up early to spend the first part of his day with his Father.

In John 5:19-20a, Jesus himself said the following:

19Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing . . .”

To be in tune, or aligned with all that the Father is doing, you need to spend intimate time with the Father.  The more intimacy you have with the Father, the more you will be able to see what he is doing in real time.  You want to get to a place where you only do what the Father is doing, and the only way to know what the Father is doing, is to know the Father.  Not about the Father, but to know him intimately.

You were designed for intimacy with the Father.  He loves you and wants you to get to know him better.  A lot better.  He has things for you, . . . wisdom, insight, and so much more than you can think or imagine.

17 Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit” (James 5:17-18).

I love this verse. “Elijah was a human being as we are”.  When I think of Elijah, I think of a “Super Hero” man of God.  In fact, here is a list of the miracles associated with the prophet Elijah, along with their corresponding references:

  1. Elijah announces a drought (1 Kings 17:1)
  2. Ravens bring food (1 Kings 17:2-6)
  3. Widow’s flour and oil (1 Kings 17:8-16)
  4. Raising the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-24)
  5. Showdown with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:20-40)
  6. Rain returns after the drought (1 Kings 18:41-46)
  7. Fire from heaven consumes soldiers (2 Kings 1:9-15)
  8. Parting of the Jordan River (2 Kings 2:8)
  9. Elijah taken up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11)
  10. Healing of the waters of Jericho (2 Kings 2:19-22)
  11. Summoning fire to consume sacrifices (1 Kings 18:36-38)
  12. Multiplying flour and oil for a widow (2 Kings 4:1-7)
  13. Raising the Shunammite woman’s son (2 Kings 4:8-37)
  14. Purifying poisoned stew (2 Kings 4:38-41)
  15. Feeding a hundred men with twenty loaves (2 Kings 4:42-44)
  16. Healing Naaman’s leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14)
  17. Making an ax head float (2 Kings 6:1-7)
  18. Blinding and guiding Syrian soldiers (2 Kings 6:8-23)
  19. Foretelling the death of King Ahab (1 Kings 21:17-24)
  20. Calling down fire to consume soldiers (2 Kings 1:9-15)

These miracles showcase the extraordinary power and intervention of God through Elijah.

That’s an impressive list.  Even intimidating, right?  It’s easy to think, “God could never use me like he used Elijah”.  But you would be wrong.  In the book of James, he made it a point to state that “Elijah was a human being as we are . . .” (James 5:17). What distinguishes him from others?  His prayer life.

Not his prayer life and . . .

Just the intimacy he had with the Father.

Be encouraged, because you too, can have that same intimacy.  Even a greater intimacy.  There are no limits to how intimate of a relationship you can have with the Father.