There is a bit of a pattern that has developed at my home. Whatever isn’t eaten during dinner, becomes lunch the next day. Without fail, everyday for lunch I am either having the leftovers or am scrounging the cabinets for some bread to make a sandwich. Of course, occasionally I will ‘reward’ myself by giving my money away to some place that claims my food will come quickly. I say all of that to ask this, How’s your quiet time? What? What does that have to do with fast food?
Why do we always give God our leftovers? I often wonder why so many of us go throughout our day and only occasionally give God bits and pieces of it. Psalm 1:2 says, “But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants, day and night they think about His law.” Are you day and night delighting in His law or His word or are you giving Him your leftovers? Cramming in a small quiet time right before bed. I was talking with a friend about a week or two ago about daily devotions and he said that he used to do his every night before bed, but that he would always fall asleep during them or during his prayer. He said that he always used to kid himself by saying, “what better way to end the day then to fall asleep with God.”
It’s funny and sad all at the same time, but it’s true. Don’t kid yourself and think you are doing God a favor by “falling asleep during your time with him”. Look at it through the eyes of another. What would you think about someone who fell asleep everytime they tried to spend time with you? Don’t you think God deserves so much more than 5 minutes of our day that we are struggling to keep awake with?
I recently read a devotion by Dan Britton, Vice President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, entitled Wisdom Walks. In it, he talks about how his father was so passionate about daily devotions that he called it the 3-D principle. The three D’s are Drudgery, Discipline, and Delight. When you begin a daily bible reading, especially first thing in the morning, it begins with Drudgery. You won’t want to do it. Everything in your life will be thrown at you to keep you from doing it. Lack of sleep during the night, the snooze button, etc. But once you get past that stage, you get into D number 2, Discipline. You begin to discipline yourself and it becomes a habit. You begin to enjoy it, even need it. But then, once it’s past the discipline stage, it becomes a Delight. Not only do you need it, but you delight in it, you can’t wait to do it again.
The more consistent I have become in my quiet time the more true I find this to be. I really do look forward to it, to the point where I finish it in the morning, I am already looking forward to getting back into God’s word to see what else he has in store. Psalm 119 is all about staying in the word of God. Psalm 119:1-2, “Happy are people of integrity, who follow the law of the Lord. Happy are those who obey his decrees and search for Him with all their hearts.” Happy or Delightful are interchangeable there. It goes on to say in Psalm 119:8-9;11 “I will obey your principles, please do not give up on me. How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules. 11. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
I was reading recently in Luke chapter 4 the story of Jesus’ temptation. I wrote some about that in The Ultimate Aid but in the final of 3 temptations that Satan throws at Jesus it says, “”Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple and said, “If you are the Son of God, Jump off! For the scriptures say, He orders his angels to protect and guard you and they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.” Jesus responded “The scriptures also say do not test the Lord your God.”” Luke 4:9-12
What really struck me about that was Satan knows scripture. If Satan knows scripture and will use it against you and me, in temptations and trials. How much more should you and I know scripture. You see, Jesus response was with scripture. Ours should be as well. We need to be prepared to “give an account” 1 Peter 3:15, not only to those who ask about our hope in Christ but in response to those times when we are tested. Dive into your bible, today and everyday. Don’t give God your leftovers. Start the day with God and see where he takes you. Don’t get caught off guard by Satan who may throw scripture at you, be ready and throw it right back. You can only do that though, when you are in it daily!