This is part two of the post “Do you tell yourself, you’re to busy for God? pt 1 (God for Sinners Devotional Series)”
Here are 22 ways to overcome the excu- I mean, the “reasons” we give for not making time for God:
1. Wake up 30 minutes – 1 hour earlier each day: Set your alarm and get UP and spend time in prayer and read a chapter in the bible – even if you don’t get it, God will honor that investment and He will help you grow in this area.
2. Worship God during your morning routine/night – as you get ready in the morning or for bed at night, play worship music instead of “Everyday I’m hustling” (just an example). Turn of the morning shows and turn up the Lords music and worship Him.
3. Worship and praise God in the car – we spend so much time in our vehicles often talking about nonsense to someone or listening to secular music. Turn off the music and talk to God, let this be intimate time between Him and you, pray, praise, worship, sing (even if off tune!) and honor God with that time. For those who ride public transportation, this is a great time to read the word as you wait for/ride the bus! Trust me I used to do it myself when I was catching the bus to work (and this was during the days I wasn’t even honoring God with my life so if I can do it then, you surely can do it now!).
4. Purchase sermons on CD or Tape – they are everywhere, you can get the word of God on CD and play it as you ride to work, as you sit in your office (if allowed), or you can even listen on your lunch break if you need to. Speaking of which –
5. Spend time with Him on your lunch break – most people get 30 minutes to 1 hour for lunch. Instead of talking on the phone, talking to co-workers, or waiting in line at a restaurant or fast food place – use that time to read the bible, pray, and worship/praise God – even if you have to go sit in your car simply stay at your desk!
6. Set aside time after work, before going home – Stop at your favorite park, café, or just sit in your car for a while when you arrive home if you know you will be bombarded as soon as you walk through the door – trust me, anything that needs to be done can wait. Take this time to read the word, worship and talk to God (pray). He will greatly appreciate it!
7. Download sermons and praise/worship music to your iPod – Listen to it as you work out if you go to the gym, if you walk or run in the evenings, or if you simply take the kids out to play, as they play – spend time with God.
8. Hang up the phone – I know people that live with the phone glued to their ear, shut off your phone for 30 minutes – 1 hour a day and use that time you’d normally spend talking to someone with God. If you can talk to others for hours on end – you certainly have time to talk to God/study His word!
9. Turn off the TV – Hey I understand, I enjoy TV myself but one of the major complaints I hear is how there is “nothing on”… give up 30 minutes – 1 hour a day (that’s 1- 2 sitcoms or 1 episode of Law &Order for you TV buffs out there) Whatever you miss, you can catch on DVR, ON DEMAND, HULU, NETFLIX or all the other avenues to watch TV free nowadays. God will honor you for honoring Him.
10. Get an accountability partner – find someone in your life who does spend regular time with God and ask them to help you with this commitment and help hold you accountable, this can be by them studying with you until it becomes a part of your regular schedule or by simply contacting you to talk about what you’ve learned that day through your time with God. Make sure it’s someone who is not afraid to hold you accountable – someone who can encourage you to maintain your commitment and let you know when you are falling short.
11. Set your boundaries – if you live with others, let them know you are setting aside time for God during a specific period (stick a note to the door or tie a ribbon on the handle, get a door hanger or something) and make it known you are not to be disturbed during this time except in cases of serious emergency (death, hospital, police beating down the front door (Lord forbid)) asking them to take message for any phone calls and to let visitors know you are not to be disturbed. Whatever questions, concerns, or needs/wants they have (yes even your kids) can wait until God has His time.
12. Subscribe to online devotionals (for email) or install apps on your phone – There are TONS of applications and devotionals that can be found online – you can even have them delivered to your inbox or to your phone directly. This will not only serve as a reminder to you each day but it will also give you a starting point to help you develop your studies while growing you in God. I’ll post some for you in a separate post to get you started.
13. Take a bathroom break – yep! I said it, the bathroom is one place most people can find a little private time. If necessary, go in the restroom and sit on the side of the tub (or put the toilet seat down and sit) use that time to spend with God (even if you can only get 15 minutes in) reading His word and in conversation (prayer) with Him.
14. Go to bed a little early – turn in about 30 minutes early while everyone is still up and moving around in the home, especially if you live with your mate, instead of talking or watching tv until you sleep, take some of that time and talk to God, read the word, and get some worship in – not only are you honoring God but you’ll find your sleep sweeter (trust me, I’ve tried it, it works!). If you don’t fall right off to sleep afterwards, that’s ok.
15. Skip the hangout – you don’t have to go out every time everyone else does. It is okay to skip the hangout, or after work cocktail, and stay in to give time to God. He will greatly appreciate you placing Him first.
16. Turn off Facebook/Computer – if you spend a lot of time on the computer playing games, watching YouTube videos, trolling Facebook, etc. you certainly have time to give to God if you prioritize. These things aren’t necessities in your life so cutting back on them to give God His due time is sure to bless you and strengthen your relationship with God. God will honor you for honoring Him by giving up these distractions.
17. Worship while you work – if you have to come home and cook, clean, iron, wash, pack lunches, etc for family (or yourself) put on your iPod or turn on a sermon to listen to while you do it. Talk to God throughout the day giving thanks, seeking His will, and honoring Him in word and deed.
18. Put the Word of God where you can see it – Sometimes, you have to put a reminder in your face – write scripture on index cards (or if you’re the artsy crafty type make beautiful art that includes scriptures) and hang them around your home where you will see them often. Put them in your car, at work on your desk, in purse, lunch bag/box, gym bag, etc.
19. Get the family involved – one summer I was able to get into God’s word more because my [god] daughter and her friend came to my home and I made it a point to have bible study with them day. It got to the point where if I missed it or took too long they’d ask (sometimes not for the right reasons LOL) “Are we having bible study today?” This would always shake me to move and get my studies done. If you and your mate, you and your children, or any other family (this can be friends) will agree to do it with you, not only will it honor God but it will strengthen your relationship too! (If you don’t have anyone who will serve as accountability for the family to ensure this is done, bring in an outside accountability partner to help and even if your family members don’t show up – you still do it and honor God anyone, you have to answer for YOU before God.).
20. Finally LIGHTEN UP– so many people fail to spend time with God because they have this set idea of how it should look or what they should do. They think because so and so spends hours with God or does xyz when they spend time with Him they have to do that to – but this is not so. Each relationship with God is unique between God and that individual – the common denominators are honoring God with TIME, READING/STUDYING His WORD, and PRAYER (conversation) with God. God only asks that you give Him the time, HOW you come to Him, study, pray, is not set in stone –you give Him the time and He will lead you. And stop thinking prayers have to be all “the and thou” Talk to God with regular conversations as you would a friend (with respect and honor of course), you need to be comfortable with Him, there’s no point in putting on a front and acting “holy”, He knows the real you already so you’re only fronting for yourself – Go before God naked (open and honest about all things and all your shortcomings) and you will find yourself growing in God.
21. ASK GOD FOR HELP – on of our (humans) biggest failures is that we try to do things (even for God) on our own. There is NOTHING we can do without God, even getting closer to Him requires prayer and reliance on God. Seek God and ask Him to give you a heart to read His word and to help you set aside time each day for Him. If you have to start small (15 minutes) and work your way up – that’s OK! Ask God to help! Trust me HE WILL. Ask others who have a relationship with Him to pray for you as well, when you seek God, He takes notice and He will always help you come closer to Him if you ask Him. Then when you ask Him for help, make an ACTIVE EFFORT to do what you are saying you want to do. Don’t just sit around praying and never moving to action.
22. If you fail, GET BACK UP AND START AGAIN – the worse problem is people starting to get close to God and then missing a few days and giving up completely. Oh the enemy LOVES this. So what you made a mistake, you missed a few days, that’s why God gives us grace and forgiveness, repent for neglecting God and jump right back in! Trust me He’s not one to throw it back in your face, He’d rather see you get back up and keep going diligently – the righteous aren’t without sin, they just know that when they do fail, they can get back up, seek God’s forgiveness, and move forward in confidence knowing God is with them.
4 years ago, I started getting into the word of God again, after leaving Him and getting off into witchcraft and all types of idol worship. I started with a simple 15 minutes a day, I purchased a bible that had devotionals in it and I made an effort to do one a day, then I moved to a chapter a day. Was I always consistent? NOPE. There were some days/weeks I would go without uttering a word to God nor picking up His word to study…but I would always get back to it after I would come to God for forgiveness (me being hardheaded it was normally after something happened or I wanted something, and I needed God’s help…smh, thank goodness for His deliverance!).
Eventually, I started growing and I started to pray for a desire to be closer to God, I started to seek Him for a thirst for His word…the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn, the closer I got to Him, the closer I wanted to get! Today, I enjoy spending time with Him so much that I could shut myself off for hours at a time, days even, and just indulge in my sweet, sweet Savior! I’m not saying I don’t still have my days where I miss picking up the word, I’m not perfect and I can also get distracted, but I don’t allow the enemy to guilt me down and separate me from God.
And you don’t have to be separated either. The power in God comes from KNOWING GOD…but to know Him you must invest in Him with your time…. God is calling His children back to Him….will you answer?