36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Our two primary purposes in life given to us by God involve relationships: our relationships with God and our relationships with people. We have to have our relationship with God straight in order for us to be able to properly love others. And to do that, we have to be willing to sacrifice the TIME it takes to have deep intimacy, oneness, communion and fellowship with God.
I believe one of Satan’s greatest tools against us in Western culture today is to keep us BUSY. If we are so busy working, commuting, shopping, spending time online, doing chores, watching TV,etc… that we don’t have any time left over for God or for our husbands and children and other people – our relationships will be a mess.
I have been enjoying Rev. E.M. Bounds compilation of 5 books about prayer the past month or two. Reverend Bounds was a pastor during the Civil War period in US history. He spend 3-4 hours per day in prayer every day. Most people who were/are greatly used by God spent that kind of time with Him. Jesus often went off by Himself to pray privately. If Jesus needed time alone with God – and He WAS God – how much more do WE need that time in communion and fellowship with Him!?!
- A wife asked me once, ”How much time do I have to spend with God?” I answered,”How close to you want to be to Him?”
If you spend only 5 minutes per day talking with someone, you know that you are not going to have a very deep relationship. It takes real investment and sacrifice of our time to have a deep relationship with anyone. God wants our time, too. He longs for us to delight in our time with Him and to think about Him, thank and praise Him all throughout every day.
I pray that we might all clear off our schedules, find the things that are not eternally significant in the grand scheme of things, and devote SERIOUS time alone to God in prayer and Bible study. That is the only way we can grow! We need private times of prayer and Bible reading like we need air to breathe and food to eat! I pray we will develop a deep hunger for the things of God, the priorities of God, the Word of God, the presence of God and then Spirit of God in our lives. I pray we will see how wretchedly poor, blind and sick we are apart from Him and how desperately we need His Spirit every single moment.
Our society values us being “busy” and rushing around. Our society lauds people for being chronically sleep deprived,working extra, and grinding themselves to the bone trying to make money or be “successful” in business. We are destroying ourselves spiritually and physically with all this flurry of activity, Lord!
Help us to be still.
Help us to stop.
Help us to slow down and just sit in awe, trembling and reverence before You.
Help us to see that so much of what we do with our time is not ultimately that important. Help us to break free from “the tyranny of the urgent.” And let us focus on the things that are priorities in Your sight. Help us to reserve large chunks of time for You. Help us to devote ourselves to prayer, Bible study, fasting and obedience to Your Word. Let us long for You with all our hearts. Let us desire You far above everything else on earth! Make us a people of fervent prayer. Let Your Spirit move mightily among us. Draw us to Yourself. Help us to see that we must choose between friendship with the world and friendship with You. We cannot have both! Help us to let go of any idols – anything, ideas or people that we have put above You in our hearts. Let us tear them all out by the roots! Let us forsake every sin we have been cherishing in our hearts: pride, self-righteousness, idolatry, bitterness, resentment, gossip, rebellion against Your Word, disrespect towards You, disrespect towards others, envy, lust, malice, heresy, rage, unforgiveness, adultery, murder, apathy towards You, lukewarmness towards the things of God, etc… Show us every sin. Let us fall to our knees and earnestly repent and seek You with all our hearts!
Let us become the women You desire us to be. Let us love what You love and hate what You hate. Let us be willing to obey Your Word, no matter what the personal cost to us. Let us surrender control to You and let us seek Your will, not our own. Use us to greatly bless our men, families, coworkers, neighbors, strangers and brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us ABIDE in You. Let us live in the center of Your will and draw constant nourishment from Your Spirit. Let Your Spirit flow into our lives like Niagra Falls, not like a little trickle, but full force! You give us control over that. Help us to understand how to open wide the gates and invite Your Spirit into our hearts daily. Help us to put on all the spiritual armor we need for the spiritual battle we are in. (Ephesians 6). Help us to understand that only in You can we find victory over sin, self and the enemy.
Help us to know that our fight is not against flesh and blood. People are not our enemy. There are demonic forces that are the enemy. Let us be fully prepared to fight against the powers of darkness as we handle Your Word properly and keep our gaze fixed upon You. Let us meditate on Your Word day and night. Let us be people of GREAT faith in You. Let us be Spirit-filled. Let us die to self. Let us live in obedience and walk in the Light as You are in the Light that we might have fellowship with You and with one another. Use us for Your greatest glory! Let us be the godly women You command us to be. Let us take Your Word seriously and let us delight in obeying You even when it is hard and even when it hurts. Use us to build up, affirm, encourage, honor and respect our men (if we are in a committed relationship). Help us to be willing to do things Your way, and not pridefully assume we know better. Let us esteem Your wisdom far above our own. Help us to focus on thoughts about things from Philippians 4:8 and not focus on worry, fear or bad things. Let us trust in You, not in ourselves, and not ultimately in our men or any other person or earthly thing. Let us put our faith 100% in Christ alone. Let us find our contentment, purpose, acceptance, identity, strength, joy and peace 100% in Christ alone! Set us apart for Your use, Lord. Make us holy as You are holy. Let us set a godly example for those who come behind us. Make us faithful!!!!
In the Name and power of Christ,