The Answer to Hectic Busyness: Devotion to God

That’s Why They’re Called Devotions

“If you are sick and tired of feeling so dreadfully busy and are looking for a one-point plan to help restore order to your life, this is the best advice I know: devote yourself to the Word of God and prayer. This means public worship and private worship. I’m not telling you how much time to spend. You may start with five minutes a day or fifteen or fifty. A few unhurried minutes are better than a distracted hour, and a consistent habit is better than a sporadic burst of fits and starts. As someone who has had a devotional time since high school-and has also struggled to have a devotional time since high school-I can tell you that no single practice brings more peace and discipline to life than sitting at the feet of Jesus.

“I understand that ending this book in this way is a dangerous and potentially debilitating move. The pursuit of personal devotions is one of the strongholds of legalism. Anytime we talk about what we should do every day, we must make clear what Christ has already done for us. We can rest, because he worked. We can lay down our prideful busyness, because he laid down his life. We can keep coming back to him in the midst of our failures, because he keeps all his promises to us. The last thing I want to do is to lay down a law that says you must read through the Bible in a year or the Lord will smite you in his wrath.

“And yet, few things demonstrate our devotion to Christ more than making time with him a priority each day. As J. C. Ryle observed, “A man may preach from false motives. A man may write books, and make fine speeches, and seem diligent in good works, and yet be a Judas Iscariot. But a man seldom goes into his closet, and pours out his soul before God in secret, unless he is serious.” People know if you pray at the dinner table. They know if you attend worship on Sunday. They know if you are part of a small group. But they don’t know if you are finding desolate places to pray.¹

“Like many of you, I often look at my busy life and don’t know where to start. I wish I exercised more, and ate better, and kept track of my receipts, and programmed the presets in my car, and had my files in order, and knew where those little thingies for the basketball pump were, and in general didn’t feel like I was walking on the knife edge of craziness all the time. My temptation is to tackle everything at once. Or nothing at all. But the best plan is to start with Jesus’ plan.

“God has given us all twenty-four hours in every day. It is the one resource distributed with complete equality. And for most of us, for the most part, we all do with those hours what we think is most important. I wish I ran more, but apparently I value reading at home, or working late, or getting sleep more. So, the answer here is not simple willpower: “I must spend more time with Jesus!” That won’t last. We have to believe that hearing from God is our good portion. We have to believe that the most significant opportunity before us every day is the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus. We won’t rearrange our priorities unless we really believe this is the best one.”

Kevin DeYoung in “The One Thing You Must Do” (Chap.10) from Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem, pp.113-15.

Published in: on January 16, 2022 at 7:16 AM  Leave a Comment  

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