Busyness: An Enemy Flying Under The Radar

If you were to list the enemies of your spiritual life, my guess is that, like me, you’d start with sin and Satan. And those would both be good answers. After all Paul writes that Satan seeks to lead us “astray from your pure and sincere devotion to Christ” and Peter compares Satan to a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Earlier in the same book Peter warns us that sin “wages war against your soul.”

But we have another enemy that gets less attention but can be just as deadly: busyness. Recently I was in the interior of Jamaica on a missions trip with others from The Crossing (more on that this Sunday). During that week we had a full schedule of work and activities and yet there wasn’t the frenetic busyness that most of us experience here at home. That was at least partly due to the fact that our remote location meant that there was no cell service or internet. No phone calls, text messages, emails, or surfing the web.

In that environment it was much easier to meet with God by reading the Bible and actually thinking about what it says, praying without having to hurry to your next meeting, sitting quietly and considering what God might be teaching you, and examining your life to see if there was a particular sin that God was bringing to your attention.

In some sense your relationship with God is like your other relationships in that no relationship can thrive in the midst of continual busyness. Relationships require time which is exactly what busyness consumes.

Think about the biblical language for how we interact with God. We are called to “meditate” and “wait on the Lord” and even “Be still and know that I am God.” Mary is commended because she sat at Jesus’ feet as opposed to Martha who was too busy doing good things to have time for that.

Back in Jamaica, the Director of the ministry that we were working with said, “If the Devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” Now I’m not sure exactly what the first part of that saying means and yet I think that we all get the point. One of Satan’s strategies for attacking our relationship with God is to make us so busy that that relationship gets neglected.

And the scary thing is that it doesn’t even mean that you have to be busy doing bad things. You could be like Martha who was so busy serving in the kingdom that she was too busy to spend time with the King!

If you want to deepen your relationship with God (and I think that all Christians desire this), then you are going to have to make time for that to happen. That’s just common sense, right? If you wanted to get to know your neighbor better, you’d invite him/her over to your house to hang out. Your relationship with God isn’t any different.

Now for the hard part. When will that happen? What time will you devote to being with God? For most of us that will mean cutting something out of our schedule. It might be television or reading magazines or surfing the web or it might require choices that are more difficult.

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