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A question of priorities
- Jacob Ninan
We all have a tendency to take God for granted when things are going fine, and to seek God frantically when something goes beyond our control. The sad thing is that when we try to seek Him like that it is not easy to find Him because we have not become acquainted with Him enough to recognise His voice, His ways, His will and His presence. God is a spirit, and it takes time to get to know Him through the exercise of our spiritual senses (He.5:14). If we have not gone through this process of making our friendship with Him and getting to know Him, it will be difficult for us to recognise Him when we are being bombarded with voices from the world around us, the lusts of our flesh and the devil. God Himself says this to us (Pr.1:27-29).
On the other hand, how good it is to get to know Him closely and to experience His dealings with us daily, during the good times and the bad! He is the one who loves us more than everyone else, who has wisdom for all our situations, who knows even our future and can guide us to avoid wrong directions and to take the right ones, who watches over us and plans all things to work for our good, etc. The more we get to know Him, the more we want to know Him, because He is like no one else (Ps.16:11). How foolish it is for us to miss all this and get occupied with things that pass away (1Jn.2:17).
The world has enough mechanisms in place to try and keep us away from God. Our work is so demanding that it takes us a lot of time and effort just to keep going. Financial uncertainties and the cold blooded rat race push us to work harder and longer hours. Coming home brings us up against the demands from the family and the home. We may also have social and other commitments that demand our attention. Then we need time to relax. Our attempts at relaxation can keep us occupied and add their own demands on us till we finally manage to fall asleep exhausted. None of the things mentioned here may be sinful or ungodly, but the net result could be that we do not get any free time with God.
Some keep away from God out of a sense of guilt, thinking that they dare not face wrath or shame from God. They don't realise how deep and wide God's mercy is, and how much He longs to meet with us. Some others are afraid that God would ask them to give up some pleasures they enjoy. But God is not a spoilsport, and His desire is that we should have an abundant life here on earth and enjoy the things He has provided for us (Jn.10:10;1Ti.6:17). If He wants us to give up something it is only because it would be harmful for us. Some others are scared that God would ask them to make some sacrifices, send them off as missionaries to some dreadful places, get married to some ugly person, etc. These are lies of the devil because God plans only for our welfare and not for our calamity (Je.29:11).
Finding time to spend with God is a matter of priorities. When we begin to see how good He is, He will certainly become the top prority in our life.