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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of November 29, 2004

Are you so busy working for God that you never spend any time with God?

It is easy to justify doing good works for God as a substitute for spending real, intimate, quality, personal time with God. For example, a youth pastor may spend many hours planning events for kids—preparing the music, setting up the games, arranging the transportation, and even preparing a brief message. However, none of that is a substitute for spending personal time with God—reading the Bible, praying, seeking God's guidance, worshiping, and just sitting in His presence.

Unfortunately, many people are often so caught up in other activities that we use them as an excuse for not spending time with God. Instead, they need to make a firm decision to put God first in our lives. For example, King David, who certainly had many opportunities to fill his time with other activities, knew that spending time with God is an absolute necessity—a vital need. In Psalm 27:4, he said that God was the most important thing in his life: One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

Indeed, Jesus declared that if we seek God, he will take care of the rest of the things in our lives: "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33). In your life, put God first, and he will take care of "all these things." Follow David's example: make God the "one thing" you need. That way, you won't be so busy working for God that you never spend any time with God.

Stability is the mark of a mature Christian.

God has given us peace so that we can be stable even in the midst of hard times. In John 14:27, Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives."

In this verse, Jesus tells us that He has left us his peace. Jesus' peace, however, isn't like the world's peace, which depends on your circumstances; rather, God's peace is internal. God's peace allows believers to be stable even in the midst of hard circumstances, difficult trials, and uncertain times.

It's no wonder Paul said that he could be content, i.e. stable, in all circumstances: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Philippians 4:11-12). What was Paul's "secret"? "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

The key to contentment and stability is living in, through, and with God in everything. Like Paul, a mature Christian is able to remain content and stable in all circumstances.