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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 17, 2006

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.

Your outer life is your reputation with people, but your inner life is your reputation with God.

It can be easy to compromise one's inner life in hopes of maintaining a good outer life. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a good outer life, we can't allow our reputation with others to become more important than our reputation with God -- He desires to be the most important thing in every person's life.

King David knew the importance of putting God first in order to maintain a good inner life. In Psalm 27:4, he wrote, 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. David made God -- and spending time in God's presence -- the one thing he wanted. For David, his inner life was more important than his outer life.

1 Peter 3:4 says that your beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

While it is by no means wrong to have a good outer life and to look good outwardly, God values inner beauty much more. That's because your outer life is your reputation with people, but your inner life is your reputation with God.