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Even Pastors Too Busy For God

from the August 07, 2007 eNews issue
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Has the busy-ness of life kept you from spending enough time with God? You're not alone. Sixty percent of Christians worldwide say that they don't give enough time to their relationship with God. Included in these statistics are pastors. Two out of three pastors say that their time with God is less than it should be because of their hectic schedules.

Michael Zigarelli, a professor at Charleston Southern University School of Business, recently published the results of a study in which he polled 20,009 Christians from 139 countries. In North America, Europe and Africa, more than 60 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that "the busyness of my life gets in the way of developing my relationship with God." In Asia and South America, more than 60 percent of males agreed with the statement, but women worldwide are only a little less busy. In North America, women struggle even more than men to make the time to develop their relationships with God. While Christian lawyers topped the list of those whose busyness came between them and God, pastors were also high on the list.

It is easy to relate. Between work, food, laundry, dishes, homework, running kids around and dropping into bed exhausted, it is easy to let our unseen, non-squeaky-wheel Heavenly Father sit at the bottom of the to-do list.

Yet, the time we spend with God is very well the most important, most productive, most necessary time we use all day long.

Consider Daniel

Daniel had a fairly important job; he was made ruler over the entire province of Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar at the height of the Babylonian Empire. He also served as the chief governor over the wise men of Babylon (Dan. 2:48).

It was a dangerous spiritual position for Daniel to be in. He had everything he needed materially. He was an important man and people certainly deferred to him. He had a lot on his mind, a lot of concerns to deal with. A simple temptation for Daniel, especially in a Satanic stronghold like Babylon, would have been great to puff up in self importance and leave God waiting in the prayer closet, behind discarded sandals and old robes.

Yet, we know from Daniel 6:10 that this extremely busy, important man kneeled three times daily to pray and give thanks to God. We do not know how long he prayed; an hour? ten minutes? However long his prayers were in duration, we know he offered them faithfully.

It is therefore interesting to note that Daniel is one of the few major characters about whom the Bible has nothing negative to say.

He is called, "greatly beloved" (Dan. 9:23, 10:11) and, unlike David (whose name means "beloved"), Daniel never fell into any large sin. He remained faithful to God and highly skilled at his job throughout his long life.

That faithfulness was certainly behind his prayer life, but was also likely a result of his prayer. The Spirit of God was with him, so strongly that even the pagan royalty of Babylon recognized it (Dan. 4:8; 5:12; 6:3). In a land teeming with the occult and spiritual warfare (Dan. 10:13), Daniel managed to keep himself clean and unspotted. He has been used mightily by God to minister to God's people, even thousands of years later.

While our busy lives seem to tyrannize us, we often (we know it, too) have our priorities out of kilter. The battles we fight are first and foremost spiritual battles (Eph. 6:12). Our armor is spiritual armor, and prayer is our heavy artillery. If we put our relationship with God first in our lives, our lives may not get easier. However, we will not just be running around doing "busy work." If we put God before us in everything we do, the work we do will produce the results we really want; fruit that lasts.

Prayerfully consider various ways to make your you-and-God time more consistent and real.

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Related Links:

  •   Distracted from God - Charleston Southern University
  •   New Study Finds even Pastors are 'Too Busy for God' - Crosswalk
  •   Christians Encouraged to Discover Gods Purpose in their Work - Christian Today
  •   Daniel - MP3 Download - Koinonia House
  •   Daniel - DVD - Koinonia House