“I’m just too busy!” :: That’s the No. 1 reason believers give for failing to spend time in the Word of God. Homemakers run from one chore to the next, taking care of their families’ pressing needs. Businesspeople rush out the door early every morning and fall into bed exhausted at night. :: Our schedules are so packed, the demands on our lives are so heavy, that it just doesn’t seem we have time to give much attention to the Word.
But the truth is, we don’t have time not to!
I can tell you, both from the Word of God and from personal experience, that the more hectic your life becomes, the more desperately you need to make the Word the No. 1 priority in your life. When you get truly busy, you don’t have time to fail. You need to just move quickly from one success to the next.
“But Gloria, is that possible?”
Certainly, and you’ll find the key to it in Joshua 1:8. It says: “This book of the law [the Word of God] shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
God promises that if you’ll keep His Word in front of you, if you’ll put it first place in your life, you’ll know how to prosper and succeed in all you do. Do you realize what a timesaver that would be?
Just think about how much time it takes to correct a mistake. Think how much time you might spend in a lawyer’s office trying to straighten out a legal problem. Or how much time you might spend sitting in the doctor’s office because you’re sick—not to mention the hospital.
If you’ll put the Word first, you can save yourself all that wasted time. Instead of having to redo things, the wisdom of the Word can enable you to do them right the first time. It can keep you out of the lawyer’s office by guiding you around those legal problems. It can keep you out of the doctor’s office by providing you with divine health.
Proverbs 4:7-8 says it this way: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.”
30 Remarkable Days
I saw that scripture proven out in my own life many years ago. It was back in 1967 when Ken was a student at Oral Roberts University. We had just moved to Tulsa. Nearly everything we had was still in boxes. Our children were small so they required almost constant attention.
It was a tremendously busy time for me. Yet, in the midst of it all, I heard Oral Roberts tell how the Lord instructed him during the early days of his ministry to read the Gospels and the book of Acts four times in 30 days. And I felt impressed of the Lord to do the same thing.
Naturally speaking, it didn’t look like a good time for me to commit to spending so many hours in the Word, but I knew God had instructed me to do it. I warned Ken, “Now if I take on this commitment, I may not be able to cook. I may not be able to do the ironing or unpack all these boxes. I’ll just have to put the Word of God first and let the other things wait.”
Ken said that was fine with him. So in spite of the fact that I generally like to get things done quickly, I reconciled myself to putting my other work off for 30 days.
After figuring out how many pages I had to read to accomplish my goal, I set aside three specific times during the day to read. I got up at 5:30 in the morning and read until everyone else woke up. Then, at noon when I put the children to sleep I read again as long as I could. And at night, after the dishes were done and the kids were in bed, I finished my daily quota.
The very first day, something miraculous happened. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, even though I had already spent hours in the Word, I had finished all my work for that day. The second day went equally as well. By the end of the first week, I had done everything I needed to do. I even got caught up on my ironing and antiqued four pieces of furniture from start to finish—all in one week! And I did it all while spending almost four to five hours a day in the Word!
How did that happen? I did what Proverbs 4:8 said to do. I exalted wisdom (God’s Word) and it exalted me.
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. It still holds true in my life today. When I find myself getting bogged down in the affairs of life and running out of time to get things done, I say to myself, “Gloria, you haven’t been spending time in the Word like you should or you wouldn’t be in this situation.” Then I resolve right then to make a change—to set aside less important things and put the Word first once again in my day.
You see, deciding to put the Word first isn’t something you do just one time. It’s a decision you have to make every day.
If you’re like most people I know, you’re shaking your head right now, wondering how on earth you can squeeze more time for the Word into your already jampacked schedule. You probably can’t.
So don’t wait until you can fit the Word into your schedule. Start building your schedule around the Word. Take authority over your time. Make a commitment to God and say, “I’m going to put Your Word first place in my life. I know if I do that by faith, everything else will fall in line.”
If you think that sounds hard, you’re right. At times, it will be. Satan will do his best to stop you from keeping that commitment. He’ll do anything he can to interfere with your time in the Word.
That’s no surprise, really. After all, he knows it’s the Word that will make you free from him. He’ll lose his dominion over you if you put it first place in your life. So he’d rather have you do anything other than that!
It’s true. He’d rather have you take potato salad to a bereaved widow or work at the church bazaar. He’d rather you book your calendar solid with “good works” than have you open your Bible.
How Much Is Enough?
“OK,” you say. “I’m determined to spend time in the Word of God every day. But how much time is enough?”
Spend as much time as it takes to get the Word inside you in abundance. I can tell you right now, that doesn’t mean just pulling a scripture out of the “Promise Box” once a day. To have abundance means to have more of something than you can see any way to use.
When you have the Word of God in abundance, you have more of it inside you than anything else! You’re so full of the Word that when trouble comes the Word is the first thing out of your mouth.
To lay hold of that kind of abundance, you need to do what Joshua 1:8 said. You need to “meditate the Word.” To meditate means to fix your mind. So fix your mind on the Word of God every day. Apply it to yourself, personally. Allow the Holy Spirit to make it a reality in your heart.
Carefully ponder how the Word you’ve read applies to your life. Ask yourself, “What does this Word from God say to me? What does it mean in my life? How can it change my situation?” Then place yourself in agreement with what God says about you in that Word. Make up your mind that you are who God says you are. You can do what God says you can do. And you can have what He says you can have. Put yourself in agreement with Him, then receive it.
A Word to the Wise
I’ve been telling people to spend time in the Word for years now. Almost everywhere I preach, no matter what topic I’m talking about, it seems I always get back to the importance of putting the Word first place in your life. You may have heard me say it a hundred times. But you know, hearing it isn’t enough. It’s doing it that will put you over.
Jesus taught us that principle in Matthew 7. There He told about two men. Both of them had heard the Word, yet Jesus said one of the men was foolish and the other wise. What made the difference between the two? The wise man acted on what he heard and the foolish man didn’t.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it (verses 24-27).
You may know full well that you need to spend time in the Word. But unless you act on that knowledge, it won’t do you any good when the storms of life come.
So take action! Begin now to set aside time for the Word each day. Begin now making it the No. 1 priority on your schedule. Don’t wait until you’re faced with some terrible situation or some storm of life to do it.
Have you ever tried to build a house in a storm? Ken has been through several hurricanes and he has seen the wind blow so hard that coconuts shot through the air like cannonballs. Just think about some poor fellow out there trying to build his house with the wind blowing 120 mph!
Don’t do that. Don’t wait until you’re desperate to make time for the Word. Make the decision and start today.
Then when the storms of life come against your house, you’ll be sitting inside in front of the fireplace just rocking and praising God. You’ll be rejoicing that you didn’t let the devil talk you into being too busy for the Word.