This morning I was re-reading Chapter 17 of The Story: The Kingdom’s Fall in preparation for our Bible study tonight. Time after time the Lord sent messages to the Israelites to turn from worshiping idols instead of Him. Time after time kings and the people did evil in the Lord’s eyes, worshiping and sacrificing to idols. In her book, Finding Truth, Nancy Pearcey says, “An idol is anything we want more than God, anything we rely on more that God, anything we look to for greater fulfillment than God. Idolatry is thus the hidden sin driving all other sins.” Our idols today can rear their heads in various forms. While we generally see them as disgraceful, evil passions, it is important to recognize that idols can also be “good” things that we’ve made “ultimate” things. A few examples which we often put our value and confidence in may include our children, spouse, physical attractiveness, money, job, or even our friendships. We may look to money or comforts to fill a space which they cannot fill. All of these things are not inherently evil, but they become a problem when we begin to believe that they satisfy us more than God. The following devotional I read this morning shows how the busyness of our lives — the priorities where we choose to focus our attention — are modern-day idol worship.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Just a few weeks before Christmas, maybe life seems kind of full and busy. Maybe you haven’t finished Christmas shopping yet. Or that special gift you’ve been looking for is officially out of stock, or costs too much money. Maybe the decorations never got fully done, or the lights are already burning out. Maybe the Christmas cards are still waiting to be mailed. And the to-do list is steadily growing day by day. Maybe life is feeling frazzled and time always seems too short…to finish it all.

But truth says, maybe what we spend so much time focusing on, really isn’t the most important. Here’s what is:

Spending time first with the God who made you, who loves you, and sent His Only Son Jesus to be the Savior of the world.

In the story of Mary and Martha, Luke 10:38-42, times were busy. There was much to be done, and Martha was “distracted by it all.” Maybe, like me, you can relate. Yet in the midst of all the “busy,” Mary set herself right down at Jesus’ feet. She seemed unaffected by all the pressing needs around her, she just longed to spend time with Him. So Martha did what many of us may have done, she complained. Yet Jesus reminded her that in all the hustle and bustle, stress, and preoccupation with other things, Mary had “chosen what is better, and it would not be taken away from her.”

So often in this time of year, the most important gets crowded out because of the urgent. It’s a battle not to dwell there.

Other voices will say, “You don’t have time to pray. There’s not enough minutes in the day to spend time with God and still get everything done. You’re way too busy.” And sometimes we swallow that lie, and the next thing we know, we find ourselves weary and worn from spinning our wheels. Strength drained, impatient, stressed, pressed, out of control, and nothing much going our way.

Yet if we recognize our need for God, spend time with Him, relying on His strength, He is faithful. He’s got our back. He knows our way. We can walk with His blessing and favor, we can live in His peace, and be filled with His joy which is our strength.

We may find that when we end up of “doing less,” God is then able to “do more,” much more, with our time and energy than we ever could. For He’s never limited by the restrictions we face every day. He is powerful and able, to work on our behalf, even behind the scenes where we can’t see. He can line out our path, ordain our steps, protect us from what we can’t see up ahead, and bring blessing and help where we might otherwise face defeat.

That’s where real peace is found, and strength for the days ahead. Not in getting it all done. But simply “choosing what it better.”

  • Seeking Him first.
  • Sitting at His feet, time in His Presence, soaking in His words…

I’m choosing to live there today. Hope you are too.

Intersecting Faith & Life:  What can you let go of today so that you can “choose what is better” and spend time with God? Ask Him for His help and strength. Be reminded that He’s with you, and loves you more than you could ever imagine.