Galatians 5:16-17

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:16-17

Friday, January 28, 2011

Amidst my dad going to the hospital twice for a stomach infection (he’s okay), getting a new job, and a weeklong experience of the day-to-day tasks of ministry....I don’t think I have ever thought about God so consistently and predominantly than I have this week. 
It’s Friday afternoon, and I feel like i should be drained beyond belief - but I’m not. I want to include a 'thanks to coffee joke' but really, I have been praying for strength, endurance, and rest, and I believe the Lord is showing me that He really does that. 

I’ve felt a prompting lately to withdrawal from situations that i would classify as “my friends and I having nothing to do, so were gonna get together and fill it.” 
I guess you could, but it would be a stretch to call it beneficial fellowship. Not that it’s a bad way to spend our time, but considering eternity, I would call it wasteful. So i’ve been saying no to lunches, movie nights, and other things to spend more time worshipping, reading, and spending intentional time with people that I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards. Oh my goodness has God blessed it! 
Like I said, I have been feeling this prompting for quite sometime and questioning how lazily we spend our time, and it has taken me a season of recurring “Billy, you’re so stupid, you just wasted 4 hours watching sportscenter reruns.” to finally start trying it. 
Another strength that has pushed me over the hump to actually start living these desires was something my pastor said on Sunday. “You better be prepared to let people down over letting God down.” And strangely, just seeing it from that different angle made it so easy to tell my friends “no thanks man, I’m trying to spend more time with God this week.”

All to say, the Lord has began teaching me such an important truth about how seriously I need to value and almost in a sense, ‘be selfish’ about my time with Him. At base, spending time with God is the most basic pillar of spiritual growth, but it’s so shocking at how we unconsciously place so many things above valuing our time with Him. 

Matthew 6:33 owned me this week. 

FIRST FIRST FIRST! Nothing should compromise our primary devotion to our time with God. Not work, not school, not relationships, not anything. 
and ALL ALL ALL - literally EVERYTHING appropriately flows when we’re seeking Him first. 


  1. Loved your post. I especially liked your expression of being 'selfish' about spending time with God. It's just a great way of describing how we should take ownership of our faith and relationship with God.

    And you're so right about how we unconsciously place so many things above valuing our time with him..I have forgotten how much i enjoyed spending early Sunday mornings before church, just alone with God and in his word. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Ahh, bring on the refining sense of God-fearing, Christ-loving conviction. Geez, it's so right on. I love that God can use each others' situations to speak to others as well.
    Thanks for sharing in honesty, and for intentionally laying down your agenda to literally spend more time with the Father. I'm going to read your post a few more times and really meditate on how much this concept is needed in my life. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That's why I called my blog First Comes First!

  4. Love this! I think about this God my first and best...but rarely do I put it faithfully into action. Inspiring! There was a time in my life when I had a big decision to make, and I spent an entire month just making God a priority, making prayer a priority, spending time with the Word, and just listening. It was awesome. I wonder why I don't do that all the time?! This is a great reminder. Oh, and thanks for the link to the Michelle Rhee article...loved it...and we'll have to discuss some urban ed policy one of these days! :)

  5. I agree with Blair...I think about this often as well...but the discipline of putting it into action often slips through the cracks. I was very encouraged by this!!

  6. So true and wonderful !! Nothing is more important than our relationship with the Lord. Nothing.

  7. I really enjoyed this post, Billy. I thought it was rad what your pastor had to say and that you were not merely listening to the advice given but actually implementing it into your life. Radical. Makes me think of James 1:22 "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

  8. I constantly look to fill my time with ANYTHING. Thank you so much for reminding me that my time is valuable; I should be seeking God and praising Him with all of it and not filling it with something to prevent "boredom," which translates into wasted time. So easy for me to forget about valuing the time that God has given me. Thank you for reminding me :) Praying for more good you & God time!!!

  9. Love your intentionality and how God is meeting you and exceeding your expectations.

  10. Billy, this was absolutely inspiring for me! I can completely relate, I waste hours and hours of my time (not watching sports though...) on trivial entertainment. Thank you for sharing about how you gained the motivation to give your time to God rather than yourself or anyone else.