Prioritizing Time with Jesus
By: Tiffany Layton
For the past month my schedule has been busier than normal. I’ve had a lot of very good, exciting, but nonetheless stressful, things happening in my life. It is in these moments that I am painfully reminded that ‘good’ doesn’t equal life-giving. Even for someone more seasoned in their quiet time, good activities can often replace the more necessary, replenishing time spent with God. I have been guilty of this many times throughout my Christian walk.
I was praying recently about this sense of being depleted and overwhelmed with all of my ‘good’ responsibilities. It seemed as if the Lord laid on my heart the phrase, “be well-watered”. When a plant is well-watered, it grows and produces life. In the same way as we walk with Jesus through the years we become well-watered and grow to produce fruit. When moments of tension, stress or trial come, how well we are ‘watered in the Word’ makes all the difference. Sadly, we often can push further away from discipling ourselves in the Word when the stresses of life come our way. We take on the mindset of ‘I have to just power through…’ But ultimately, our rest, strength and endurance comes from the Lord and Him alone.
So then, how can we respond rightly when faced with all of life’s temptations we have to overcome? How can we ensure that we are being “well-watered”?
Our Quiet Time should not take a back seat to all of our good deeds.
Everything instructed to us in Scripture came with a very specific purpose. Nothing was by accident or done flippantly. So when we find throughout the Word that we are to spend time with God (John 15:1-5), to let Him refill us until our cup runs over (Psalm 23), and to wait patiently for the Lord (Psalm 27:14), there is a divine purpose at work. No amount of good deeds will ever be able to phone in the benefit and reward of daily quiet time with God. It is in this place that He teaches, comforts, heals, and restores us with His Spirit through His Word. It will never accomplish its purpose when put to the side for other “good” things.
We should approach Quiet Time (Bible study and prayer) as food for our souls.
I am a coffee lover. I could quite literally drink it all day long and be as happy as I could be. However, that would not be good for me. Our bodies need water. If I only drank coffee and never had any water, I would not be taking care of my body well, and eventually it would begin to suffer. The same goes for our soul and spirit. We must be ‘well watered’. We cannot expect to go to church on Sunday’s or attend any of our other extra curricular activities and think that it takes the place of quiet time with God. Eventually our soul and spirit will begin to suffer. When we go to God in our quiet time, we should come as expectantly as we would coming to the dinner table of the family member who always cooks the best meals, knowing we will leave more than satisfied.
Stressful seasons should prompt us to spend more time with God, not less.
As I face the stressful weeks to come, I am reminded to run towards God in quiet time, not away from Him in business and chaos. If I don’t have the time to spend with God, I’m just too busy. In this crazy, busy world we live in, time with God is a place of peace and solace. It may feel impossible to fit it in at times, however, It is possible to walk through life’s stresses while being well watered in the Word of God through His Spirit.
I have been frequently reminded of a particular verse lately:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 9:4-6
Here’s a few practical steps to walk out as you seek to remain ‘well-watered’.
1. Prioritize daily time with God. This likely means setting a specific time and place that you meet with God.
2. Make arrangements to follow through. That may look like going to bed earlier, not procrastinating on other responsibilities, asking for accountability, or separating yourself from your phone or other distractions.
3. Allow the Word of God to truly feed your spirit. Dig into the Bible. Study it as if it’s words will keep you alive. Because they will!
The next time you feel overwhelmed with life, join me in running to the Lord first.
Tiffany was born and raised in central Alabama and earned a bachelor’s degree in Theology while residing in Mobile AL. She then moved back to her hometown and met her husband while working as a barista in a local coffee shop! Tiffany and her husband Lex have now been married for 6 years and have both service in several different church staff positions. She is a proud dog mom and loves coffee, songwriting, art, Japanese/Thai foods, sunsets, and spending the day at the lake/beach! Tiffany is passionate about helping women deepen their understanding of Scripture through Bible study and quiet time, and as a result, creating lasting discipleship!