Sacrifices I’ve Made to Spend Daily Time with Jesus
There’s a song that instantly comes to mind when I think of my daily need for time with Jesus, and the necessary sacrifices to achieve that sacred time. The lyrics are a simple, desperate heart cry to which I can deeply relate.
“Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me.
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour, I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You.”
(Matt Maher, “Lord I Need You”)
Creating a daily quiet time with Jesus has meant a lot of dying to self for me. My sinful nature is very selfish and pleasure-seeking. I want what I want when I want it. And, well, that is the opposite of God’s Kingdom. In order for me to have a consistent daily quiet time, I have had to regularly deny and discipline myself to pursue what I need, rather than what I sometimes want.
Please don’t get me wrong, I desire Jesus. I desire to be in His presence, know His voice, have intimate communion with Him, and please Him. However, my sinfulness is an ugly thing that often fights for the driver’s seat.
Wishful thinking and good intention will never achieve the disciplined consistency of daily time with Jesus. It takes sacrifice. I have found the more I deny my fleshy desires and sacrifice my selfishness, the more easily I enter into a beautiful, constant relationship with Him.
The Sacrifice of Time.
There is nothing that draws out my flesh quite like the use of my time. I don’t know what it is, but I have always struggled with selfishness in how I spend my time. When we allow our flesh to dictate how we spend our time, we not only begin to live in a way that displeases the Lord, but we also place a barrier between us and our relationship with Jesus. I have spent years misusing and wasting time due to my selfish desires when I could have had so much more time with Jesus. It’s something of which I regularly repent.
Psalm 90:12 teaches us to ask the Lord to help us with our time. “So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Take it from someone who has had to learn this the hard way, just deciding to manage time better rarely happens the way we want. Proper, godly discipline of time comes when we ask the Lord how HE desires for us to spend our time.
The Sacrifice of Pleasures and Comforts.
When I think through what distractions and circumstances keep me from spending daily time with Jesus, pleasures and comforts are at the top of the list. I want to sleep in instead of wake up to meet with the Lord. I want to watch Netflix or Hallmark instead of separating myself away to meet with Him. I want what I want when I want it. At the core of my sin, I want what is easy, pleasurable, and self-serving, rather than what is eternally life-giving.
“But she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.”
1 Timothy 5:6 ESV
When we focus our attention on our own self-indulgences, the Word tells us we are already spiritually dead. However, the fruitfulness of godly living is to be alive in Christ! It’s worth denying ourselves now, to gain an eternal reward!
The Sacrifice of Ministry/Good Deeds.
Sometimes even our good works can take a wrong priority in our lives. When we are involved in ministry activities or any other good yet demanding role, it becomes incredibly easy to justify the lack of daily time with Jesus. I have certainly been guilty of this many times in my life. I have served in some type of staff ministry position for almost ten years. My daily time with the Lord can so quickly take a back seat to all of my “good” activities.
When we are desiring to develop consistency in our daily time with the Lord, this is an area we must not overlook. If all of our “good deeds” are filling our time to the extent that we cannot fit in time with God, something has to go! As one of my favorite teachers often says, “at our very best we are not helpful to others, and at our worst, we are damaging.” Without the constant communion with Jesus, we aren’t truly ministering to anyone.
We all make sacrifices in life. They are not fun or enjoyable, but they are necessary. Setting aside daily time with Jesus isn’t always rainbow and pop tarts, as my pastor always says! It takes commitment, discipline, and sacrifice. However, I can tell you that all of these things are worth it. We must come to the realization that our need for Jesus is constant and worth any sacrifice. We truly need Him every hour.Practical Suggestions
1) Take time to make an honest assessment of any areas in your life that may need to be sacrificed in order to develop a more disciplined daily quiet time with Jesus.
2) Listen to the song Lord I Need You by Matt Maher in reflection of our desperate need for constant connection with Jesus.
3) Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to help and guide you as you begin to make the necessary sacrifices for committed time with the Lord.
Lives in Alabama with her husband, Lex. She works at a local Credit Union and volunteers at her church, where she serves as a worship leader.