Learn to Linger
"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone." Matthew 14:23 NIV
Thoughts for Today
When we get so busy that we are neglecting our time of lingering with God, we are too busy. When our responsibilities are the heaviest is when we need that time with Him the most.
We can learn from Jesus. During the time He walked on earth, He had greater responsibility than any of us will ever even think about having, and He knew His time was limited. But He never let the "doing" interfere with His time with the Father. As we can see in today's scripture, He left the crowds … and even the disciples … to spend time alone with the Father. He lingered in prayer.
When we think we are too busy to spend quality time with God—praying and meditating on His Word—we are fooling ourselves. It is only when we linger with the Father that everything else in our life can fall into place. It is only when we spend time with Him that we can overcome hurry sickness.
How busy are you? Do you have days when you feel you can barely "keep your head above water"? How has the busyness affected your personal relationship with God? Have you put your time with Him on the back burner—something to take care of when you get a chance? Or are you neglecting that quiet time altogether?
During one of Jesus' visits to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Mary lingered at the feet of Jesus while Martha worked frantically in the kitchen, trying to prepare a meal that was just right. She complained to Jesus that Mary wasn't helping her and urged Him to send Mary into the kitchen to help. Here is how Jesus responded:
But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42 NLT
Martha was letting the details of doing everything just right control her. Mary had learned to linger at the feet of Jesus.
Learn to linger!
Father, I know I've been neglecting my quiet time with you. I realize now that the more I have neglected You, the more I've let the busy details of everyday living control me. My priorities have been out of order, and I have become more and more frustrated. Please forgive me and help me learn to linger before You. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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