Since creation and the beginning of mankind there have been 7 days in every week and 24 hours in each day. How many times have you heard someone say something to the effect of ‘it just seems like there aren’t enough hours in my day’ or ‘boy, time sure does seem to be flying by”? I believe that this (seeming) scarcity of time is because our schedules are under attack by the one whom God calls our Adversary (1 Peter 5:8).
I doubt this is a popular statement, but I firmly believe that the American culture of busy-ness is often a drug-like escape from the mortality of human flesh, the reality of sin and our responsibility to solely worship and serve The One True God.
As The Destroyer, Satan knows that our lifespan is limited, so he seeks to distract us and/or soak up our time with both legitimate and illegitimate activities and habits. His purpose is: 1. To keep us from focusing upon The Truth of God’s Word, which gives us life 2. To stop us from laboring for The Kingdom of God and 3. To distract us from cultivating lasting relationships that draw us closer to God and His will for our lives.
Let’s examine some ways The Adversary labors to busy and distract us:
- Tribulation and persecution (Matthew 13:20-21): When troubles and difficulties arrive, it is natural to focus upon the new pain instead of God’s Truth. In Job 1:6-2:13 The Adversary unsuccessfully attempted to use this tactic to distract Job from serving The Lord.
The Solution: James 1:2-4 calls us to ὑπομονή or “remain under” trials.
- The cares of the world (Matthew 13:22): Home maintenance, education, dentist appointments, car repairs and even family gatherings are par for the course for the typical American. These activities are not bad in and of themselves, but they are to not become cares that yield anxiety, worry and pressure.
The Solution: We are to cast our cares upon God for He cares for us! See 1 Peter 5:6-7.
- The deceitfulness of riches (Matthew 13:22): The subtle (and not so subtle) messages are everywhere — go to college, get a good (read “well paying”) job, work hard so you can be comfortable (read “live without needing faith”) and save for security (read a “fat IRA or retirement account”) in your golden years.
The Solution: We are to lay up treasures in heaven and believe that riches fly away. See Matthew 6:19-24 and Proverbs 23:4-5.
- Lust and the desire of pleasure (James 4:1-5): Closely related to seeking and stockpiling riches is a lust for illicit pleasures. When left to human nature a hobby, interest or activity quickly becomes a self-serving lust and potentially a huge time suck.
The Solution: Hear, believe and act upon the truth in Ephesians 2:10, that believers are specifically created “in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
We do have legitimate responsibilities. This world is under the curse, so weeds do need pulled, vehicles must be repaired to continue running and homes must be maintained. We do have to eat to live, so we must work (2 Thessalonians 3:12), and we should care for our physical body as it is made to be the temple of The Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), but let’s not forget that man does not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of The Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Our Adversary constantly cajoles “Keep moving, keep earning. Don’t stop. It’s not enough. More. MORE.” Instead, let us be still and know that only God is God. Let us immerse ourselves in God's Truth, meditate upon His Word and set our mind on things above, not the things of the earth.
There is a hymn in our hymnal entitled Take Time to be Holy. What worldly activities or habits will you eliminate today so that you’re less distracted and have more time to spend with your Heavenly Father? Let’s commit to live for Him and His will today! Remember Christ's Words, He says “Behold, I am coming quickly!"
Additional Verses: Exodus 6:6-9, Psalm 46:10, Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 14:15-33, Ephesians 5:11-16, Colossians 3:1-7, 1 John 2:15-19, Revelation 3:11 and Revelation 22:20.