It’s not lack of discipline. But lack of appetite. If we don’t have a hunger for God it is because our affections have been drawn away to other loves. To name a few:
- Rabid materialism — The rush and the seduction of acquiring and indulging. (1 Timothy 6:10)
- Sexual fantasies and indulgence. (Genesis 6:1, 2, 5, 6; 2 Samuel 11:1-4; Job 31:7, 9; 2 Peter 2:14)
- “Success” — That frenetic dash to achieve; “win”; make a name for oneself. (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11)
- Seeking the approval of others. (Matthew 22:16; Luke 16:15; Acts 5:29; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4)
Recently a young professional shared with me the dryness of his times alone with God. He said that the Scriptures seemed flat. Irrelevant. He then explained that in his job, he and a team of analysts routinely submit reports to their superiors that affect company policy. It is a common practice, he informed me, to shade the reports in a manner that will put the team members in a favorable light with their higher-ups. If he chooses not to go along, his career is put in jeopardy. So play along he does.
Is there any doubt as to why he has little appetite for the things of God?
Last night I dined with a businessman who, for the past 3 years I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to motivate to spend consistent time with God. We’ve had “quiet times” together, talked about priorities, personal discipline, how to meditate on the Word. You name it. All to no avail.
“John,” I asked, “how‘s your time with God?” Embarrassment, fumbling. Then, “Dwight, I won‘t lie to you. It‘s not very good.” Yet this man spends 10 hours a day in his career, and untold hours in church work. But he will not carve out personal time with God.
Let’s be honest. We find time to do what we really want! So the issue is not discipline, but appetite.
“If we cannot recognize the value of simply being alone with God, as the beloved, without doing anything, we gouge the heart out of Christianity.”
QUESTION: How would you evaluate your appetite for spending time with Christ? Are you eager? Or is it obligatory? If your times with God are the blahs, what do you think is the root cause?