But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matthew 6:33

Many of you know that my job has me traveling out of town each week; yet, my wife must stay home. I have a set schedule with her: on the day I leave, I have lunch with her at around 9:45 AM, then talk with her a couple times on the phone. Each day after, I talk to her at around 9:45 AM, just after 2:00 PM, and at least once more before she goes to bed at around 8:30 PM. If we did not have this open line of communication, our relationship would start to fall apart.

In Scripture, we are told that God want’s a relationship with us: He wants to be our Father. Christ said we must be willing to forsake all things of this world for a relationship with Him. He said to seek the Kingdom of God first. John says that if we love the things in this world, the love of the Father is not in us. Paul warned Timothy that the people in the church will end up loving the things of this world more than they love God. Do we love the things of this world more than God? Most would say “no”, but I have a simple little test that will not only prove what you love more, but if you allow it, will improve your relationship with the Father.

Like my schedule with my wife, many of us have set schedules for all kinds of things in this world. Work is an obvious set schedule, but some have specific times they like to eat, TV shows to watch, computer activities, women’s or mens meeting, dinner with a friend, etc. Do you have a scheduled time to speak with God?

In Scripture, we read that those who followed God, and had a great relationship with Him, made sure to take a specific time each day for personal communication with Him. These specific times were at sun rise, just after noon, and at nightfall. Like with the relationship with my wife, both God and the people of God knew that regular communication was a must for a relationship to not only be stable, but grow.

Here’s the challenge to see if you have allowed the cares of this world to choke out the things with God. Take a moment to set aside and dedicate three times of prayer with God. Set these times to be the same scheduled time for each day of the week. In other words, if you wake up at 6AM, give Him the first fruits of your day and wake up 15 minutes early for prayer. Then, set aside a noon, or early afternoon prayer time, and a before bed prayer time. Don’t count the prayers for meals and don’t wait until your laying down in bed where you pray yourself to sleep - give Him your best. Keep these same times of prayer for each of the seven days of the week.

Now that you have three times scheduled, see how long you can last until you allow something of this world to dictate whether or not you pray. Even if you pray while doing something, this is the world dictating. Even in this world, it’s rude to have a meeting yet pay less attention to the person your talking with than activities your doing - give God the respect He deserves.

I’ll be honest, I failed this test; and now I know I need to work on Giving God the first of all my time.
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