“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place; and there He was praying.” — Mark 1:35
In a Business Week poll, employees were asked, “Are you one of the top 10 percent of performers in your company?” A whopping 90 percent of all employees said yes, including 97 percent of the executives. But the math does not add up. Ninety percent of us can’t be in the top 10 percent. So, what is going on?
We all have times when we think we are the hardest workers and others are the slackers. This is partly because we judge ourselves based on our intentions, and we judge others based on their actions. We believe other people aren’t as committed as we are; they avoid their responsibilities and take shortcuts. But that’s not us, we think. They make excuses, but we have justified reasons.
Slackers can be our friends, family members, teammates, co-workers and maybe even our bosses. But one thing is for sure: We never see a slacker in the mirror. Slackers are always on the other side of the table.
The truth is we all suffer from this slacker disease.
Discipline is simply doing the right thing at the right time. Slackers struggle with discipline, and they don’t often do the right thing at the right time. Biblical discipline is not about perfection or the destination and prize, but it’s about consistency. It’s about the pursuit and resolve, the process and journey.
Avoiding our spiritual responsibility to engage daily is deadly.
We meet so many people who say they love God, but rarely show it. But if someone says they love football, there is usually plenty of proof. They are consumed with football. They love throwing the ball. Their weekends revolve around games on TV. They’re in multiple fantasy football leagues, they know all the stats, and they even own jerseys. Talking about football just flows from their lips.
We say we love God, but is there any evidence? Are we consumed with Jesus? Does our schedule reflect it? Our priorities? Are we pursuing God-opportunities?
“Our laziness after God is our crying sin."
— E.M. Bounds
We have good intentions. But good intentions without consistent actions are worthless. Instead of good intentions, we should have God-intentions. God-intentions stick! Good intentions are centered on our plans. God-intentions are based on what God wants to do in and through us.
How valuable is your time with God? Is it for you, or is it for God? If it’s for you, then you won’t always do what He asks of you. But if it’s for God, then following Him becomes a non-negotiable. Would you miss a meeting with the most powerful and influential person in the world? Probably not. God longs for us to engage Him daily. Think about this: He longs to be with us more than we long to be with Him. He can’t wait to spend time with us every day. That simple thought has changed my devotions. The God of the universe is fired up when I meet Him each morning.
So why do we often skip a daily encounter with God?
Many years ago, I decided that if I could do one thing really well, I would engage Jesus daily, no matter what. I realized that this single decision could impact every area of my life. If this one thing could have such a catalytic impact, I knew worshipping daily had to become a God-intention, not a good intention.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying.” — Mark 1:35
If Jesus knew the most important thing He could do every morning was to connect with the Father, then He gave us a clear game plan in Mark 1:35. This verse drips with intentionality. Jesus did whatever it took to be with the Father.
It was early!
It was dark!
It was inconvenient!
It took effort!
For me, worshipping God has gone from being a RUT to a ROUTINE to a RHYTHM. Our daily rhythm should be to engage God before we encounter people. Meeting with Him needs to be our top priority. It needs to be the way we do life. Let’s eliminate others asking us, “Did you have your time with Jesus today?” Instead, let’s have them ask, “How was your time with Jesus?”
Throughout my 30 years with FCA, I have learned that this daily pursuit of Jesus is woven into FCA’s culture. I have met thousands of staff, coaches, athletes, board members, volunteers and donors around the world who are pursuing God daily, no matter the cost. They have a dependence on and confidence in God. In the most closed and toughest countries, we have leaders who are seeking God daily. Their example motivates and inspires me to do the same.
Let’s become a generation that seeks God first with all our hearts, giving our passions and desires to Him. Let’s not be slackers, but disciplined. If we pursue Him daily, the anointing and power of God will consume and transform us. Our hunger after God will define us. If we do this, we won’t have to worry if we are in the top 10 percent. When we seek His presence daily, nothing else matters.
Lord, I long to be in Your presence. May this year be a breakthrough year as I pursue You. I desire to engage You daily—no matter what. No ruts. Not even routines. May I delight in You and experience a new rhythm. This is the year to feel Your presence daily! Count me in as part of the “Fellowship of Engaging You Daily No Matter What!” Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.