Take a second to consider how much time you spend doing the following activities.
- Working at a job
- Home projects
- Family time
- Watching TV shows (Netflix, Cable, Disney)
- Watching/Reading News
- Video games and phone games
- Board games, card games, misc other games
- Listening to secular music
- Listening to secular Podcasts/audiobooks
- Reading books (non-Bible, and non-Bible-based)
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Reddit)
- Online video (YouTube, TikTok)
- Praying & worshipping
- Reading God’s Word & worshipping
- Studying God’s Word
- Applying God’s Word to your life
- Talking with others about God’s Word and encouraging them from God’s Word
- Learning catechisms
- Singing praise to God & worshipping
- Reading other books that help you understand scripture and learn truth
- Listening to sermons/teaching
- Listening to Christian podcasts/audiobooks
- Listening to sacred music
If activities in Section 2 are regularly keeping you from Section 3 activities, do not be surprised that you
- feel coldness toward the things of God
- feel distant from Christ, and find no personal relationship, or enjoyment in prayer
- fall into sin and make excuses
- lack assurance of salvation
- are confused about what it means to walk in the Spirit and be filled with Him
- are bored in gathered worship
- find the ministry of the Word from the podium unaffecting and inapplicable
Simply attempting to do less of Section 2 and more of Section 3 will result in one of two things: self-righteousness, or burnout. You must not do this on your own. You have to have God with you in this, or your efforts are worse than useless.
If you find yourself as described above, and don’t know what to do to change, fall down on your face before God and earnestly plead with Him to redeem your soul from the fires of Hell that you are falling toward. It’s not a pretty picture, but you need a violent wake up call or you will be forever lost in torment and agony for eternity, with no recourse. Having chosen the things of this world rather than the things of God, you should not be surprised with where you end up.
At the same time, do not think that just because you are scared of Hell, that you will be rescued from it. You must flee into the arms of the Savior, find rest in Him, find joy in His countenance, marvel in His love to you, and submit your entire self, entertainment, down time, work time, drive time, indeed - every last moment to Him. Every thought and desire taken captive to Him. He calls the shots, not you.
Ask that God would give you a heart of repentance, faith, trust, submission, and obedience. You cannot truly conjure these in yourself. They must come from God, or else you are deceived.
Pray all the more earnestly that He would manifest in you all the fruit of the Spirit. Again, you cannot by sheer force of fleshly will produce this fruit. You may be able to produce a lackluster imitation, but never the full fruit. It must be worked into you so you can work it out.
“Try harder”, and “do better” are not the answer. Christ is the answer. You must lose yourself in Him. That means you don’t make much of yourself. You must decrease, and He must increase. Humility should be the hallmark of your life and character.