Putting God First this Fall

Putting God First this Fall

By Matt Vorhees

The summer moments are dwindling fast. Vacation Bible School and our church camps are in the rear-view mirror. Many of our vacations are already done and documented on social media. The days are starting to get shorter and we’re already in the last week of July. Next week is August and the new school year is right around the corner. 

And if you’re like me, it’s been a full and somewhat exhausting summer. Kids’ bedtimes have gotten a little out of hand, some of your personal and family rhythms have taken a hit, and you’re actually looking forward to a more predictable schedule with the return of school.

And while you’re looking to establish a new schedule this Fall; may I invite you to make sure that an essential practice of Jesus makes it onto your calendar?

“But [Jesus] would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” - Luke 5:16

Now, don’t mistake Jesus for someone who doesn’t understand your busy schedule. The previous verse tells us that He was in high demand. Jesus was the equivalent of our modern-day celebrity, who couldn’t go anywhere without drawing massive crowds and attention.

And yet, it was His practice to get away from it all and spend time with His Father. Did He have to sacrifice other things to get that time? Absolutely! It was usually before anyone was awake (Mark 1:35), and it took an effort to get far enough away from everyone else to truly be alone.

Why did He do this repeatedly? Because time with the Father was that important! When Martha complains that her sister Mary isn’t helping with dinner, Jesus gently rebukes her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42).

One thing is necessary. Drawing near to God daily is priority number one. Everything else is subsumed underneath it. How can getting alone with God, His Word, and prayer become a bedrock practice of your schedule in the Fall? It must become essential, which might mean other things must go. It might mean finding someone who will help hold you accountable. But what you mustn’t do is neglect the one necessary thing—that Jesus Himself practiced—and let it get crowded out by everything else.
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