Let’s use our imaginations for a few minutes.
First — imagine a young man as he joins the army of his country. He signs all the important papers. He is given his uniform. But then, as he turns to leave the room he says to his commanding officer, “I will only be available for a short time in the morning … and a short time in the evening … and maybe for a few minutes at some other time of the day.”
Can you imagine that happening?
What I can imagine is what would happen next if someone actually said something like that.
But, of course no one would ever say or do something like that, would they?
Let’s imagine some more.
A boy and girl are planning to get married. And then one day the girl discovers that the boy is only planning on being her husband for about one hour of each day. Or maybe the boy discovers that the girl is only planning on being a wife for a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evening. The rest of the time she didn’t want her husband interfering in her life. And each time, when they would see each other, they would just recite a few memorized words to each other … the same ones each time?
Can you imagine something like that happening in real life?
It would be a rather strange arrangement, wouldn’t it?
When a young couple gets married, they usually want to spend as much time together as they can.
It’s not very likely that a new young soldier would tell his commanding officer that he was only going to be a soldier for a few minutes out of each day.
It’s also not very likely that a young couple would only allow each other a few minutes out of the day to be together.
You would never do anything like that … would you?
Of course not.
But I wonder … is that the way you treat God?
Do you only give him a few minutes at certain special times of the day?
How much of your life does God have?
How much of your life do you allow God to be involved in?
Do you only have a part time relationship with God?
Do you talk to God only at certain special times of the day?
Do you think about God only at certain special times of the day?
Do you keep the rest of the day for yourself? Does the rest of the day belong to you … to do with as you please?
A lot of people think about God that way. Many people think that God is someone to talk to when they need something or they want something. Or they think God is someone to remember, and talk to and to talk about at a certain time of the day … maybe in a special place?
What about you?
When you talk to God or you talk about God, do you use the same memorized words every time? Is it something you do that makes you feel like you have done your religious duty for the moment?
Does it, somehow, make you feel better to keep God shut out of 99 percent of your life?
Do you feel like God is only in that special place where you go to talk to him? Do you feel like you don’t have to worry about him or think about him anywhere else?
Some people do feel like that.
But, I wonder … How do you suppose God feels about a part time relationship with you?
Do you suppose he likes it?
Well let me ask you something else … something that might be worthwhile thinking about.
Let’s imagine that you only see a certain person for a few minutes each day. Maybe you only see that person for five minutes — that’s all the time you have to talk to each other. How well do you suppose you could really get to know each other in those five minutes each day? And, while we are imagining, let’s imagine that each time you see each other for those five minutes, you say almost exactly the same thing … in the same words.
Do you suppose you would get to know that other person very well?
What kind of a relationship do you suppose that would be?
It wouldn’t be very good, would it?
You couldn’t call that person a friend, could you? If that person was a friend, you wouldn’t treat him or her like that … Would you?
But, I wonder if that is how you treat God?
Do you only give God a few minutes each day so that you can say some words to him that you have memorized?
Did you know that God wants to be a part of your life every day … all day.
He wants to walk with you all day … and share your life in a very personal way. He wants to help point your life in the right direction.
That’s what God wants. He doesn’t want a part time relationship with you.
He wants to share your life … full time … friendly … personal … every day … all day.
When you meet a good friend of yours on the street you don’t do all the talking, do you? Of course not. You and your friend both talk. And you both listen to each other.
You get to know each other better that way.
In the same way, if you want to get to know God better, then you need to listen to him. How do you do that? Well, one way to hear what he has to say to you … is to read about him in the Bible. Read what he has said as it has been written down in the Bible.
Have you ever done that?
Or do you just recite your memorized words at those special times of the day … and then run off without listening to what he might have to say to you?
That would be too bad. Because, if you do that, you’ll never get to know God. And you might never know what important things he wants to say to you.
So let me ask you again … How much of your life does God have?
Or do you keep God shut away in a corner somewhere so that he can’t interfere in what you want to do?