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Spiritual Discipline: Battling Busyness

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

I’ve been a Christian for more than 40 years. I can tell you for certain that no habit is more difficult to maintain than a quiet time. I’ve shared with you some of the most common quiet time stumbling blocks in recent days: the problem of discipline, the problem of dryness, and the problem of distraction.

The problem of discouragement is, by far, the most powerful struggle. It’s the struggle to stick with your regular time with God. Nothing else is harder to maintain than your regular time with the Lord. The world fights you, your flesh fights you, and the devil fights you. They all work together to make sure you’re so busy that you don’t have time for a quiet time.

That’s why I call this the “battle of busyness.” It’s what happens when pressure mounts and you find you have too many things to do. Something has to give. Unfortunately, you drop the most important part of your life: your time with God.

Every time you skip your time with God, you get discouraged, and it’s even harder to get started again. You get discouraged and defeated. The most vicious attacks on your quiet time will come in the area of being consistent and diligent. Satan knows that if he can keep you out of the Word, he’s taken you out of the battle. He has basically removed your sword (Ephesians 6:17).

There are many believers who have told me that dropping their quiet time was the first step in the wrong direction — that led to all sorts of problems.

Talk About It

  • We are not meant to struggle through our faith alone. To whom in your life do you turn for encouragement and accountability?
  • Is there any task in your day that is more important than your quiet time with God? How will you change your schedule today to show what your priorities are or should be?


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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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