We have all heard (if not used) the phrase there is "not enough time in the day" or "I don't have time". Typically, we use them when asked to do something we do not actually want to do but know we should do.
As Christians we even use those excuses for things like reading the Bible or spending time in prayer. We know that if we do not read His Word and spend time communicating with Him, we will not have as good of a relationship as we could.
Without even thinking about it, we put other things ahead of God in our lives and that is referred to as idolatry.
This is nothing new to our culture or generation but is actually one of the favorite weapons of Satan. We see this as early as the second book (Exodus) of the Old Testament in the Bible.
In Exodus chapter 4, God called Moses to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt. God also gave Moses signs to show to His people as well as to Pharaoh. The staff that Moses carried was changed into a snake and back to a staff. Moses' hand was given leprosy and then healed. Finally, water was taken from the Nile river and poured onto the ground where it became blood. These signs were given to convince Pharaoh that God wanted him to let the people go but were also for the Hebrew people so that they would believe that God had sent Moses.
We then see that Moses and Aaron called together the leaders of the people and told them what God had said as well as showed them the signs. The Hebrew people then bowed down and worshiped God.
Things seemed to really be going well and the people were drawing near to God.
In chapter 5, we see a change in the attitudes of the people. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as God had told them. But, Pharaohs' heart was hardened and he decided to make it harder for the Hebrew people to have time to listen to God (through Moses). Pharaoh gave the order that the Hebrews, who were slaves, were to be required to do more work. He decreed that instead of providing them the materials (straw) to make bricks, they would have to gather the straw themselves. Basically, Pharaoh (Satan) was saying make it so there is not enough time for the people to listen to God.
For a time, we see that Pharaohs' plan worked because we are told that the leaders went to Moses and Aaron and grumbled against them.
We all are familiar with how the story ends and the people are delivered from Egypt. We might, at first glance through these passages, wonder how the Hebrew people could go from worshiping God to grumbling in such a short time.
If we slow down though and look at our own lives we may see that we are not much different than them. Surely, most of us do not consider ourselves to be slaves and we do not have to make bricks without straw. But, we probably all must admit that, at times, we allow Satan to use that same old trick against us.
How many times have I/you used that "not enough time" excuse? Personally, I can say that it has happened many times. It seems that we freely trade that quality time with God for time with the tv, kids, sports, work, etc. Although those things themselves are not bad, we must guard against making them idols. There are other things, which we even call "ministry" that we allow the devil to use to steal some of that quality time. We let the pressure of making the bricks keep us from drawing near to the Savior.
In Matthew 6:33, we are told "But, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." What a promise! May we each eliminate the "not enough time" excuse from our lives. Choose godliness over busyness.