By Kelly Shaw

Kelly is a member of the SVM2 International Facilitation Team and currently lives among the unreached.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) James is giving us some key advice that each one of us needs to grasp. God drawing near to us is dependent upon us drawing near to Him.

Unless we are intentional in our quest for the living God, we will wind up at the same place of wanting more of God. Now let me say that wanting God is good, but it is not enough.

Wanting more of God won’t happen when you only give him ten minutes in your quiet time with him in the morning or when you expect Him to fit into your busy schedule in which you have almost completely crowded Him out altogether.

Do you want to hear the voice of the living God speaking to you? Then you need to make space for Him to come and abide in you. You are in charge of your schedule. Though this may sound like a simple statement, it has incredible implications.

You can’t tell the Lord that, “I’m just too busy.” Your busyness is dependent upon your choices. If you want to experience the presence of the Lord in your midst daily, then you will have to surrender certain things to make that a reality.

For those of us who are lazy, we must surrender our sleep. For those consumed by sports, we must give up watching a couple games on ESPN. For those who are with friends all the time, we must find some chunks of time to spend alone with the Lord.

I challenge you to take 15 minutes and write out your schedule for the week. If you can’t find some real face time before the Lord, cut out something on your schedule. I would also challenge you to schedule in another 15 minute block of time to go over your goals.

When we are in college or any other time in our lives, we can allow work and studying and countless other things to consume our lives. If you want to grow in the Lord, I challenge you to make some goals.

Where do you want to be in the Lord by next fall? What books of the Bible do you want to study? What Scriptures would you like to memorize? What is a goal that you would set for spending more time in prayer?

If we merrily go along our way reading our Bible and doing an occasional devotional, we won’t grow. Be intentional! Ask God for some ideas on ways to grow with Him that will work in your schedule. Maybe it is doing your quiet time in the library between study sessions. Be creative, but be intentional!

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