Are You a Fast-Food Christian?

Our fast-paced culture often wars against spending meaningful time with God. We often think of spending time with God as grabbing a burger or a couple chicken nuggets for the day. Unfortunately, treating time with God in this way results in unhealthy and starving Christians. While fast-food Christians may desire to serve God, their spiritual unfitness often holds them back.

Every day, 50 million Americans eat from fast-food restaurants. On average, each American spends roughly $1,200 each year on fast food. Over an 80-year lifespan, that yearly amount adds up to $96,000. Regularly eating fast food affects health, contributing to obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.

In a spiritual sense, God has prepared a gourmet feast for us far surpassing the taste and nutrition of any fast-food meal. Spending meaningful time with God is more like sitting down for a seven-course dinner than rushing through the drive-through at McDonalds. God wants us to take the time to know Him and to digest every bite of truth from His Word so that we can grow in Him and be strengthened to do His will.

In this post, we’ll look at four qualities of meaningful quiet time. Through His Word and prayer, God invites all Christians to a daily, private, unhurried, and early feast.

1. The Daily Feast

According to the American Bible Society only 20% of Americans regularly read the Bible.

In contrast, the Lord’s prayer states, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

While God designed our bodies to fast physically at times, He did not design our souls to fast spiritually. Skipping a spiritual meal harms our soul, depriving it of spiritual strength and nutrition.

Every day we neglect time with God we are asserting that we can live that day without Christ. Truly, we need him every day.

Just as God provided manna every day for the children of Israel, so He has provided a feast for every one of us in His Word. Will we take the time to partake of it?

2. The Private Feast

When God wants to fellowship with us, He doesn’t invite over a bunch of guests. Time with God is a sacred meeting between one individual and God, into which no other mortal should enter.

Christ followed this model by finding a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35). Additionally, Christ prayed in a mountain to God all night before choosing His twelve disciples (Luke 6:12-13).

God desires to commune with us in private. Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:6, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Is communion with God so important to you that you are willing to separate yourself from the busyness around you in order to obtain it?

3. The Early Feast

The Bible gives numerous examples of individuals who spent time with God early in the morning. Our greatest example, Christ, arose “a great while before the day” in order to pray (Mark 1:35).

Gideon arose early to check the fleece (Judges 6:38), and Jacob arose early to set up a pillar at Bethel (Genesis 28:18). Abraham arose early to stand before God (Genesis 19:27), while Joshua arose early before crossing the Jordan (Genesis 3:1).

David prayed, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and wilt look up” (Psalm 5:3).

As Proverbs 8:17 says, “those that seek me (wisdom) early shall find me.”

Charles Spurgeon once said, “It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.”

Will you commit to seek God first at the beginning of each day?

4. The Unhurried Feast

Have you ever been in a hurry to finish quiet time?

Job savored God’s Word so much that he stated, “I have esteemed the words of His lips more than my necessary food.” To the lukewarm Laodicean church, Christ said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Truly, Christ longs to feed and commune with you daily. Simply put, is spending time with God as important to you as it is to Him?

When Moses heard God’s voice and saw God’s glory in Exodus 33, he likely didn’t want to leave God’s presence for the grumbling and stiff-necked children of Israel. If we truly grasped that we were meeting daily with the Creator of the Universe, would we rush through our time with God?

When Peter saw Christ’s glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, he proclaimed, “Master, it is good for us to be here” (Mark 9:5). Likewise, we should learn to love our time with God so much that we never want to leave it. “Time spent alone with God is never wasted” (author unknown).

Will you ask God how much time He wants to spend with you? Will you then ask Him to help you rearrange your schedule to accommodate  that time?

The Power of Spiritual Feasting 

God wants us to be healthy, not starving, Christians. We become spiritually healthy by partaking of the daily, private, early, and unhurried feast that God has prepared for us. As we feast on God’s Word we grow in Him and obtain the spiritual strength to do whatever he calls us to do.

Truly, finding meaningful time with God is the greatest key to the intentional Christian life. As Ravi Zacharias said, “The biggest battle you will face in life is your daily appointment with God; keep it, or every other battle will become bigger.”

Question: Billy Sunday once said “An excuse is a skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” What excuses cause us to spend less time with God than we should?

 

9 thoughts on “Are You a Fast-Food Christian?

  1. Hello Joshua; thank you for starting this blog, I’m really enjoying your questions. The first two made me realise that I haven’t been challenged to really think about my faith for a long time!

    “What excuses cause us to spend less time with God than we should?”

    I could write a list a mile long, had a list a mile long (lesson prep, marking, chores, social commitments, admin…etc) until I realised that what I was treating as justifications WERE just excuses. I don’t like excuses, so I stopped making them and started working on solutions. I don’t life my life according to a schedule outside of work, but I do have a couple of daily routines that ensure the essentials are attended to. My quiet time is now a part of those routines ensuring dedicated time both morning and night, nothing much short of a medical emergency interferes with that time now and I’m happier for it.

    Sometimes the odd excuse does sneak back in, but it’s not allowed to stay (and even more importantly, it’s not allowed to collect friends).

    1. Hello Ann,

      I love your thoughts on routine. I believe routine is so important because quiet time will never happen unless we’re intentional. Even though He lived a busy life, Christ demonstrated routine by often praying in the morning.

  2. This is a phenomenal post Joshua. Many of my excuses in the past have come down to laziness and apathy. About a year ago, I made a commitment to get up 30 minutes earlier in order to spend intentional time with God. This has absolutely revolutionized my life and relationship with God. I confess I haven’t always stayed faithful to that commitment, but God has continued to be faithful to me. James 4:8 comes to mind: draw near to God and He WILL draw near to you! Love your heart Josh.

  3. Amen! Amen! Amen! This is truly one of the pillars to a happy and fulfilling Christian life. Last year I started to have a “problem” of waking up at 4-4:30 AM, 1.5 hours before my alarm clock is set to go off. But now I am grateful for it. Waking up too early is no longer a “problem” but rather a huge blessing! There’s no better Friend to spend time with, first thing in the morning, than with our Creator. It’s a lot easier to take the tough things that come my way during the day when I have already spoken with the One who is always in full control. There’s nothing that comes our way that hasn’t passed through His hands first. Thanks for your post! I’m looking forward to the next one!

  4. Wow, this was a really amazing post! Love this quote: “The biggest battle you will face in life is your daily appointment with God; keep it, or every other battle will become bigger.” So profound. Thanks for sharing the truth!

  5. What a wonderful post this is! Thank you so much, Josh!

    “Will you ask God how much time He wants to spend with you? Will you then ask Him to help you rearrange your schedule to accommodate that time?” -I had never thought of this before, and it hit me hard. I plan on taking your advice here and putting into practice what I learned/was reminded of in this post.

  6. May I ask you if you have your quite time together with your wife? In the beginning God came in the evening to both, I guess. In the New testament it says to go into your closet alone. Are husband and wife considered as a unit, since they are one flesh or do both need their own quite time with God?

    1. Great question! I personally have my quiet time separately, and then join my wife for family devotions. We always share together what we’ve learned in our separate quiet times. I find that I get too distracted if I’m not having quiet time in private.

      However, I hadn’t considered God coming to both Adam and Eve at once. That fact reminds me that husbands and wives must seek the Lord together, pray together, and grow together. In that sense, a husband and wife should be one in their spiritual walk.

      I believe that times of individual solitude are vitally important as well, so that individually we can be close to God. In the Bible, the individuals after the fall who were closest to God, like Moses, Elijah, and Abraham had extensive periods of time alone with God.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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