What was the last excuse you gave for not spending more time with God this past year?  Perhaps you were too busy?  Doing what?  Well, if you’re like most people, you were busy just making a living, paying bills, putting food on the table, and so on.  If anyone has an excuse for being “too busy”, it would have to be God, for His responsibility is to keep the entire universe in order.  Yet, have you ever prayed to God and heard, “Leave a message, I’ll get back to you later.”?  We often tell people we will get back with them later, but fail to do so.  I’ve done it, and my guess is, you have too.  It’s not that we mean to put people off, but as we all know, there are only twenty four hours in a day, and we’re ……busy!
   Each and every person on earth has the same number of hours in their day.  The question is: what will we do with those hours?  Somehow we always manage to do the things we really want to do.  Yeah, I know, we don’t really want to go to work, but our desires for food and shelter and things of convenience demand we do so.  And so we make time to do the necessary things.  I said, we MAKE time to do the necessary things, because if we don’t purposely make time, that time will get wasted doing something else less important.  We all know what that’s like.  We may intend to spend time worshipping God, but somehow it just doesn’t happen.  There is an old saying that is so very true, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
   Good intentions seldom come to fruit, and the devil will do all he can to make sure of that.  It takes real discipline to carry through with intentions, and some people just never seem to get it done, for one reason or another.  And yet, most everyone makes New Year resolutions, knowing full well they are very likely to break them.
   Could it be we are just too passive?  Think of this, how much opposition does it really take to make you break a promise you made to yourself?  We will say you promised you would spend more time exercising this year.  Did someone come and threaten you with bodily harm unless you relented?  No, but the first time you got a little tired or out of breath, or a little sore, you gave up without a fight.  Now apply this same principal to the spirit realm.  Satan doesn’t have to make a tree fall on you to get you to put off praying or studying your Bible.  All it takes is a little resistance and you fold like a wet tissue.  Maybe it’s a phone call, or unexpected company.  Maybe it’s only a TV show you got interested in and you just didn’t get around to spending the time with God you intended to.  But the point is, we are just too passive when it comes to matters regarding God.  Is it because we can’t see Him, that He gets our leftovers instead of our best? 
   We will say you want a closer walk with God, right?  What’s it worth in terms of time spent with Him, versus what else you would spend that same time doing?  As it is written, all things physical are temporary, but God is eternal.  Seems our time would be much better spent seeking those things above, yet somehow the things here beckon to us in a very loud voice, and we don’t seem to be very good at ignoring their shouts. 
   While none of us can go back and change what we wish we had done, we do have the power to consider our past choices and make better ones, starting right now.  I don’t believe God hits us over the head with condemnation when we fail to get it right, but the devil certainly does.  Consider his ways:  he tempts you to do that which you know you shouldn’t, and then beats you over the head with it when you do.  It’s a no-win situation with the devil, you know.  So why not just eliminate him from the picture altogether?  He’s hoping your next year will be just like this year, full of fear, full of regrets, and not much hope for the future.  But we don’t care what the devil wants, do we? 
   God has a much better plan for you.  How would you like to be the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath?  How would you like to be blessed going out and coming in, whether you are in the city or in the field?  How would you like to see every enemy that rises against you to flee from you in terror?  Oh, you’d like that, would you?  How does that happen?  Well, for starters, it takes spending quality time with God, not leftover time that you just don’t have anything better to do with.  God isn’t hard to please, it’s just that He is a jealous God, and He really wants to spend time with you.  He thinks so much of you that He is willing to walk away from the whole universe just to have some time alone with you.  Isn’t that someone you’d really like to spend YOUR time with?
   When you consider all the things that compete to fill up your time every day, what could be more important than spending time alone with God?  Consider this; if the President called you today and wanted to have lunch with you, would you be able to squeeze him into your schedule?  How about if it was your favorite movie star?  Could you find the time?  Yes, I bet you could.  How much more so when the most important being in all creation wants to be with you?
   I have nothing to gain by persuading you to spend more time with God, but you stand to gain a lot.  God has made exceeding great and wonderful promises to all those who give Him first place in their lives. Revelation 21:7 is just one of those promises: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
   Can your TV, or your favorite sport promise you that?  I think not. You have every reason to invest wisely in your future by removing the clutter from your life and focusing on the one thing that can make your life everything you ever dreamed it could be.  Really, you aren’t giving up anything of true value to pursue God, the devil just tries to make you think you are, that’s all.  He would like to get you to trade the good things God has in store for you for his empty promises. It all starts with an excuse. 
    When I was in the Army, I was told “The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.”  Excuses make you lose face and the respect of those around you.  Think about it, what did you think of the last person who gave YOU an excuse?  Now, think about how God feels when you make excuses to Him, when all He wants to do is bless you?  Now that you know the truth, let the last excuse you gave God for not spending time with Him be your LAST excuse!