According to LifeWay Research, only 22% of Americans read the Bible daily. Thirty-five percent of Americans never pick up the Bible at all, and 30% only use the Bible when they need to look something up. A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that 55% of Americans say they pray every day, and 23% say they seldom or never pray. As a country, we have been pushing God out since the 1960s, but it seems that Americans, even religious ones, aren’t making God a priority.
A common excuse for this is, “I just don’t have time,” but when we look at what we do with our time, that excuse doesn’t add up. For instance, every day on average, adults spend a little over 3 hours on their smartphones, 2 hours on social media, and 2 hours watching something on a streaming service. So it’s not about not having enough time—the real reason we don’t read our Bibles every day or pray every day is that we don’t prioritize God.
To the person who says they forget to read the Bible or pray, there’s a sure bet they don’t forget to eat and drink throughout the day. We all make time to eat and drink because we cannot live without food and water—and that is the attitude we should have toward God and His word: that we cannot live without it. Jesus referred to himself both as bread and Living Water.
“Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.’” (John 4:10)
“‘Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die.’” (John 6:48-50)
Jesus equated the necessity of the Word of God with the necessity of food when He declared that we do not live by bread only, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Luke 4:4). The Word of God is life; as we need food and water to live, so we need God and His Word to live this life and the next.
“‘The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.’” (John 6:63)
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Not prioritizing God really comes from prioritizing ourselves above Him. We consider what we want instead of what God wants from us. Let’s live with an understanding that God’s Word and our relationship with Him is just as important to our life as food and water. Let’s prioritize God in our lives; after all, if Christians don’t put God first, how can we ever expect anyone else to?
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.