A little boy got his hand in an expensive vase. His parents tried but could not remove his hand. Finally, they realized they would have to break their lovely vase.
When they did, they discovered the reason the little boy's hand could not come out was because he was holding on to a penny. We often hold on to time-consuming things in our schedule and more important things are lost in the process.
Although I understood the necessity of putting spiritual disciplines first in my life, nothing motivated me as much as something God revealed to my spirit. One day the Spirit showed me that when I fail to give priority to what is truly important, He is grieved. Rather than giving me a sense of guilt, I felt He was allowing me to see that He felt much as a girl whose fiancé ignores her while giving his attention to another girl. For a few moments I felt a deep sadness.
Those few moments of revelation have done more to help me desire to be faithful to the spiritual disciplines than all the guilt trips I had placed upon myself. Once we catch a vision of God's desire to fellowship with us as He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, then our natural response is one of wanting to come close to Him.
Thank You, Lord, for helping me to see that Your desire for a relationship with me is too precious to not give it my highest priority.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).
"The LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation" (Psalm 145:4).