A 1967 InterVarsity article by Charles E. Hummel was titled, “Tyranny of the urgent.” It is sobering and one that I recommend you read:
“Several years ago an experienced cotton mill manager said to me, ‘Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.'”
That is a profound statement and one that I feel Solomon was guilty of: allowing the urgent business of running his kingdom to crowd out the more important matter of spending quality time with his God.
We know that none of us steps from intimacy with God and then immediately walks into a backslidden state. On the contrary, spiritual declension is one slow, downward step at a time. When Christian singer/songwriter Keith Green was alive, the ministry he started with his wife Melody, “Last Days Ministries,” put out a tract titled “The Dangers of Drifting.” Here is the link:
This is another excellent read, showing the process of apostasy from the Lord:
“First of all, look at how silent and unnoticed the pull of drift is. If it disturbed us, if it jarred or jolted us, if it drew attention to itself, this might be enough to put us on our guard. But, look! no such warning signal is ever given. No alarm bell is ever sounded. We drift away softly and silently, like a ship floating down the tide…
“…The life of drift is a pathetically easy course to follow. It takes no output of energy to float down a stream, or to be carried forward on the crest of a running tide. All that’s necessary for a life of drift is to relax, to do nothing, to let go, to cease struggling, to submit to the worldly influences within us and around us. ‘The gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction.’ (Matt. 7:13)”
This is no doubt the path that Solomon took: one small step at a time away from the Lord, made possible because of the urgency of his kingly responsibilities. How subtle were the deceiving voices that Solomon must have heeded when they said to him: “You are doing the Lord’s work and proving yourself a good and godly king by spending all that time on kingdom business. Don’t feel guilty about neglecting your personal devotion with the Lord…He understands your responsibilities and will bless you for being faithful to Him through your ministry to those in your charge. Your service to Him is your devotion.”
“Your service to Him is your devotion.” How many of us have fallen for this half-truth? Yes, it is true that serving others is part of our devotion to God, but the lie comes in when we believe that serving others can substitute for our personal devotion to God and can replace our daily quiet time with Him.
Are you dedicating a portion out of your every day life to fellowship with God? Or are you, like Solomon, allowing the importance of your life’s work, ministry or family to place you in a situation where you are so busy that you don’t feel you have time for Him?
Friends, if you are trapped in the latter situation, I plead with you to immediately change course and set your priorities right. I am convicted by writing these words to set aside my computer and get on my knees before the Lord and connect with Him.
The spiritual life we may save just might be our own.