Burdened by God?

I had an interesting conversation with a brother in Christ today. One of the things we discussed was: Is it possible to memorize too much of God’s Word? And if it is, what determines this oddity?

It’s not the first time I’ve heard this before. It’s not the first time I’ve had this exact conversation with others in my Family in Christ. This topic of “too much of God” has come up more often than I’d like. And every time, it disconcerts me.

If you’re wondering what I mean by “too much of God” here it is: Asking someone to read, memorize, meditate on, and/or study too much Scripture. But how much is too much? Is it even possible for any of us to spend too much time with God? Too much time thinking about Him, considering Him, praying and waiting for Him to answer: yes, no, wait, etc.? Is asking someone to read the entire Bible in three months, six months, one year, or two years too much for any Christian? Did you know that even for a slow reader and comprehender like me, it only takes about 45 minutes to one hour to read ten chapters of the Bible? And sometimes it would only take 30 minutes because some of the chapters in the Bible are just one paragraph or one page?

How is it that we now live in a time where we are burdening one another with God and the things of God? How is it that asking another Family member to read, study, meditate on, or memorize God’s Word is a burden because of littles, or teenagers, or older children who need help with their children, or older parents who need our care, or neighbors or friends…it goes on and on doesn’t it? When did the temporal and common things in this life become so consuming that to even spending one hour in prayer (Mt 26:40-41) or reading or studying or memorizing God’s Word is now a burden? And worse, this has become an acceptable practice?!

“I have so much to do today, that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” ~Martin Luther

What has happened to us as God’s holy and dearly beloved children that in our new lives in Christ, transformed by His power and kept by His Holy Spirit, freed and empowered to do all that our Father has commanded us in Christ, we have become so feeble of mind and frail of body that we are burdened by God our Father and all that He commands?

Did He not tell us through the Apostle John that His commands are NOT BURDENSOME (1 Jn 5:3-4)? Then how is it that so many who profess Christ as Lord, do not listen and do what He says (Lk 6:46-49)? Why do we call burdensome what God calls a gracious and merciful blessing (Is 5:20-21)?

If we have in fact been freed from the captivity of sin and have had our minds renewed and hearts transformed by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom 6:5-11, 12:2; Jn 15:10-11) how is it that we so easily excuse ourselves and one another because of a “season” of life we are in, or any other common thing that happens to all people—believers and unbelievers alike? How are we any different from the world when we use the things of this world as an excuse for why we cannot presently strive after the LORD with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths? How are we different than the world when the time we read, study, meditate on, memorize the Word of our LORD is mostly (or only) when it is most convenient or costs us nothing (e.g., our sleep, our family time, our entertainment, our idleness, our play dates and other social activities, etc.)?

It continues to astound me that setting an appointment on our calendars to meet with our God and Father first thing every day, before giving our hearts, minds, time, and strength to anyone or anything else is a foreign practice and for many, a non-essential. Most professing Christians I’ve known and still know meet with the LORD when it seems most convenient for them, rather than making God Almighty, the God who gave us our first life physically and new life in Christ. I have no problem with meeting with the LORD in the middle of the day or even last thing at night, just as long as He’s also given our first—our best. This is not a discipline practiced by only the mature in Christ. It is actually the first discipline that is expected of every believer new and old believer. How do I know? Because God said so (Gen 4:3-4; Ex 16:21; Ps 92:2, 143:8; Mk 1:35).

God Almighty is the first and the best. Therefore, it only makes sense that we ought to give Him our first and best. The Lord Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is no pauper that He should settle for and delight in our leftovers or what we think we can spare.

Our brothers and sisters living in persecution in second, third, and fourth world countries know nothing of the what we call “Christianity” here in America and other first world countries where life is easy and persecution just means someone doesn’t agree with you, or doesn’t like you.

May we repent of our idolatry of self, and what is acceptable to other professing Christians, so that we may remember that the LORD ordained His precepts that we may ALL keep them diligently—in every season, in every circumstance, with every heartbeat (Ps 119:4).