So often we come across those who say they cannot find or make time each day to spend in quiet with the Lord and His Word. They are just too busy. I could simply respond and say that it is a problem of setting the right priorities in your life. But there are deeper issues.
David makes a very wise request of God in Psalm 119:36; “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain.” The word “Incline” means to “bend or stretch out” as if to turn his heart in a different direction than it naturally goes. He was aware that his heart had a tendency to go after things that would only benefit himself — they were “selfish” desires and pursuits.
By asking God to “Incline, bend or stretch out” our hearts, we are calling on Him to change the desires that lie at the center of our being. Paul realized how strong our natural bents are. He says, “I am of the flesh…for I do not understand my own actions…I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate” (Romans 7:14-15). Can you identify that tendency in yourself?
David was afraid of where his heart would lead him; “Do not let my heart incline to any evil” (Psalm 141:4). He was very earnest with God in both of these Psalms about God being the One who ‘bent or stretched’ his heart in the right direction.
Not having time to spend with the Lord, even a short time, is a heart matter. If you are struggling with this, would you stop what you are doing right now and ask God to bend your heart toward Him. Spending time in His Word will no longer be a duty, but a delight and pleasure (see Ps.16:11).
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