“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” (Hebrews 10:35 NLT)
In yesterday’s post I asked if it was time to call an “audible.” Essentially, what I was asking was, “Is it time to consider another option,” not simply for your life as a whole, but each element of your life.
We are complicated beings. We have many roles as a follower of Jesus. You may be a parent, grandparent, child, sibling, spouse, employee, employer, friend, brother or sister in Christ, neighbor, and on and on. And what often happens is, we become pulled in so many directions, we end up doing poorly in the areas in which we desire to do our best. What is most important to you?
In my life my highest goal and aspiration is to be an obedient and fruitful child of God. I want to please God above all others. Yet, the Lord has helped me to understand that in being the best I can be for Him, I need to love those in my spheres of influence as I love Him. Why is that so vital? Because my life is not my own. I’ve been bought at the high price of the shed blood of my Savior. (1 Corinthians 6:20) Everything I/we do has the potential of influencing someone else either positively or negatively for Jesus.
So, how are things going? When I ask someone about their life in Christ – their daily disciplines, loving well, sharing their faith, etc., often I hear some version of: “But I’m so busy!” Jackie Hill Perry wrote: “Our busy schedules aren’t keeping us from prayer, our hearts are.” That puts us back to my question at the beginning: “What is most important to you?”
When I was first in ministry, especially in the small churches I served, the pastor was the “go-to” person for virtually everything that happened in the church. It wasn’t right, and I eventually learned to make some vital changes, but, unfortunately, that’s the way it was in the beginning. If someone was in the hospital, the pastor went to see them. If someone had a crisis, they called the pastor. If there was a meeting, the pastor was expected to be there. PLUS, I had a Sunday morning and Sunday night service to prepare for, as well as a Wednesday night gathering. Yeh, I know, “Boo-hoo!” for me. The point is, I was busy. So, I understand busyness.
Vance Pitman, our Senior Pastor at the church of which my wife and I are now members, wrote a book entitled “The Stressless Life.” It’s a great book and a very interesting study that I highly recommend. In his book he asks a very pointed question: “Does your schedule include time with Jesus, or is it ordered around time with Jesus.?” Think of Mary and Martha (John 10).
The point is every person has 24 hours a day. We can make time with God a priority and allow Him to order our lives from there or keep a frantic pace trying to juggle all the proverbial “balls” ourselves. Your marriage, work, health, relationships, recreation, hobbies, rest – everything in your life can be ordered around your time with God, if you’ll put Him first and ask for His help.
Pete Scazzero wrote: “Jesus was not up all night preparing a sermon. He was up all night communing with the Father. Out of that came a sermon.” What does that mean? It essentially means that if we put spending time with Jesus first, He’ll enable us to do the other things we have to do, better and more efficiently. What I’m suggesting is that if you’ll make God the number one priority in your schedule, He will enable you to order your life differently, and enable you to be more fruitful for Him.
We are so tyrannized by the urgent, we miss the important. Stop robbing yourself of the richness that life in Christ is intended to be and start seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness and let Jesus add everything else you NEED (not want). Life was never designed by God to be a frantic pursuit of the material, but a meaningful and personal friendship with the Lover of our Soul, resulting in peace, contentment and fruitfulness in everything He leads us into.
Blessings, Ed 😊