We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. Psalms 39:6 NLT
I just completed a series, “Simplify Your Life”, on how to simplify your life by seeking first the kingdom of God. I felt led by the Holy Spirit to do this follow up because too many of us are overwhelmed with the busyness of our lives. That includes doing “kingdom work”. Here’s a quote I’ve used in a number of my posts from the book “Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry” by Pastor Perry Nobel; “We are always in a hurry working for God. When somebody criticizes us or pulls our coat tail about our pace we get angry and say, “The devil never takes a day off”. I’m not sure the devil is supposed to be your example.”
Sometimes We Think That Our Being Busy Somehow Pleases God
We think that when our calendars are full with lots of stuff--deadlines to meet, commitments to keep, and responsibilities-- we are indispensable and others should be impressed. We are proud to say, “I’m super busy”, when our friends ask “How are you doing?" On the other hand we may be looking for the sympathy we think we deserve because of all the chaos we’ve created.
But what’s the point of it all?
Read my opening scripture again.
Psalm 39:6 (NLT) We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
All of this busyness is just moving shadows and ends in nothing. Look what Solomon, the world’s wisest man said;
Ecclesiastes 2:18-23 (NLT)18 I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned.19 And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!20 So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.21 Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.22 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety?23 Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.
We are always rushing from one thing to another, deadline after another, with a big to-do list, and everything has to get done today. When we are operating at an unrealistic pace we have no intimacy in our relationship with God, because we are not spending time alone with Him.
If we really desire to know what God has done for us, what He wants for us and from us, we must slow down. The more things on our schedule, the more time we need to be in His Presence, spending time conversing with Him through prayer and His Word.
Being busy by itself isn't wrong, however we need to pray that God will guard you from pointless busyness and that if you are busy, you’ll be busy with a purpose.
There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day.....
I’ve said that a lot and I bet you have too. Sometimes life feels like you’re running on a treadmill and somebody keeps increasing the speed. We keep saying, "I just need a little more time". If it’s left up to us we will never have enough time. We can wish for more time but we’re not going to get it.
It was God who came up with the 24 hour day, the 28, 29, 30, or 31 day month, and the 365 and 356 day year. That’s all the time there is, and if God thinks it’s enough, then it is enough. God knows what He’s doing. All we can do is all we can do. Then we need to put it in God’s hands. His hands are much bigger than ours. The truth is that God will accomplish through you what he needs to accomplish in the time available.
I Don’t Have Time to Rest
The Bible calls those who will not work lazy;
Proverbs 6:6-11 (NLT)6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work,8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up?10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Proverbs 13:4 (NLT) Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.
But it calls those who will not rest disobedient;
Leviticus 23:1-8 (NLT)1 The LORD said to Moses,2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly.3 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the LORD’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live.4 “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year.5 “The LORD’s Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month.6 On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the LORD continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast.7 On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly.8 For seven days you must present special gifts to the LORD. On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.”
Rest was important enough to God that He commanded us to do it. In fact in the Ten Commandments the one that God spent the most time addressing was the one on rest.
Exodus 20:8-11 (HCSB)8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: 9 You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. 11 For the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
The Hebrew root word for Sabbath is shābat. It’s definition from the Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary is “ a primitive root; to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implication relations (causative, figurative or specific) :- (cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate, cause (make) to fail, keep (sabbath), suffer to be lacking, leave, put away (down), (make to) rest, rid, still, take away.”
Jesus said that God created the Sabbath for our good.
Mark 2:27 (NLT) Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.
Many books and articles point out the need for consistent, weekly rest. It seems to me that maybe God actually designed our bodies to need a day off each week. The scientific evidence seems to indicate that mental and physical rest for one day a week actually causes people to get more done in six days than in seven days without rest.
We need to be refreshed.
We need to stop and pause and spend time with God. It doesn’t have to be on Sunday, and although a full day is best it doesn’t even need to be a full day. In order to be used by God to the fullest we can’t be too busy for Him. Making time to rest in the Lord can be really challenging, but the benefits of that rest are worth the effort.
Work and Ambition Aren’t Wrong
You may be getting the idea that I think that work and ambition are wrong. I don’t. My goal isn’t to make you feel guilty because you're busy. My goal is to make you aware that with all your busyness you may be too busy for God...too busy to spend intimate time with Him.
Work is a God-given function.
Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Genesis 2:15 (NLT) The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.
We praise God through hard work. God has given man the the intellect and energy to preach, teach, build companies, raise families, etc.
The Bible urges a strong work ethic.
Proverbs 14:23 (NLT) Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NLT) Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
Colossians 3:23 (NLT) Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Work or ambition isn’t the problem. The problem is priority, motivation, and what’s in the heart. If our motivation is to serve God with our work but also make time with him our #1 priority, we’re on the right track. There’s a time to be still and to be in God's presence, and there’s also a time to work and get stuff done.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT) 1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. 4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. 5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. 6 A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. 7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. 8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
Listen to what Jesus told Martha when she complained that Mary wasn’t helping her when she was working preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples.
Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home.39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
You Can’t Fix It On Your Own
If after reading this post and my “Simplify Your Life” series you feel that there are some areas in your life that need changing, I’ve done my job. You may think that the solution is to find better ways of doing what you’re doing now--to set goals to spend your time more wisely, changes in the way you think, a change in your priorities, or your motivation. Trying to figure out how to do all this may seem like a daunting task and may feel overwhelming to the point of stressing you, but believe me, I know how you feel. I’ve been there many times.
Don’t underestimate God’s role in changes you want to make. You can do a lot of reading on strategic prioritization and time-management but you are still going to need God’s help. God tells us over and over, in His Word, to come to Him at all times and in all circumstances.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Ask Him for His guidance as to how to make the changes that will allow you to be able to spend more time in His presence. You don’t have to be perfect.
Listen To God
You may think that you are too busy to wait and listen for God’s guidance, but no amount of busyness will satisfy you if you don’t take the time to listen to God. Here's something that I read in "Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry", “If I were the devil, I would invent a device you could hold in your hands that would ensure you’d always have your schedule in front of you and give people access to you anytime they wanted”.
To think that you're too busy to spend time with God is an absolute lie and trick of the enemy of your soul. He knows you are powerless alone...and he knows you are a force to be reckoned with when you are totally dependent on God! Stop, slow down and listen to God. He's always speaking to you.
Let me close with this devotion written by Pastor Rick Warren.
A lot of us think we’re too busy to listen for God’s response. But we have to take the time to tune in and listen, because God is speaking. Job 33:14 says, “God does speak — sometimes one way and sometimes another — even though people may not understand it” (NCV).
The question is, “How do I understand it? How do I tune in so that I can hear God’s voice?”
Here are four of the channels that God uses:
1. God speaks to us through the Bible. It’s your guidebook for life. It shows you the right step to take. That is why you need to read God’s Word every day. If you’re not having a daily quiet time and reading the Bible, God is getting a busy signal when he wants to speak to you. You have to keep a constant connection, because God’s will is found in God’s Word.
2. God speaks to us through teachers. Have you ever been in a church service and felt like what the teacher was saying was a direct message from God to you? There’s no way I or any other teacher could figure out exactly what to say to meet every need. But God knows. So before every service I pray, “God, you know the people and the needs out there. Give me the right things to say.” Somehow, in the way only he can, God uses my teaching and the teaching of other pastors to meet the needs of people who are listening.
3. God speaks to us through impressions. There are two extremes to this. One extreme is the rationalist who believes no impression can be from God; it all has to be logical. At the other extreme is the mystical belief that every impression is from God. You need to get in the middle and realize that every impression has to match God’s Word.
4. God speaks to us through our circumstances. If we’re going to live a life of significance, God’s got to make constant course corrections, and one of the things he uses to do that is the circumstances that come into our lives. When you start to listen to God through circumstances, impressions, teachers, or the Bible, sometimes he’s going to lead you in ways that you don’t understand. Hang in there! Following God is not always easy, but it will reap more blessing in your life than you can imagine.
Have you ever felt like the relationships with your family, friends, colleagues at work, your church family, and yes even God, are falling apart and the more you do it seems to make it worse? You seem to be going in different directions, and the rift is getting wider. Trying to fix it creates more and more stress and anxiety. You keep working at it but it’s like you’re stuck in quicksand. Stop working so hard at it. Simplify and do it God’s way.
Sometimes we think we can function without ever addressing and finding closure to a conflict. Those conflicts may be with family, friend, or the people we work with everyday. Refusal to deal with them saps energy from us and hangs over us like a dark cloud.
This is from some of the research I did for this series;
I know a guy who, for whatever reason, has a pattern of broken relationships in his life. When a misunderstanding happens or someone is wounded, he makes little or no attempt to set things right. “It takes too much time and energy,” he says. “I just move on.” And he leaves a path of desolation in his wake.
If this guy were to tally the number of hours it has cost him over the years to avoid dealing with the relational wounds that have come his way (not to mention those he has dished out), he would find the opposite is true. It is much more time-efficient—and brings much greater peace of mind and satisfaction with life—to heal a relational rift rather than let it linger or avoid it altogether. We cannot live simplified lives without attending to broken relationships. - Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels
What’s the best way to deal with fractured relationship? Forgiveness. To forgive is to stop feeling anger toward someone or about something, to pardon them.
Why forgive? Because God, who is our example for how to forgive, does. He forgives and overlooks everything that we have done and do against Him, through Jesus, so that we can have eternal life and an eternal inheritance.
Micah 7:18 (NLT) 18 Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.
Forgiveness is an act of the will and since God commands us to forgive we must make that choice. We must forgive even if the person who offended us doesn’t ask for or doesn’t even want forgiveness.
Matthew 5:44-45 (NLT) 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT) 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Ephesians 4:32 (NLT) 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT) 21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
Jesus understood the cost of broken relationships. As He hung dying on the cross, Jesus asked for forgiveness for the very people who accused, convicted and were killing Him.
Luke 23:34 (NLT) 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
When we experience the forgiveness of our own sins then we can call on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to choose to forgive.
Think about how a fractured relationship has complicated your life. Now think about how forgiveness can simplify it.
Here are the links to two posts I wrote that will help you in forgiving others. What Does the Bible Say, Does Forgiving Mean Forgetting?, The Bible Says that Forgiveness is Mandatory
Strengthen The Right Relationships
Life is too rich with opportunity to walk it alone.
Proverbs 13:20 (NLT) 20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
What Solomon said is absolutely true. When we surround ourselves with foolish people, we become like them. No matter how strong you are, people who are prideful, dishonest, mean-spirited, and divisive will influence you, and affect your spiritual growth. In our relationships both good and bad rub off. Just as the bad rubs off when we surround ourselves with proud, dishonest people, when we surround ourselves with wise, mature, people of integrity, their high character rubs off on us.
Real friends know, accept, love, serve, and celebrate one another. We often settle for friendships that don’t meet this standard. Our relationships require regular evaluation, and strengthening. This sometimes requires pruning or cutting off some relationships.
The apostle Paul gives us a list of the character traits we should look for when evaluating our relationships--people with the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Look for people who exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit.. Their character will rub off on you. In order to identify people with the fruit of the Holy Spirit you need the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. If you don’t have Him I’ll tell you how you can get Him later in this post.
When you evaluate your relationships ask yourself these questions. What qualities do you most value in your friends and why? How does your current inner circle of friends reflect these qualities?
You’ll simplify your life when you evaluate and fine-tune your relationships. Prune wisely and with determination. When you prune, as with a plant, this creates space for new growth in relational, spiritual, and emotional fruit.
The Holy Spirit is Essential in Simplifying Your Life
Earlier in this post I wrote that the only way that you can forgive some things is through the power of the Holy Spirit. I also wrote that the best relationships are those formed with people who exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit then you don’t have the power to forgive the most hurtful things, and you don’t have the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift of God that comes to dwell in you when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Romans 8:11 (NLT) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Timothy 1:14 (NLT) Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
The first relationship you need to establish is the one with Jesus. If you want that relationship which will result in the Holy Spirit coming to live in, you here’s what you need to do;
Romans 10:9 (NLT) If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Pray this prayer in all sincerity. It doesn’t matter where you are. You may be at you desk on your computer, or somewhere on your laptop, you may be reading this on your smartphone, or your tablet. It doesn’t matter just pray in all sincerity. Don’t just say it if you don’t really mean it, because if you do you will just be speaking words. But if you are tired of trying to change things in your own power, and are ready to turn your life over to the One who can make you a new creature with a renewed heart and mind pray;
“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”
If you truly understand and believe what you just prayed then these promises of eternal life apply to you. So do all the other promises that God has made to believers. To find out what they are and how they apply to you find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God my brother or sister.
Have you ever felt like the more you do the more there is to do? It seems as if the pile keeps getting higher rather than lower; the working hours get longer and longer although you’re working harder and harder? All of us have probably been there and some of you may be there now. You have gotten yourself on a treadmill and you’re running at an unrealistic and unsustainable pace. If you continue you will burnout, pass out, stress out, and probably become depressed. How do you get off the treadmill? The answer is to simplify your life by seeking first the kingdom of God. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it’s not. This series of posts, “Simplify Your Life by Seeking First the Kingdom of God,” is as much for me as they are for you. I justify overdoing it by saying, “after all I’m doing God’s work, work for the Kingdom”. Notice I said “working for the Kingdom,” not “seeking the Kingdom.”
From Exhausted to Energized
Think about the times when you’re exhausted or completely drained and empty; during those times you have nothing else to give to anyone or anything.. What does that feel like? My guess is that you feel resentment. You resent something or someone. Martha resented her sister Mary when Jesus was visiting their home. Martha was busy being the perfect hostess making sure that everybody had everything that they needed, running around making sure that everybody was happy. Mary, on the other hand was spending time listening to Jesus. Martha was upset.
Luke 10:38-40 (NKJV) 38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."
To Martha it was like “Jesus, don’t you care that my sister isn’t helping me? After all I’m trying to prepare for you and your disciples.”
How does Jesus respond?
Luke 10:41-42 (NKJV) 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Instead of shaking your fist at the world and those around you because you have worked yourself into a lather or continuing to complain that you don’t have any help, maybe it’s time to sit and spend some time with God meditating on His word. We all, me included, want to get it all done right now and if nobody is there to help us we become resentful, not realizing that we are the ones putting the pressure on ourselves to get it all done. The answer may just be to let whatever it is you’re doing wait or even go undone until you spend some time in a quite undisturbed conversation with Jesus.
Psalm 119:15 (NKJV) I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV) 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Think back to a time when your life was simpler. You were rested, creative, playful, and prayerful. It’s possible to recapture that time.
Stop Overscheduling and Organize
We say these things all the time often bragging. We pack our schedules so tight that we don’t have any time to spare for God, although we say “we’re doing His work.” It makes us feel important to be so busy and it often makes us oblivious to the damage it’s doing to our relationships with family and friends, and yes, even with God. It can become unhealthy both physically and emotionally – the cost can be severe.
Your calendar can hold you hostage to stuff—meetings, appointments, projects, and keep you from more important things like your relationships with God, family and friends. What would it look like to seek God’s Kingdom first in your life?
Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
One way you can start is by redrafting your schedule and filling it up the way God would fill it if He were in charge of your time, your schedule, your calendar. If you put God first—if you start by plugging in the time slots on your calendar that determine who you want to become—and then fill in everything else around it, you’ll gradually become the kind of person you want to be.
Joshua 1:8 (NLT) Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
From Overwhelmed to Content
Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT) 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Paul gives us the key to contentment. It’s to live within God’s provision. Yes, there may be some ups and downs; economic downturns, loss of a job, bad decisions by you or others, operating on your timing rather than on God’s. God always provides but sometimes we have to make adjustments in order to stay content.
When God increases someone else’s provision do you become envious or jealous? Do you get mad at God and ask why not me? Or are you able to congratulate them. Tell them that you’re happy for them? When you see others blessed can you say “I’m content with God’s provision for me? You can only have peace when you learn to live a life of thanksgiving for God’s provisions for you. Whether you’re in a season of plenty or in a season of lack, you can live with contentment and peace.
Matthew 6:31-32 (NKJV) 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Fulfill Your Day
Every new day is an opportunity to either build yourself up or break yourself down. Forget about yesterday and don’t worry about tomorrow because it will only add to the stress of today.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV) 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJV) 18 "Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Here’s a suggestion that I read about that works as you start your day;
We ask our Willow staff members to be culture builders. We ask them to spend at least fifteen minutes of “chair time” with God before they drive onto our campus. We ask them to be filled with the Holy Spirit and eager to display the fruit of the Spirit, so their interactions throughout the day will be a blessing to their teammates. I make the same challenge to you. No matter how healthy or dysfunctional your work culture is today, you can choose, by the power of Christ, to become a culture builder. You can be someone who blesses every person who crosses your path, from senior executives to entry-level workers.
Start each day committed to building yourself and others up. What if all of your interactions with others built them up? How much more fulfilled and stress free would your day be if everything that you did honored Christ.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Give It to God
A friend who is going through a very overwhelming time confided in me, even asking if she was losing it. What she is going through would probably cause most of us, even those of us who consider ourselves people of great faith, to lose it. I’ll end this post with some of what I said to her, as we seek first the kingdom of God in order to simplify our lives.
“You are right we don't get to make the call between life and death. God has the final say. What we have control over is how we respond to His decision and His will. We also have control over how we respond to those times of doubt. We must remember that God is bigger than anything we encounter. He is able to keep us. His ways are not ours.”
Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV) "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
“We must release everything to Him. We can't keep anything.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV) Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
“That's hard and we can't do that within ourselves. We can only do it through the Holy Spirit. I'm praying that you can continue to stay strong. That you really allow the Holy Spirit to hold you. Let go and trust everything to God.”
1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV) But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Simplicity is a gift of God. A gift given so that we might see the value in seeking Him first in all things.
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.