Have your obligations and responsibilities hijacked your peace? In the era of multitasking, we can become so overloaded with demands that we lose sight of God’s leading. Here’s the good news: while God’s plan for us will stretch us and grow our capacity, it will not stress us out.
The late John Osteen related his dialog with the Lord after he began to experience job-related health problems. He was able to beat those problems and enjoy many years of fruitful ministry, but the advice God gave him has been an important beacon in our church. God told him: It’s not my calling that’s crushing the life out of you; it’s what you’ve added to it.
Jesus said, 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
So how do we resist adding to God’s call and pare down our load to the one Jesus has in mind?
- Identify your call. What are the gifts and talents God has given you? Are you developing and using them? Does this call meet needs for others and bring you joy at the same time? These are the loads God made you to carry. His anointing is on you for that set of things. He’s also equipped you. Those things that seem heavy to others will be light to you.
- Strategically give your service. It may sound counter-intuitive, but Jesus says of stewardship in Luke 16: “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” So volunteer, or just help others along the way. Plant your time and service like a seed, and God will give you a harvest. Your talents will grow, and so will your fruitfulness.
- Streamline. Hebrews 12 says to lay down every weight and sin, and patiently run the race set before you. Some of those responsibilities are dead weight. Say no. Lay them down. Then focus on your race, not someone else’s. You don’t want to encroach on the callings of others or derail your own.
- Listen for God’s leading. Let God show you where to cut. His peace is our primary regulator. When we have it, we move forward as planned. When our spirits feel uneasy about a responsibility we’ve taken on, it’s a good time to reevaluate.
Of course, Jesus Himself is the key to finding the rest we crave. Every second spent focusing on Him will not just bring clarity to your to-do list; it will bring fulfillment for your highest call.