Ever heard the expression, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy?” In today’s world of do more, be more, get more, it’s no wonder our world (and our charismatic churches) are filled with stressed-out souls!
We see it in our homes.
Children have so many extracurricular activities that parents see themselves more as taxi drivers. The enemy has convinced parents that their children need to “do more.”
We see it in our schools.
Students are given more homework assignments than they can possibly ever accomplish because if they want to compete in today’s world, they have to get ahead. The enemy has convinced our schools that our students need to “be more.”
We see it in the workplace.
Employers now regularly ask potential new employees if they are good multitaskers, even though multitasking has been proven to lower productivity and increase stress. The forty-hour workweek is a thing of the past. The enemy has convinced us that more work means more money, and to be happy we need to “get more.”
Of course, as we read this list, we can see the folly in it. But living day to day, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being busy. The tragedy is we’re too busy to seek God or to obey Him when He speaks.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” No wonder the devil attacks our peace and convinces us to stay busy all the time!
So how can we slow down the train? Christian leadership author Dr. Dean Radtke puts it like this: “Success comes by what you say no to.” Learning how to say no to uninspiring, unreasonable or outdated commitments means you can now let God rule over new opportunities. Say YES to God-authored ideas that inspire you. Jesus uses the example of pruning a tree so that it yields “much fruit.” Pruning is cutting into the live tissue on a branch, a process that can hurt. Yet, we know that after a season, that tree responds with accelerated growth, fullness and productivity. God is an excellent gardener when we let Him choose what to cut.
First on the chopping block: worry. So many of our commitments are borne out of care for basic needs. Here’s what Jesus has to say: “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? Do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek, but your Father knows that you need these things.”
He sums it all up by telling us in Luke 12, “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12:27-31)
So keep your peace! Quit worrying, and going, and doing! Instead with fervent faith, seek His Kingdom. No multitasking required.