I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s the end of August already! Where did the rest of 2014 go? If that’s you, you’re in the blur zone.
And when it comes to this blur zone, the Lord has been trying to pound something into my head. It’s a thought that I seem to hear everywhere I go – “activity does not equal accomplishment.” This age old saying can be updated to say, “Busyness doesn’t mean you’re doing anything.”
Samson was a judge for the nation of Israel (Judges 13-16). And time and time again Sampson would bring victory for Israel over her occupying power – the Philistines. Yet, what he was doing wasn’t very productive. The Bible relates one simple fact about Samson’s life. He did more in one day than he did in his entire life (Judges 16:28-30) On the last day of his life, Samson asked God to give him the strength so he could push on the pillars of Dagon’s Temple and bring down the house – literally. In his twenty years of leading Israel, one act outweighed all the rest of his life.
The difference was about what Samson was busy doing. He did a lot of things, but didn’t accomplish much. He is the poster boy for “Busyness doesn’t mean you’re doing anything.” He was busy doing stuff that didn’t amount too much. Yet keep in mind that The Book says we can do everything we do for God’s glory. All the tasks of life can have lasting value – if we do them for and in the power of Jesus.
As you look over your daily list of things to do, are you accomplishing something or merely doing something? Every act can draw us closer to Jesus. Let’s be busy about being more Christ-like in our behavior than just living in the blur zone.
S“E”t Free Nowww
We can let life pull us in so many directions by making us think that everything needs our attention…right now. And when we think we have to be in two places at one time – not physically, but for sure mentally – we become fatigued mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
It’s time to downsize those expectations and simplify your life. We can learn how from ol’ King Shlomo (Solomon). He tried “everything under the sun” and yet he drew one conclusion from it all – fear and follow God alone. Life really is that simple. It’s not about getting everything done that ends up on our plates, but a series of opportunities to choose to walk with and become more like Jesus in the midst of those demands.
Simplify your life today. “Lord, help me to do what You want done to today, regardless whether or not it’s on my plate.” The Psalmist said the same thing on the cross pictured above. Jesus does have a purpose for you life. And when we surrender to it and Him, He will fulfill it. Therein in lies the key, surrender. His loves us more than words can ever express. It’s time to purposefully slow down and listen to Him. Our way brings fatigue. His way brings fulfillment.
Stay focus on the main purposes Jesus has for your life: becoming more like Him in all your actions and sharing His love with those around you. Have a great time today listening to Jesus.
“S”et Free Nowww
Middle Eastern shepherds would bring their flocks together into one pen while one or two kept watch. This allowed the others to catch some valuable shuteye. This is the image behind Jesus’ words, “My sheep hear My voice and follow Me.” In the morning, each shepherd would call his sheep and they’d follow him.
Luke records that the shepherds were out in the fields watching over their sheep. They were working when all of a sudden an angel appears with blinding light saying, “Chill guys. I’ve got great news for you and everyone on this planet. Today God has fulfilled His promise. He sent the Savior, the Messiah to you. Rejoice. He’s in a cave lying in a cow’s feeding trough in Bethlehem. Get up and go see Him!”
They followed the advice of the angel and saw everything as the angel had told them. They encountered the living God and simply bubbled over with joy and peace to the point they couldn’t stop talking about what they saw.
Today, will you encounter the Living God? This is why Jesus came to the earth. He wants us to have a personal experience with Him every moment of the day, no matter where our day takes us. Keep in mind that these shepherds were at work, not at the synagogue! Jesus wants to put His fingerprints all over day. Will you let Him? Will you look for them? Go ahead. Have an encounter with your God today!
“S”et Free Nowww
We had quite a thunder and lightening storm a few days backs. I mentioned we had hail as long as an inch in some locations of our city. In fact, you could hear the hail hit the roof of my house with quite a bang. I was able to safely watch all of this because I choose to stay under my patio cover.
What if I decided to leave that covering? I would not only have gotten soaked to the bone from the large falling raindrops, but I could also have been seriously hurt depending on how many of those hailstones hit me. I used wisdom and stayed under the cover and watched nature do her thing.
1 Peter 5:4 talks about Jesus being the Chief Shepherd. He is our patio cover. When we choose to walk and talk with Him, He can protect us from serious hurt. This doesn’t mean we won’t face difficult times. It does mean, however, that we’re protected from self-inflicted hailstones falling on our heads! We’re also protected from unfiltered Father situations, much like Israel did when they continuously left His covering for the idols of the surrounding nations.
Here’s another friendly reminder. Straying from under God’s protection hurts. I know from experience. Today, choose to exercise the truths the Spirit has given you in His power to stay under the patio cover of the Father’s protection.
Set Fre“E” Nowww
“Dear friends, I have written as a reminder to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.” Peter was asking them to not let their thinking slip backward (2 Peter 3:1-2).
Sheep usually don’t run away. They slowly stray. Their heads are down as they eat grass and simply keep going until they’re full. This could be hundreds of yards away from the watchful eye of their loving and protective shepherd!
You don’t just fall! You let your thinking wander, a little today, a little more tomorrow and before you know it, you’re ready to fall into the pit of your drug of choice. Stimulate your thinking by remembering the truths God specifically gave you. If you’ve taken the weekend off from listening to Jesus in the Word, get back in it!
Those who fall stop doing the things Jesus gave them to do to be and stay free. Use today as friendly reminder to put your head up. Have you begun to stray into situations where you are vulnerable to repeating the sinful behavior the Spirit wants to replace with Christ-like character? If so, repent (turn around toward Jesus), ask forgiveness for the bad choices you made and then in the Spirit’s power obey the truths Jesus gave you.
Better to get back now, than stray greater and greater distances where even more trouble awaits.
Set Free No“W”ww