It's probably safe to say that you're expecting to be "busy" today, so I'll be quick and to the point.
Bottom line up front: Being "busy" can often feel like Being Under Satan's Yoke. (see what I did there?) There's often a tendency to get "busy" in various seasons of life because there's always something to do.
Deadlines to be met.
Family to be visited.
Presents to be bought.
Traveling to be done.
And if you are lucky enough to have a wife and kids, well, then you know how that goes. But regardless of how much gets piled on our plates men often push through it all. We clench our teeth and get it done (or "git 'er done" if you're from the south) regardless of the toll that it takes on our souls. Let's be honest for a moment.
After the git-er-done season is over are you usually where you would like to be as a man of God? Or, are you more likely to end up spiritually, relationally, physically and financially exhausted after it all? The stress and busy-ness of the season has a way of slowly wearing on us. Worst of all, we have a way of LETTING it wear on us year after year. Let's do something different!
Let's Be Clear.
First, let's be clear about this one thing: the enemy is here to kill, steal and destroy (see John 10:10). He doesn't pause his work so that you can get through a tough season. If anything, he uses your busy-ness for the purpose of stealing your joy. Especially since the joy of the Lord is your strength! (see Nehemiah 8:10) We quickly fall into his trap when we begin to equate our busy-ness to holiness. It's easier to do than you might think. We simply have to convince ourselves that the 103 errands we have to run by Wednesday are for the Lord and that they're necessary to advance the Kingdom and love others. But, as Jefferson Bethke wrote in his book, To Hell with the Hustle;
“Don't buy the lie that a full schedule means productivity or holiness or achievement.”
It's a lie.
Second, the point in coming against busy-ness isn't to avoid doing the things that have to get done. Rather, its to allow Jesus in on it and exchange the devil's heavy yoke for Jesus' light yoke (see Matt. 11:28-30). This can often be tough for men because there is glory in our strength and ability. We were MADE strong and gritty. We feel like we are serving others when we silently bare through and git 'er done even when it taxes our souls. But Jesus is offering rest for our souls! So as we prepare to charge at the craziness of the holiday season I want to encourage and challenge you with these TWO simple things for the next 5 days.
1. Read The Word FIRST
I challenge you to read your Bible before doing ANYTHING else. Yes, even before checking your Instagram! Don't make it about having to read the entire New Testament or anything like that. Just simply pick a book in the Bible and ask Holy Spirit to guide you through it. If you don't know where to start at least read a chapter from Proverbs a day!
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2. Prayer Time
For the next 5 days carve out time to listen to what God is saying.
Yes, pray; but the emphasis is to listen close for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Find a prayer closet and lock the door for a certain amount of time. Or, if you’re like me, pick a prayer route and walk it! Regardless of how you do it, just do it!
Can you do those two simple things?
I’m sure that it will not happen without sacrifice. For many of us this might mean having to wake up a little earlier or go to bed a little later to have the time and space to read, pray and listen without distractions.