Wednesday, October 24, 2012

He Answered My Question!

              Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” The weight that I carry every day and the sin that I find ensnaring me at every turn is busyness.  I did not want to admit it at first, but I must confess it, but it is true, I have sinned in this.
                Yesterday, I asked a bunch of questions based off of being a living sacrifice to the Lord. Today, He answered my queries and showed me what I was lacking and why my “living sacrifice” was burning out and not continually on fire. I forgot the balance that is needed to make my living sacrifice holy and acceptable to Him. I put my living sacrifice upon the altar and it burns out so quickly because the coals of balance are missing. There is no fuel because there is no balance.
                This morning, as I woke up, praising Him for taking my migraine away at 2:00a.m. He reminded me of a scripture in Isaiah. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) On the page beside this scripture is a commentary titled, “Fatigue, Refueling for Renewed Service.”  (I love how the Lord uses His word to speak to me, to lead me to exactly what I need each and every day! It is so exciting and refreshing, and I love Him so much for it!)
                The commentary reads: “Fatigue can make a “nag” of anyone! Nothing goes further to make a woman less able to cope with unruly children, household or job crisis, and thousands of other mundane irritations. Scripture offers ways for women to reduce fatigue and avoid weariness.” As I read these words I realized that my body was growing weary from the amount of time I was spending serving and keeping up the home. Time is something we as women pray for, at least I do, praying that the Lord would give me time to get all that needs to be done in one day accomplished. But yet, time is something that I waste more than any other gift I have been given.
                Time is a gift, it is a gift of God, given to us to use wisely. Something, I have to admit and confess to you all - I am not a good steward of time, always finding time to do this and that but never finding time to do the most needful of tasks. I fill my days with busy work, and forget to ask the Lord what He wants me to do with the time that He has given me today. But He did not stop there in His chastening of me this morning, He kept going. (Praise God!)
                “Women need to guard against over commitment. Even good and godly pursuits must be weighed against the purposes of God. (Hebrews 12:1) I need to learn to ask the Lord, instead of praying for more time, ask Him if the busyness that I find myself doing is a good use of the time He has given me. Busyness is a sin, ladies; it was what the Lord warned Martha of when He told her that her “much serving” was getting in the way of her relationship with Him. Now, I do take the time each day to spend with my Lord and Savior, I set aside my morning hours to read, study, and sit at His feet. However, some days, I am in “Martha mode” so my reading and study time is crowded out by all the “to do’s” going off in my head. I am not giving Him my full attention; my heart becomes divided during these times.
                So how do we women, who find ourselves ensnared in the sin of busyness find the balance that the Lord wants us to have? Yes, He does want us to be living sacrifices, but the sacrifice He calls us to be is not to be burnt up and burnt out in one day. The sacrifice that we are to be to Him is continual, enduring and always burning. There has to be balance in our daily lives, otherwise, you will end up like me. Sick with a migraine for days, that you have no other choice but to rest and pray for release!
                We must learn to say “no” and we must learn to ask if the task at hand is really a good use of the time that God has given us. The commentary in my bible goes on to say that we must “determine to slow (our) frantic pace, resist the temptation to add more and more to (our) schedule. Busyness is not necessarily godliness. Perhaps (our) “R and R” should become “ Re-prioritizing Responsibilities”.  Good advice, but how then do we do this? How do we be living sacrifices that have a constant burning and not a quick burn out?
                Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Everything we have to do has a proper time, ordained by God for us to complete. As I read the verses about time (Eccl. 3:1-8) I realized that my day has already been preordained by God. He knows before I do what is ahead, and I can rest in that because He is a gracious God, He is a loving God, and He knows what I need before I do. Time management is what is needed for the cure of busyness in our lives. We have to learn to let go of things that are not a wise use of our time, and focus on Jesus Christ, the author of our days.
                “Time management is not just keeping busy but includes finding God’s focus for you-choosing a direction and moving ahead to accomplish your goals. Managing time is one of the most difficult yet helpful skills a woman can develop. It takes maximum effort and realistic planning.” (Commentary from Woman’s Study Bible, NKJV) The Lord tells us that we are to order each day, not our weeks and years, because that becomes overwhelming. We are to seek His plan for our day. We need to learn to use the gift of time given to us by our loving Father in wisdom.
                “First, (we) must acknowledge that ( we) have time- the same amount God has given to everyone. You, with God’s help must determine how to use your time.(Proverbs 3:5-6)…..Remember that by using small amounts of time faithfully, you can accomplish great things. (Eccl. 9:10)….The “woman of strength” arose early to plan for the day’s activities (Proverbs 31:15).” (Further Commentary from study bible)
                For me, I learned that to be a living sacrifice to God on a continual basis I need to find the balance in my days. I need to take time for rest and refreshment, I need to allow my body to rest (let’s be real, I am not getting any younger). There is nothing wrong with serving the Lord in many areas, or ministries. There is nothing wrong with working long hours, or completing many tasks, the issue arises when those tasks bring us to a point where we let them rule us, and not us ruling them. We as women have a tendency to become busy because we think that is what is needed and expected of us, when in all reality, the Lord is saying, “I need you to be ready to be used and not too tired to go another minute because you have filled your day with tasks that are not needful.” We are to be a living sacrifice, not a dead tired one! Balance, I need balance, and I am sure that many of you women reading this today can say the same thing.
                Take some time today to seek the Lord’s purpose for your day. What has He planned for you, when we offer ourselves on a daily basis to the tasks the Lord has preordained for us, then we will find that joy in serving our Lord, and the coals to keep the fire burning under our living sacrifice, which will in turn, be holy and acceptable to God. Before you do anything, ask the Lord if it is a wise use of the time that He has given you today.
                May the Lord give us rest and refreshment, may He give us strength to do all that He has for us today, may we, in peace and wisdom use the time He has given us to His glory and to His honor, in Jesus Name. Amen.