I just did a devotional about busyness and how at times God has to slow us down in order to get our attention. I wanted to write so much more in that devotional, but it would have been too long so I decided to continue that on here! I feel like busyness one of the many things God constantly has to work on with me because it seems like I am always on the go! If I’m not traveling for business with my job, then I am traveling for pleasure with family and/or friends. When I’m home I’m always working on something new whether a new project or ministry, I just always have something coming up, something that needs to be done. I recently went to the Pinky Promise Women’s Conference in Atlanta a couple weeks ago and I feel like I was forever changed after my experience there. God spoke to me in a mighty way, showed me what He wants to do in my life, but also showed me the areas that need to be cleaned up before He can do those things. One of those areas He has placed on my heart to work on is my personal intimate time with Him. Sure I set aside time to read a devotional and a few verses here and there. Sure I set aside a little time to develop a new “She Inspires” devotional, but He’s been telling me for a while that that isn’t enough and during that weekend I not only heard it loud and clear but I felt it in my spirit.
The week after the conference I made more of an effort to spend special time with God. I woke up earlier than normal just to get in that quiet time with Him. I also chose to either ride to work in silence, listen to a Christian podcast (The Great Girlfriends which I discovered and fell in love with at the PP conference), or listen to Christian/Gospel music. I must say by making that small change on my commute to work, it made a world of difference in how my day went. In making that decision to wake up 30 minutes earlier made what could have been a stressful week, so carefree and easy. I didn’t feel bound by my own personal deadlines, expectations and standards. I wasn’t mentally beating myself up for not coming up with 2 new blog post ideas or 3 new devotionals. It wasn’t about me and how I felt, instead it was about God and what He wanted for me. My focus shifted when I decided to slow down and spend some time with Him.
What I’m learning is that with our deadline driven, schedule obsessed, activity overloaded lives, we can somehow lose touch with what is really important. We become like robots rapidly moving from one task to the next. We are overworked, overstressed, and spiritually undernourished. No wonder we’re always talking about how tired we are! And we’re too tired to spend time with God. He’s last on our list, if he’s even on there. When we’re too tired, we usually unwind in front of the TV, catch up on what’s going on in the world through social media, spend hours surfing the web, etc. Satan’s goal is to keep us moving from one thing to the next in an attempt to distract us. If he can distract us, then he can minimize our usefulness to the Kingdom of God. He doesn’t want us to slow down. He wants us to keep going and going so that we’re too tired to walk in our purpose, too tired to accomplish that goal we put on our vision board earlier this year, too tired to fulfill that dream we always talk about.
God just showed me something that literally made me get my entire existence lol! When I asked Him what was in His word about busyness, He showed me one of the greatest example of the consequences of busyness which is found in Luke 10:38–42.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
So I had to ask God what He was trying to say, playing it off as if I didn’t know! He said, “you’re just like Martha, running around and rushing, distracted by all the things that need to be done. You are worried and upset about many things but have forgotten what is better – Me.” Ouch! At that point I finally understood what God had been trying to tell me over and over for so long. Even my husband has told me numerous times that I need to slow down, but I can’t is what I say! Not fully understanding what it means to slow down in God. It’s not necessarily about having days with nothing to do, it’s more about including God in those days and making Him my top priority. I must intentionally make the effort to slow down and model Mary. She left the cares of worries of the world to sit at Jesus feet and just enjoy His presence. If we don’t include intimacy, close personal time, with God daily, then all the things we are running around doing, thinking we are accomplishing, are meaningless. Without that time with Him, it’s impossible to have a relationship with Him, which means it’s impossible to fully discover the purpose He has for our lives. It’s impossible. If you are like me and need to slow down, I want to encourage you as I encourage myself to follow the example of Mary. Don’t start on that to-list before you sit at Jesus’ feet. Don’t get on social media to update your status or check someone else’s before you spend some time with Jesus. Remember without Him, everything else you spend time on, thinking you’re getting points for accomplishing, is meaningless.
Check out today’s devotional below…
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
I travel very often for both business and pleasure and with my travels it’s almost inevitable that I will experience some type of delay, some type of sickness, just something on my trip! I’ve gotten to the point where I prepare my mind for anything to happen, the worst actually, but I always hope for the best. Usually in these delays or setbacks I often try to seek God and find a message within the mess. I turn to Him to find out what He is trying to teach me in that teachable moment.
Over the last week God has been showing me some areas in my life that He needs to change in order for me to be able to do some of the things He’s called me to do. (Notice I said “He needs to change” instead of “I need to change”, true change comes from God and His power, not our own.) I’ve been asking God to do what He needs because I’m ready, but He has been telling me that we need to spend more time together. Okay, Lord. If you want us to spend more time together, then I’m going to need your help!
We know that the Bible places high value on rest and peaceful living. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He Himself escaped the busyness of the crowds occasionally to renew His strength. When’s the last time your strength has been renewed? When’s the last time you slowed down? These are questions God has been asking me. He told me He can’t move me forward in certain things until I can practice slowing down and spending that quiet time with Him in order to renew my strength and my faith in Him. How can God allow you to walk in your purpose when you’re too busy for your purpose?
As I said before, many of my trips are met with delays and setbacks. So I plainly asked God, “why are many of my trips met with delays, sickness or some type of setback?” He said, “because it’s guaranteed to slow you down and get your attention. You’re always on the go and so busy trying to get to your destination on time that you often forget about the Creator of time.” He also reminded me of my prayer for help in spending more time with Him! There was my answered prayer – a delayed trip just so I can spend some intimate time with my Creator. Isn’t God good?
If God is trying to slow you down, He’s probably trying to get your attention. You need to slow down for a minute and find a quiet place to rest in Him. It’s so important for the renewal of your strength in order to carrying on personally, socially, professionally and, above all, spiritually. So, ask yourself, when’s the last time you slowed down? Amen.
Until next time…