For many people there is one thing that is preventing them from becoming more productive in their service to God: the pace of their life. I have been meditating for a couple of weeks on the importance of keeping a manageable pace in one’s life. I usually meditate on things like that when the pace of my life has become unmanageable. And by meditate I am referring to that few moments when I am driving frantically between two places, both of which I need to be at once, and I can’t do anything but think for a few minutes because I’m behind the wheel.
I am convinced that the spiritual disciplines and quiet moments of fellowship with God are the only things that can fuel a Kingdom building life of significance in Christ. A frantic prayer before you roll out of bed for God to deliver you from all the demands of the day does not qualify. Coffee cannot fuel the kind of victorious life we are called to live as believers, only the Holy Spirit can. And though there are times in life when God does sustain us in the midst of maddening circumstances, that type of lifestyle cannot be Plan A. For many of us it may not be the plan, but it seems to have become the reality.
For many of us, soul nourishing time with God resembles two jet planes conducting a mid-air refueling more than a purposeful disciple who prioritizes quiet times of reflection and prayer.
Often when I feel pressed about my frantic pace and overloaded schedule, I feel helpless more than anything else. I feel like the victim of an overextended life. The truth is that God would not have us be victimized by our calendars any more than He would have us be victimized by anything else. God has not called us to be overwhelmed by life, he has called us to be over-comers.
Much like God gave Adam a mandate to exercise dominion over His creation in the Garden, we must exercise Godly dominion over the chaos of life. God told Adam to “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it…” That same mandate exists for us today. Instead of digging dirt, rearranging shrubs and pruning vines, those of us who wrestle with busyness must subdue our schedules. Mark Chanski speaks of God’s example for us in this work, “It’s time to reflect our beloved Heavenly Father, who took the primeval chaos of the unformed universe, and with his efficient labor ordered it into a finely tuned domain over which he stood as a capable ruler.” As we seek to live up to God’s call and image, remember that He has not left us alone to do so by our own might or wisdom. 1 John 4:4 – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Here are 2 keys to success in balancing the chaos of life, and making room for sacred time with God.
Key #1: We must depend on the work of God in our hearts to fuel our effectiveness. The difference for me is whether I am depending on the work to get my heart right, or depending on my heart to get the work right.
Key #2: With God’s help, take control. If you are unorganized, find the most organized person you know and schedule time with them to learn their tricks. If you are always rushed in the mornings and that sets the pace for your day, get up an hour earlier. If people distract you from getting things done, have someone install a door to your office. If you already have one, close it from time to time so you can focus.
Those of us who are church leaders must prioritize the inner walk with God because if we don’t, the outer walk which everyone sees will be so chaotic that it will be of no use to anyone.