There is way too much to do in life to do it all. That is why it is critical for you to find God’s goals and only live out those.
God will never overload you. People will. And you will. But God won’t.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NCV
I used to have a bad habit of opening my organizer and planning out my priorities for the day before I prayed. Many times by the time I was done planning my day I didn’t have time left to pray.
I finally decided that I needed to flip it and pray first and plan second. So, I got up, set my organizer aside, and began to pray. Immediately the Lord spoke to my mind and said, “Open your organizer.” What? I was confused. I knew it wasn’t me because I had already decided I was going to pray first. But I obeyed, and when I opened it, He said, “Now I will tell you what your priorities are for the day.”
What a blessing, and how smart – to have God set my agenda for me rather than me setting it and asking Him to bless it.
Once I started doing that it became so much easier for me to say no to other people’s expectations and pressing needs.
One time, after Jesus had finished a very long day of ministry the night before, and got up very early the next morning to pray, His disciples found Him and attempted to set His agenda for Him:
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ But Jesus replied, ‘We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.’” Mark 1:35-38 NLT
Jesus had already determined what He was going to say yes to, so He knew what to say no to.
He was saying yes to His Father in heaven’s plan for His day.
Now there are healthy and important expectations that you must fulfill, such as your boss’ (if they are reasonable), your coach’s, your parents’- if you are a minor – and others who are in positions of authority in your life. But sometimes even those are too much, and you need to communicate that to them–and/or you need to find God’s goals within those roles because that is where you will find His empowering grace.
But beyond the expectations that you cannot shirk, there are so many others that you should – either ones you put on yourself, or those that others try to put on you. You will not have the grace for these, and they will weigh you down.
Jesus promises that if you come to Him, He will teach you and show you the load, or as some translations say, the yoke you should wear. (A yoke is what goes over the necks of two oxen so they can stay together as they plow a field. Jesus is saying that if you allow Him to set the agenda for your life, you will be yoked to Him and you can plow together.)
My prayer for you is that you will begin each day asking Jesus what His priorities are for you for that day. I think you will be surprised at some of the things He might say.
THINK ABOUT IT
- Do you start the day looking at your things to do list, or asking God what should be on your things to do list?
- How do you think your day would be different if you began it by not assuming what important tasks need to be accomplished that day, but asking God what important tasks need to be accomplished that day?
- Do you have a hard time telling people no? Do you have a difficult time setting boundaries with people in your life who are imposing their agenda on you? If so, why don’t you ask God why and see what He reveals to you?