"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, October 1, 2010

MANAGING OVERLOAD

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Do you ever find yourself saying, There aren't enough hours in the day. I just don't have the time. My plate is full. Or, I simply cannot handle one more thing? On more than one occasion I have found myself muttering these exact words to myself. It is times like this when I start to question the overwhelming demands of life.

What are we to do with the overload we carry? How do we balance life and the requests made of us? How can we manage the demands of living?

Two weeks ago I posted a devotion regarding weariness. For this post I would like to piggyback on it in this weeks devotion.

The Lord has graciously taught me a few things over the years as I have tried to manage life as a wife, mother, pastor's wife, friend, speaker and Bible teacher. First and foremost, when I operate in my own strength and rely on myself, I tend to fall prey to emotional and physical fatigue. When I rely on God's strength, I am capable to handle the daily pressures of being a mom and managing our home. When I rely on God, I recognize I cannot do life on my own.

There are a few ideas I would like to suggest to help keep overload at bay. Let's face it, we all have those weeks, or months when life seems a bit more chaotic that usual even when we are trying to live a balanced life.

Two necessary truths must first be accepted. Acceptance of these two truths precipitates three necessary actions we must take.

The first truth is that Jesus is our source of refreshment. The key verse from Matthew points this out. Strength and rest are found in him. He will satisfy. He will sustain. Secondly, we must acknowledge we cannot be an effective ____________ without Him. Without Him we operate in our own strength which is sure to leave us empty.

Once these truths are internalized we can move forward to taking three necessary actions. First, we need to declare what God has called us to. Simply stated, accept your season. Maybe you have little ones, teenagers, college students, or grand kids. Perhaps you are a full-time mother, home school mom, ministry worker, or have part-time or full-time work, or maybe you volunteer somewhere. Declare with confidence this season of your life.

Knowing what God has called us to will determine our priorities. This leads to the second action for us to take. We need to re-evaluate our priorities. Hand in hand with this idea is to set boundaries and guard them. What happens is that our boundaries often do not match our priorities. In order to help our boundaries match our priorities, we need to exercise the word, "no". We cannot do it all. We may not be able to commit to something depending on our season. If we don't take charge of our time, others will take charge of it for us. We should let go of the stuff that doesn't fit within our priorities and boundaries.

Lastly, it is important for each of us to stop listening to the world. The world tells us busyness is better. Some take pride in their rush and restlessness. Do we believe that to be busy is to be godly? The enemy would like us to think so. Sometimes our overload is due to listening to the world too much.

Some who are reading this are beyond overload. Your gas tank has been on E for way too long. You may need to step down from a project or a position in order for your boundaries to match your priorities. You may need to say "no" to a current request that has been made of you. Saying no enables us to not only accept our season, but fully embrace it with joy.

Imagine the outcome if people weren't suffering so severely from overload? Consider what will happen when our boundaries do match our priorities. Think of the response when we declare with confidence the season God has called us to. What will happen when we start saying "no"? Do you want to jump on board?



Heart Work:
Am I creating some of my own chaos? Do I need to say "no" to something or step down from an activity? Is my schedule over committed to others but not committed to God? Do I recognize how the world influences my priorities? What can I do to change this?


Heart Examination:

Ask God to help you rely on His strength. Make the time to reestablish your boundaries so they better match your priorities.


Heart Changing Word:

Matthew 11:28 (NIV) "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

Exodus 33:14 "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Psalm 62:1 "My soul finds rest in God alone."

Psalm 62:5 "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him."

Isaiah 40:29 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."



Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.