Week 1: Saturday
- Isaiah 56:1–8
- Matthew 5:37
- Matthew 11:25–30
Questions to Consider
- In what areas of your life do you feel overcommitted and overburdened?
- Why is overcommitment bad for us and for others?
- How can you start to move your priorities towards what is truly important and leave behind those things which are less important?
- How does Jesus enable us to overcome our overcommitment?
Plan of Action
- Write down one thing God would have you accomplish today. Then make it a priority to do it. Stay focused on that one priority. Don’t do anything else until you have finished.
- Consider your many commitments. It is time to purge. It is time to say no. Eliminate one commitment you have made that is taking away from your other commitments.
- Make one day this week an actual Sabbath. Don’t work. Eliminate any commitments for that day.
There are 24 hours in a day. There are 7 days in a week. There are 365 days in a year. If you believe God knows what he is doing, then you believe God created just the right amount of time. He gave you 24 hours in a day to do everything he intended you to do. If you can’t do everything in 24 hours then there is a good chance you are doing more than he ever intended for you to accomplish.
We always have enough time to do what is important to us. You make time for your priorities. When you don’t get something done, it means the priority was not there.
Every time we say “yes” to one thing we are saying “no” to another thing. We try to have it all. We try to do it all. But we are finite beings with limited time. We are not God even though we try to be.
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ … Matthew 5:37 (ESV)
Many of us are good at saying yes. We are not as good at saying no.
The key here is to make God’s priorities your priorities. One of God’s priorities is for you to have margin in your life. The margin is the space in your life which is not committed to any particular thing. The problem is we are committed to the point we can’t take on any more commitments. It is a situation which is unsustainable.
We need to learn to say no to the wrong things, so that we can say yes to the right things. The problem is that the wrong things are not often clear. This is where we need discernment. The discernment comes from God.
In our Lutheran tradition, the third commandment is: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) The Sabbath Day is a day of rest. It was a day to stop. It was a day to create margin in our lives. One of the reasons we rush so much is because we believe everything is dependent upon us. The Sabbath Day is a way of putting our work in God’s hands. It is trusting him to accomplish what we cannot accomplish.
As much as it is important to build Sabbath rest into your week, it is important to build Sabbath rest into your day. In my own personal life there are many days I am tempted to skip my morning time for devotions and prayer. There are many days I think to myself that I don’t have enough time. But I find the days when I pause to put my work in God’s hands are the days I am most productive. The days I plow forward into my work without him are usually the days I end up frustrated and unproductive. The reason I believe this to be true is because by setting aside this time I am allowing God to establish my priorities. He gives me the insight to say no to what I need to say no to and yes to what I need to say yes to.
There is a lot to do. It’s time to say no, so that we can say yes to all the incredible things God has in store. Remember your value is not found in what you accomplish, but in what Jesus accomplished for you.