“And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”” (Nehemiah 4:19–20, ESV)
Nehemiah shared how the work was spread widely. Everyone was scattered doing their own thing. It would make it difficult if they faced an attack.
Maybe this is how you feel. You feel scattered. You are doing what seems like a million different things in a million different places. You feel like you are spread thin, a mile wide and an inch deep. You find it difficult to rally when you need to rally. You lack motivation. You lack energy. You feel as if you are going under.
Following Jesus is not about adding one more thing to our busy schedules and spreading us even thinner. Following Jesus is not so much about doing more, but doing what we do with God’s strength. And there is a good chance that means doing less.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind and not to be conformed to the world. While we are in this world, we are not of this world. Our kingdom is an eternal kingdom. But we often try to live “of the world” and “of the kingdom of God” at the same time. We try to have both.
But it does not work that way. You can’t live “of the world” and “of the kingdom” at the same time. Your commitment will go to one or the other. Following Jesus is often more about unfollowing the ways of the world than anything else. Jesus does not want to be our first thing among many things; he wants to be our everything.
The world tells us that we need to do all things, be all things, and buy all things. We try to chase it all till we wear ourselves out. But Jesus tells us that if he is our everything, and that we don’t need all that stuff. We have bought the lie that so many unimportant things are important.
“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” – John Maxwell
- Do you find yourself scattered and chasing after unimportant things that you have made important?
- How do you focus on what matters and let go of the rest?
Jesus, you are my everything. You are all that I need. But I have majored on the minors. I have made my world pursuits more important than they are. I have created needless stress and anxiety in my life trying to hold on to things you have told me to let go. I pray that you would be the air that I breathe – that my highest aim and ambition would be none other than to live for your glory. Amen.