Like you, dear reader, I am busy “all the live long day.” It is imperative, therefore, that we spend our time wisely. For this to take place we have to rid ourselves of both the external distractions of our everyday lives and the internal distractions of our ever-rustling minds.
If there is a key to single-minded living, surely it must in Jesus’ practice of daily seeking God’s will. Communing with the Father gave Him a sense of direction and enabled Him to accomplish every task God assigned Him. Note that I did not say that Jesus finished all the urgent tasks facing Him. But He did complete all the work which the Father gave Him to do (John 17:4).
Should we not, then, take Jesus’ words literally: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”? Only the man who decisively wills to be and to remain loyal to God’s kingdom can find the time to accomplish all possible things. But we must be clear about this: The main path in life that God requires us to follow involves an exclusive allegiance to His kingdom. We should make no exceptions. The kingdom of God is central, while all other pursuits are peripheral. The fruit of our life does not depend so much on the number of things we do but more on the quality of the kingdom-orientation we assign to each thing.
And so, as I go about my husbanding and my fathering, my lecturing and my writing, my preaching and my teaching, I am gradually learning this lesson: I gain a real center to my life, not by doing, but by doing the right things. If we are preoccupied with what it is God wants us to do moment by moment, surely we can expect to experience the peace that Paul lists as the fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes I call this “restful rushing” – Christ’s calm in the midst of our frenzied lives. The main thing is to do “all for the sake of the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:23). But note: we must fully embrace the gospel and not just apply it to our personal salvation. Although we must recognize the opportune time for evangelism when it comes, we must also remember that the Christ whom we preach “went about doing good all the days He went in and out among us.” The key requirement is to discern the will of God at any given movement of the day, and then arrange (or, if necessary, rearrange) our priorities accordingly.
I have much to learn in these and other areas. At times my progress seems frustratingly slow. But we can all begin somewhere, and we can all begin now.
February 15, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.