GET ACQUAINTED: If you were a race car, what kind would you be and what is the speed you normally would cruise at all day?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:28-30
REVIEW: In our supersonic postmodern society, known for its busyness and its increasing ability to deliver instantaneously, we find ourselves hurried more than our ancestors ever could have imagied. We have come a long way from the horse-and-buggy days, and because of that, our twenty-four hours a day seem more and more restrictive. We never feel like we have enough time to accomplish everything we want or need to do, and the clock keeps ticking. In the midst of maintaining a 1,500 calorie diet, picking up the kids from soccer practice, and keeping our car insurance current, we can somehow lose touch with what is really important. We become like robots rapidly moving from one task to the next. We are overworked, overstressed, and spiritually undernourished. Our culture promotes "bigger and better" and subtly challenges us to keep up. Whew! Who made these rules anyway? Satan loves to keep us running in circles trying to beat the clock. If he can distract us, he can minimize our usefulness to the Kingdom of God. Satan may be the Prince of Darkness, but hes is also the Duke of Distraction.
As Christians, we cannot allow ourselves to be swept away in the undercurrent of the cultural stopwatch. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
The Bible places high value on rest and peaceful living. During Jesus' earthly ministry, He Himself escaped the busyness of the crowds occasionally to renew His strength. Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to [His disciples], Mark 6:3 , "Come away by ourselves to a desolate place and rest for a while." It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to hear God's still, quiet voice over the roar of the 21st-century crowds, so, like Jesus, we must take time to rest and hear from our Lord.
A great example of the consequences of busyness is showcased in Luke 10:38-42 , "Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman names Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her than to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary, Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
If we are honest, most of the time we resemble Martha more than Mary. We rush around doing “what needs to be done,” while missing the glimpses of Jesus all around us. As difficult as it is, and as contrary to our culture as it is, we must intentionally make the effort to slow down and model Mary because, as Jesus Himself said, “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We must be intentional about making time to rest in Jesus. Let the phone ring, the chores can wait, and social media could use a break. Those things are not eternal. Jesus is eternal. Let us make the effort to sit at His feet and enjoy Him rather than miss Him like Martha did because she was fussing over the dishes. Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
Used by permission and excerpted from gotquestions.org
GET IT: In your opinion, what is the number tactic Satan uses to keep you from doing the best things? What can you do to fight it? What counsel would you give others?
DIG DEEPER: In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus made four statement to help you slow down. He made a request in v. 28a, gave us a promise and guarantee in v. 28b, then gave us a command in v. 29a and ended the verse explaining what His motivation was. Which part of the verse speaks to you personally and explain it in your own words? Why did it speak to you?
AND DEEPER: Pastor Ruben gave us four signs of a misdirected hurried life: 1) stress 2) loss of joy 3) less productivity 4) unable to clearly hear God. Which of the four signs, if any are present in your life currently?
APPLY: At the end of his message Pastor Ruben shared an acrostic for the word SLOW (Stop the constant push for more; Learn to say no to good things to save time for the best things; Obey God’s fourth commandment; and Wait on God’s timing. In it he gave us four practical things we can do starting now to slow down our life. Which one do you need to work on? When will you start?