Wednesday, April 16

Things God is showing us (Part 2 of 4)

The lack of a clear defined purpose for why God has us here is clearly one of the major hindrances I see in the overall work and ministry here in Ecuador. There is simply too much going on. Too many irons in the fire. Too many distractions. We desperately need to simplify. Focus and act on fewer points to accomplish more.

I am becoming more convinced one of Satan's major schemes is to distract us from the few things that are really important. As Jesus says in Luke 10, "Martha, Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

What is the "one thing" needed that Jesus tells Martha? I think it is simply that very little of the "stuff" that we are distracted with is all that important. The one thing we need to make sure we are doing is to "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..." Cut out all the clutter in our lives that is detracting from obeying this command. Define what "seeking first his kingdom" means and then do it.

How do we implement this commandment of Jesus in our daily lives?

God is showing us is that we don't have to respond or act upon all that is directed our way. Just because someone throws us the ball, doesn't mean we have to catch it.

To me it means simplify. Reduce. Unclutter our lives. Define what is really important and focus on doing well fewer things. Prioritize where our time is being spent.

If the enemy can somehow keep us on the move, filling our days with endless trivial tasks, we won't have time, energy, or focus for those Kingdom matters that really count.

Few are able to process all the data and daily demands coming from all over. It is unrealistic to expect people to process and act upon a constant and ever changing flow of new information. There are just too many ministry opportunities, assigned tasks, expectations, reports to absorb, books/articles to read, prayer concerns, meetings to attend, busy work, programs, activities, and daily appointments we really don't care anything about but do them anyway to please others. When all is said and done, we find we have spent yet another day spinning our wheels but accomplishing very little in regards to those things that really matter.

All of this leads to an unfocused and distracted life. Very little of importance actually ever gets done. Most of our time is spent on the "tyranny of the urgent." We stay busy, busy, busy, but accomplish very little in regards to those things Jesus said are important.

For a couple of other lessons God is teaching us these days check out these two previous posts from "Things God is showing us: Part 3 of 4, and Part 4 of 4".

What do you think of the above? What are some things God is showing you these days?

8 comments:

Manny Fernandez said...

It is interesting that you speak about prioritizing. I think much of the world is finding that we all are spending far too much time on things that don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

I would encourage you to search Getting Things Done (GTD). It is a secular time management system that I have found useful in working through tasks in my ministry.

Don't worry I am not an affiliate or anything of the sort. But I like you grow frustrated when I find myself and others spending time on tasks which contribute little to major goals. God bless you!

GuyMuse said...

Manny,

Thanks for stopping by and for the word about GTD. If you have a link to their website I would love to see what they have to say.

We indeed spend a great deal of time on tasks that contribute very little to what is really important. I would hope this year to begin to prioritize tasks rather than treating them all equal. Some things just are more important than others and ought to be given priority.

mic said...

distractions yes. That his been one of my struggles lately. I have been trying to focus on too many things that are going on and none of them I have the power to correct or change. You are right, Satan would rather us be overwhelmed by a load of stuff rather than keep it real and simple.

Blessings

GuyMuse said...

mic,

I just returned from a church planting conference where we were teaching the "3D's" of the Devil: discouragement, distraction, and division. Any time we set out to do something in the Kingdom, the enemy will come at us with one of the three d's...sometimes all three at once!

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

Hey, Guy,

I haven't been on your blog in awhile; I have been on the road. I have been busy running up and down the interstates. Talk about a cluttered life!

I think you are on target with the simplification thing. John Hyde, aka, "The Praying Hyde," was a man who discovered the Mary Principle you alluded to. His fellow missionaries were displeased with him, until he began seeing more results in 2 hours a day than they saw in 10. We should all take note of that.

Peace,

KDS

GuyMuse said...

Kevin,

Are you on the road in the USA or somewhere in S. America? What is the title of the John Hyde biography? I definitely want to pick up a copy this summer while we are Stateside.

CmlCros said...

Guy:::
You asked "what is God showing us?". We've recently gone through a pretty heart breaking time of being broken on our field. Not related to local culture but to team issues. Strangely enough...it's freed me up. During this process I've been sidelined to more of a support role. My previous role as Partnership coordinator placed me in a strange position because my SL and I see partnership in 2 radically different ways. As a result I spent alot of time thinking about how to navigate the treacherous waters of the relationship. Now I'm free.

I can focus on the relationships the Lord has brought into my life and not get sucked into administrative things. No more coaching...just playing the game.

GuyMuse said...

CmlCros,

I can relate to your team issues. We have worked very hard over the past eight years working through team issues. One of the things we have learned from the whole teaming thing is that teams need to be formed with like-minded people who agree on the common objectives. If there is even one person in the group who sees things differently it can cause a lot of problems.

Our own regional leadership is now encouraging SC's to form their own teams with people they choose, and not necessarily force people living in the same region to be on the same team.

In our case, 10 of the 12 are nationals who are either leaders who have come out of the harvest (new believers), or nationals that we have worked closely with over the years and have a good relationship with.

A pure missionary team is probably the toughest group to work with. We started that way back eight years ago, but have evolved into a team where the leader is now a national. The nationals outnumber the IMBers 10-2. It makes for a very different dynamic as we tend to do things "their way" rather than "our way."