This is part 4 of a series of posts I will be sending out every Friday, relevant to the theme of this year’s ENGAGE Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference. The posts will be short, to the point, and practical – designed to help you/your family in preparation for the conference (you will still benefit if you’re not coming to the conference!). Here goes with the fourth post…
Ecclesiastes 10:10 NKJV – 10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.
In the last post, we talked about the importance of recognising our “grace-position” before God, (not because of anything we have done) – so that we don’t attempt to make ourselves righteous by our own efforts, but rather serve God from a desire to please Him, knowing He has accepted us in Christ.
Today I want to focus on why “less is more” in so many areas of the Christian life. As mentioned in the first post in this series – we should be more concerned with effectiveness, rather than just efficiency. Here’s an illustration to make the point…
Let’s say someone decided to bless you with a gift – something that you really needed, something that was going to be such a benefit to you. The only catch is, you have to drive 5 hours to a certain place to pick up the gift.
So that’s a total of 10 hours driving in one day – but you’re going to do it – why? Because it’s the single most important thing you need to do that day, and it’s going to bring you the greatest blessing.
Well, guess what – it actually isn’t the most important thing you’re going to do. The most important thing you’re going to do – is put some petrol in the car before you drive away – and that’s only going to take you about 10 minutes!
10 hours of driving – that’s a lot of time doing something – surely the most time equals the most value and importance? Well it doesn’t does it? It’s actually the 10 minutes you spend putting petrol in the car, that is facilitating the entire activity you will spend 10 hours doing – and will ultimately bring the greatest value and blessing. What took “less” time, actually provided “more” benefit in the big picture.
So – you may spend 8 minutes in the morning – in prayer, and reading the Scriptures – dedicated time (I’m not saying that’s all the time we should spend, I’m just making a point) – then you go to work or manage the home for 8 hours. What was the most important activity, and what will add the most value, and blessing to the day?
The 8 minutes, or the 8 hours?
The 8 minutes.
What took “less” time, actually provided “more” benefit in the big picture.
It’s actually that 8 minutes (or whatever time you spend) that can have a profound effect on the 8 hours, because you have communed with God, committed the day to God, and so you can then continue to commune with God, as you acknowledge Him in your normal daily activity. If you want to cut down many trees for the Lord, and be productive in His kingdom – slow down, sharpen your spiritual axe, and you will speed up the process. Strange but true!
For thought, prayer and application: Do you currently have a daily, set-aside “sacred” time to read God’s Word and pray? I understand for some people, this seems impossible – hectic work schedules, the constant busyness of motherhood etc. However, the first step may simply be to implement “8 minutes” of this, rather than never make progress because you think it’s an hour of reading and praying or nothing. Don’t let an “all or nothing” mentality, rob you of the petrol you need in your car to gain the blessing God has for you. Do whatever you need to do, to carve this time into your schedule, and ask God for His grace to be consistent. Again, it’s not to gain His favour, or just do the “Christian thing”, but to spend time getting to know Him, allow His truth to shape your life, and bring everything to Him in prayer – which helps us know what to prioritise.
Click Below To Read Previous Posts in This Series…
Part 1 – “It is Finished!”
Part 2 – “Intention vs Intentions”
Part 3 – “The Performance Trap”
Have you registered for this year’s ENGAGE 2017 Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (Christchurch & Auckland)? Click here to find out more and register. EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS 14 JULY!