Are You Too Busy For God?

By John Thiel

We have reflected upon the Sabbath of the Lord our God.  We appreciated the fact that it was a day of fellowship with the Lord, of meeting him and holding communion with him.  We learnt that we needed to prepare for such a communion all through the week so that there would be no moment of time on the Sabbath day that would be cluttered by any interference.

Part of that preparation was not to permit a load of duties to fall upon our soul that God has not bidden us to take.  By taking so many burdens upon us we become so weary that not even on the Sabbath can we truly tune into to that precious time with God.

The great adversary of souls is continually seeking to insinuate himself between you and the Source of your strength. If you allow your mind to be taken up with worldly cares, he will manage to have these cares so varied in character, and press so continually upon you, that you can find no time for the spiritual and the eternal. {ST, May 8, 1884 par. 10}

It is the adversary of souls for these last days that is making our experience so unpleasant that we indeed find so little time to enjoy fellowship with the Lord.

Many gather to themselves burdens that the merciful Heavenly Father did not place on them.  {MYP 135.2}

Is this a reality today?  It is because the adversary of souls works to load ourselves.

Duties He never designed them to perform chase one another wildly. God desires us to realize that we do not glorify His name when we take so many burdens that we are overtaxed, and, becoming heart-weary and brain-weary, chafe and fret and scold. We are to bear only the responsibilities that the Lord gives us, trusting in Him, and thus keeping our hearts pure and sweet and sympathetic.  {MYP 135.2

We should keep this statement fresh in our memory.

How we can come to know duties God has laid upon us verses duties that the adversary of souls has laid upon us? How can you tell?  Both appear as duties.  Some of the things we do in the church are not necessarily what God has laid upon us and what we think we have to do.

How Can We Know This?

The Lord wants to tell us;

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

As I look at duties around me and the things I read in God’s word and the need of the church, I assess and I make judgments, I keep on having to pull myself up saying that is what you think John.  I am relying upon my understanding of what I can see around me.  The Lord is constantly calling me and saying, you didn’t ask me that is what you thought.

We are not to trust our own understanding.  We are to trust in the Lord and acknowledge him in every given situation and then let him direct my path.

An Interesting Suggestion

We have to let him direct our duties and to do this we need to actually stop to think of what he is saying rather than what I am thinking as I am linking to my own thoughts.  I have wisdom so I think I have experience behind me and I don’t naturally, unless I am attached to the Lord with great sensitivity, I don’t naturally lean upon his understanding but my own understanding.

If We Come To Him in Faith;

We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. {DA 668.4}

Do we often wear ourselves out with so much work and duty that we haven’t got strength because we are using our muscle instead of the support and strength of heaven?  If God gives us duty he will not only give us wisdom but strength to perform it.

What must I do?

In faith I must come to him and out of my own thoughts of thinking and the influence of someone that will draw near to me.  He will speak his mysteries to me personally.  I will sense a burning sensation within me as one draws near to commune with me as he did with Enoch.  That happens when we decide to do nothing in any line that will displease him.

To do nothing, we are always doing something and we are doing something that is driven by expectations and my own thinking.  We are to come to the point of doing nothing unless the Lord gives me clear indication.

The duties of keeping my home tidy and preparing food is all common sense that he has communicated.  But it is beyond that, I want to do nothing unless it is what the Lord has communicated to me.  I want to receive wisdom and strength and power for service.  We are to come to him in faith and place our mind in a state of reception to him instead of a mind of thinking what I have to do.  We must come into a sensitive communing relationship.

Because of the intensity of life around us people are saying I can’t do this or that anymore and I’m forever hearing people driving themselves into decision making that doesn’t come from God but their own decisions.

 

Wait On the Lord

 

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

To come into a communication mode with God on any subject that I am seeking guidance for, I am to come laying down my own urgent activity and wait on the Lord. I come to him and I ask him a question and then I must wait and don’t do anything until I have my answer.

He will guide us in all our paths.  Here lies our challenge.  Wait on the Lord.  While everything is going high speed around you.  It is so hard to wait.  I have to do this and that, I have to move as I am not hearing anything.  The mind is so charged up that in today’s circumstances, I see very little of people moving after they have waited on the Lord.

In this challenge, this fast age, Satan and we place many burdens upon ourselves and then find ourselves rushing from one duty to the next.

An intensity such as never before was seen is taking possession of the world. In amusement, in moneymaking, in the contest for power, in the very struggle for existence, there is a terrible force that engrosses body and mind and soul. In the midst of this maddening rush, God is speaking. He bids us come apart and commune with Him. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.  {Ed 260.2}

This was written 100 years ago.  What is it now?  It has intensified manifold.

Are things rushing you on?  There are so many things to take care of. Satan in this time has driven us to struggle for existence.  We may not pursue money making or amusement that engrosses the mind, body and soul but life issues around us have been carefully manipulated by Satan that even for our existence we are being driven.

God says be still.  His voice says be still and we say oh I have to do things.  This sort of thing goes on inside of us.  When it comes to hold communion with him and waiting for him to speaking to us we read;

Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens they return to their work.  {Ed 260.3}

We come together for worship in the family or alone, we read something and meditate about it and pray and say thank you Lord and straight out of it.  We then go back to burden bearing and we don’t consider the burdens we should and shouldn’t bear as God communicates.  Many times we just do a generalisation of worship but God wants us to come to him with our needs specifically and talk with him about them.

You need guidance in your family and financial problems and how to train your children but how much time do you spend listening to him and finding direct answers from him?  Your child, husband or wife are behaving a certain way and you say I think it’s this way but you are to ask God and after prayer wait for counsel.

We come into the sacred precincts of God and don’t wait for counsel.  As it says, they have no time to wait for the divine teacher.

Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him–this is our need. {Ed 261.1}

We may bring him our little cares and perplexities as well as our great trouble.  Aren’t there plenty of them around us?  we have been drawn in by circumstances by our own mismanagement into complexities that we don’t know how to get out of.  The Lord says be still and listen to me.

One of the most difficult situations is when I have really botched up things and I think that’s it, I just have to work my way out of this as I’ve so displeased the Lord that I don’t think I’m worthy of asking him for guidance.  He is not going to help me here but we have to remember he is a loving God.  When I have botched up he wants me to come to him so he can bring light out of darkness.  I’ve made allot of darkness and he wants to help me out of it.  The only way he can help me out is if I listen to him.

If I wait on him, he is going to direct my path and I have seen him do this in my experience.  The Lord has led us so wonderfully look where we are.

How many times Satan says yeah you have really done it now, you’re finished.

I pondered about this today as I pray for our company as I yearn for each to walk joyfully with the Lord but I see many perplexities the Lord has led us out of and we go back into.  We are still surrounded by the serpents biting us, we are still surrounded by complicated situations. I pray the Lord can help us to take that time and let him unravel the tangles that we have been responsible for.  We may bring him our little cares and perplexities as well as our greater trials.  Whatever disturbs us we should take it to the Lord in prayer.

He Knows All About My Secrets.

In secret prayer the soul should be laid bare to the inspecting eye of God. . . . How precious is secret prayer–the soul communing with God! Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the burden of petitions. Calmly, yet fervently, the soul is to reach out after God; and sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who sees in secret, whose ear is open to the prayer arising from the heart. He who in simple faith holds communion with God will gather to himself divine rays of light to strengthen and sustain him in the conflict with Satan.  {TMK 272.4}

The Lord is still loving me and wants to help me out of my mad state.

we have to gather to ourselves divine rays.  How do we do that?  by coming to him and tuning into him and spending time in the sacred precincts thinking I have to rush of and do this and that.  How many people have testified that when they did things in their own steam it was a great hassle but when they stopped God made it easy for them.

If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet, joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. . . . Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan.  {FLB 225.7}

We will see clearly what I am doing this for.  It’s all because I wanted to do it that it will come so clear to me and now I have the embarrassment of stepping back as someone has become dependent on my drive and the Lord says you didn’t have to do that.

Talk to him, listen to him.  Oh to walk with him in reality.  Religion has become to us today an experience of time with God and then rushing off and doing our thing. We are to keep the Lord ever before us and walking at his pace.  It feels like you shouldn’t do that as we have been driven so much by duty after duty that you feel like a bludger if you have to trust in God.

God says I want you to be still and sit in communion with me and do the work I want you to do and not the work crowding around as its already happening and its going to get worse.

Duties That God Has Not Directed

There is so much need that you and I can never meet as the world is falling around us.  We think there is this and that person and I could do this and that.

I went to see a lady over east and she was caught up with caring for people overseas.  She thought she had to raise money to help poor people overseas.  When is this going to stop?  It’s going to get worse and worse.  Many resources drained in helping others who are destroying themselves anyway.  God has given us duties to perform where he knows is for eternal value.  I have to listen to that and not think I have to do this and that.  We often get a burden for something humanistic that is not of God.

Humanism controls humanity today, we must be controlled by God.

When you follow Gods direction you feel like a bludger, that you don’t care, and that you are hard, and people will judge you like that.  It doesn’t matter what others think, it matters what God thinks.

The greatest difficulty for ministers is they have to look after themselves so that when the flock is falling apart they are not.

If I wear myself out and I have the answers that I should follow the Lord and others aren’t getting the right messages as he is doing all sorts of humanistic mentality and fall part and if the minister falls apart he hasn’t the strength to heal them.  So the minister has to look after himself.

These are mental exercises that have bewildered me for many years.  The Lord says don’t look left or right do as I say.  When he says rest, you rest.  When he says now move and what energy and joy to do this and that which he has said and then rest.   We may argue but he says rest.

As l learn to walk with God I learn to lay down my own wisdom and understanding.  I know that this is the problem in the world around me in Christianity around me.  People are getting caught up with so many concerns that they are not caught up with the kingdom of heaven. Don’t get caught up, be wrapped up with your communication with the Lord whatever your perplexity is.

Amen.

About The Typist

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Posted on February 17, 2010, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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