Monday, June 25, 2012

Busyness equals Productiveness?

Many of us have different things going on in our lives. From parenting to maintaining careers, and from maintaining marriages to up-keeping our homes to building up gifts/talents, etc. Busyness can come in many forms. defines busyness as the quality or condition of being busy (duh, lol) and, lively but meaningless activity.

So just to put myself on blast for a min, I have previously struggled with confusing the two here. Thinking that if I was busy that that meant I was getting things done and essentially being productive. But what God had to teach me was that I was just appearing to look productive by being 'lively" but if I wasn't pursuing Him and His kingdom and righteousness, none of the other things and work mattered and it was all counted "meaningless activity". 
  • Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought , and on the labour that I had laboured to do : and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 2:11 (KJV)
  • Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 2:11 (NIV)
Here we can feel Solomon's frustration in realizing everything he had accomplished and obtained was for nothing. Why did he considered for nothing though? He's seemingly ranting about these things that are all counted as vanity or meaningless, but it's for a purpose. As Solomon closes in Ecclesiastes 17:13,14, he says "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." He's stressing that if we do not keep God first and follow His instructions, everything that we obtain will be counted as nothing. 
So how do we put God first? What does that look like?
  • And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him , and said , Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. - Luke 10:39-42

The word in the Greek used for "cumbered" in this scripture is "perispao" meaning 'to be distracted, to be over-occupied, too busy.' Martha had confused being busy with being productive. But Jesus was quick to remind her that what Mary had chosen to do was good. Her choosing to sit at His feet above anything else, was symbolic that she placed Him FIRST in her life. She knew that the other things and chores could wait, til after she had spent time with God. Jesus made it clear that Mary had the proper understanding that He came before those things Martha was distracted by. He made it clear that what Mary had chose to do was the type of PRODUCTIVITY that matters. So although there were things that needed to be done, there was a priority in which they needed to be done also. God first, everything else second. What you choose to make a priority says much about your level of productivity and essentially your love for God. 

Don't think that just because you're caught up with church duties and schedules that that is sufficient. This is just another form of busyness and there still needs to be time set aside for God. Not at the end of your day but at the beginning. This is how we show God we place Him first, before our busy lives. Whether we have to wake up an extra 30min before the day starts, it's a simple sacrifice that needs to be made for the betterment of our relationship with God.  Nothing can substitute for spending time in Gods presence through prayer and worship. This is the place where we're replenished and refilled for everything we pour out to others, either in sowing or in protecting our spirits daily. Skipping out on this can result in us feeling empty and drained. Keep in mind that this is how people end up backsliding. Backsliding can always be traced back to a LACK of God in that persons life.

Busyness is just a distraction if we don't have a grip on what is important. Its a tactic the enemy uses to deter us from actually making progress in the building up of the Kingdom of God here on earth. From things that "need" to be done to people that can constantly pull on you for your attention for various reasons. But remember, what you see as valuable or important, you will strive to put first and make time for.

Related scripture:
  •   But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Matthew 6:33

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Epiphany is defined as: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience. 

I've recently had an epiphany about everything, it seems like! About myself and my standards in life, from childhood up until now. It hit me like a ton of bricks this last week. I realized that everything I ever went for in life from jobs to friendships and relationships even talents I pursued (or not) was all based on what I saw as "achievable" or less challenging. I limited myself because I was not comfortable with being challenged. I knew that what came with being challenged was a possibility of failing at the end. That was my perspective on it. Though that may be a possibility, you always come out better at the end of a challenge. God challenges us daily and all through out our relationship with Him. Why? Because challenges cause growth. And though I know this and was even ministering and preaching this myself to others, I wasn't getting the message myself. 

About a week ago the Lord gave me a deep dream. In the dream I was climbing this steep mountain and finally reached the top. As I looked to see what as the top of this mountain, I noticed a shack looking house, tin roof and everything. Off to the side I notice a small table in which I go to sit at. Next thing I know there's a baby in my hands. The baby looks neglected, malnourished, unkept, dark circles under his eyes, and only wearing a diaper. I was alarmed to see this baby in this condition but the way I was holding him indicated I did not want responsibility for him. 

Now in spiritual dreams, as some of you may know, babies can indicate ministries. So in these dreams you know the baby isn't biologically yours but it's yours, as in, they have been entrusted into your care. I've had another dream about a baby (ministry) but that one was very healthy and happy. So I wasn't sure what to think of this dream and baby. As I'm telling the details of this dream a close friend, I realize this dream is a lot deeper than what I originally thought. My friend suddenly asks me, "Is there a gift you have been neglecting?" As soon as he spoke that my spirit spoke and told me exactly which gift it was I had been neglecting. For now I won't go into what that gift is but know that this was a pivotal moment in my walk with God. 

Not only did I obviously realize I need to use this gift and take care of it (baby) or it can be taken away and given to another who is more grateful and appreciative. But I also realized why I had been avoiding and ignoring this gift. I am completely uncomfortable with challenges. Physically, I love to challenge myself and push myself to my limits but I avoid them in other areas of life. I've always lowered my standards so that I wouldn't face failure of any kind. From "decent" (meaning I settled for less than the best in my eyes) boyfriends in the past to being a doormat in previous friendships, I was alright with these things because I was never challenged to be better. They loved/liked me as I was, or so I thought, and NEVER encouraged or pushed me to be better than that. I was comfortable. I have allowed myself to not grow this gift because I am so uncomfortable with the circumstances in which I would need to practice and grow it (In front of others). Now I know that those relationships weren't built on love so what those people expected of me or not wasn't legit. Love is wanting you to do better. Love is encouraging you to grow. Love is rebuking and correcting you when you're wrong. My God has shown me this. I feel as though I'm waking up to reality of how I see my self worth and how God sees me. God can't walk me into something if I don't believe I should be there. My belief in myself is just as important as my belief in God. Afterall I am a product of His love and craftsmanship. How could I ever doubt what's within me? 

God never gives us more than what we can handle. He is the solution to any and every problem we're presented with. I'm so grateful He knows me better than I know myself. Just as He called Jeremiah to be a prophet but Jeremiah doubted his ability to walk in that calling, God equipped him with His words. Jeremiah thought he was insufficient for the calling but God rebuked him. He let Jeremiah know it wasn't his place to say or decide something like that. It was God who called Jeremiah and knew that he could fulfill the calling successfully. Thank God for motivating and believing in me. I know that if it were up to me, I would forever stay at the same level out of comfort. I'm so blessed knowing that God is answering my prayers and yours, as we continue to seek Him daily. God cannot prosper us and give us a hopeful future if we resist His leading. I'm learning to trust Him in a new way, knowing He would not give me gifts if He thought I would fail. I now have a new hope for my future, ready to lean on God for every turn and curve that arises. I hope this encourages someone who may be doubting your abilities. Know that it's about what God can do through you. Just worry about yielding and let Him lead. God is with you every step of the way. Pray your way through, beloved. Be blessed everyone and I'll let you know how my gift growing is going later. :)

Relating scriptures:
  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
  • The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant." - Jeremiah: 1:4-10 (NIV)