Oct 17, 2012
That’s how I felt this morning.
I was writing today’s to-do list on a 3×5 card.
And it got longer — and longer — and longer.
And I felt more — and more — overwhelmed.
So — at these times —
What can I do?
It’s tempting to get right to work — tackling my to-do list.
But if I’m feeling overwhelmed then I’ve got a bigger problem than too much to do. My problem is unbelief.
Because if I was fully trusting Jesus Christ — I would not feel overwhelmed. Instead I’d have peace, even joy, as I anticipate my day.
So what I need to do is —
Fight the fight of faith
I need to pray over all that God promises to be to me in Christ Jesus — especially promises about my to-do list.
Because as I pray over these promises — He will provide the Spirit to conquer my unbelief, strengthen my faith, and change my heart (Gal 3:5).
So — what does God promise when I have too much to do?
God promises that I have enough time to do all HE wants me to do.
Ephesians 2:10 says God has prepared good works for me to do today.
And Philippians 4:19 says God will supply all my needs today.
Putting those together means God will supply all the time I need today to do the good works He’s called me to do.
So I pray over those two promises. I start to see that God will give me all the time I need to do His will.
I’m feeling less overwhelmed — and more peaceful.
So what task should I tackle first?
God promises to show me where to start.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
My father often asks God “What’s best next?” — what’s the best use of my time in this next part of the day?
God will give me that wisdom when I ask Him.
He will give me wisdom to know what to do first — AND He will give me the wisdom I need to help me do it.
That’s giving me even more peace.
But I’ve still got some worry — what if I can’t complete something on my list?
God promises to take care of anything I can’t get to.
I see that in 2Sam 10:12 —
Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.
Joab was heading into battle against the Syrians. And he trusts that if the Syrians aren’t defeated — God will take care of the outcome.
Same with me. As I start working, I need to trust that if I can’t get to something — God will take care of the outcome.
And He will give me wisdom to know what that means —
- Maybe I need to delegate it
- Maybe it didn’t need to get done
- Maybe I overcommitted and need to apologize to someone and pray more before committing
But either way — God will take care of it.
As I pray over this promise — my worry is fading.
But there is one more question bothering me —
What if I can’t get to some things on my list that I WANT to do?
What does God promise about that?
God promises to give me time to do whatever will bring me the most satisfaction in Him.
Psalm 84:11 says — No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
So God will give me time to do whatever would bring me the greatest good.
And what’s my greatest good?
Psalm 73:28 — But for me it is good to be near God.
My greatest good is nearness to God. It’s in His presence that there is fulness of joy (Psa 16:11).
So — if getting something done would bring me more of God’s nearness — I will get it done.
If not — I won’t.
And that’s good news because my greatest joy is God’s nearness.
But that shows a problem. If I’m honest — there are things on my list I think will bring me more joy than God’s nearness.
Things like getting exercise — or working on a book proposal.
So right now I’m repenting — and turning my heart from those things to Jesus Christ.
I’m thinking about how He “loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood” (Rev 1:5).
I’m pondering His goodness. Mercy. Power. Majesty.
My heart is changing.
I’m no longer thinking I have too much to do — I’m seeing that I have good works prepared by God as a way to enjoy His Son.
That’s better. Much better.
I’d love to hear them — leave a reply below. Thanks.
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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
Three Ways God's Grace Can Transform Your Work
Three More Ways God's Grace Can Transform Your Work
How Paul Motivates Wise Use Of Time
How To Be Content
(Picture is from everystockphoto by xololounge.)