by: Charles Bryan
So often, we can be influenced so easily by external things. For instance, our time, money, job, television, and social media dictate so many of our decisions and actions. The question then becomes "are we giving due time to devotion with our Heavenly Father for Him to be our greatest influence."
Our daily duties too frequently demand our attention and take our focus away from spending daily time with the Lord. The hustle and bustle of the day comes, we get busy, and time with God gets forgotten. In a given week, I have committed myself to my job, classes, 5 hour round-trip commutes multiple times a week, and studying so I can get that "A" I so desperately desire. I'm also committed to a local church to counsel students in the ministry and preach at youth group. Not to mention, I have an 18-year-old son, Trent, who needs my time as well. If you're like me, this is just scratching the surface of what could potentially demand my attention this week.
I get it. We are all busy.
I have to be very proactive in accomplishing my goals and tasks for the week. Four ways I successfully handle these commitments & responsibilities are as follows:
1. DEVOTE MYSELF TO PRAYER
Prayer and devotion are so important! I have learned my day is not complete without it. In Philippians 4:6, Paul states,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (NKJV)
Without prayer, I cannot let God know what I am requesting and what I need help in, especially when life can be overwhelming. Naturally, I tend to overdo it. Spending time in God's Word brings a lot of perspective and allows the Holy Spirit to be in control of my entire life. Being diligent in prayer and petition allows me to submit further to His will for my day. In my devotion time, I write about the day ahead and the truths God has revealed to me in the past. When I do this consistently, I am always surprised at how much better my day is with a refreshed spirit.
Spending time with Jesus through prayer and devotion will give you peace even in demanding seasons when stress is high and life seems unmanageable.
2. PRIORITIZE MY DUTIES
I often find myself at a standstill when it comes to my priorities. I want to give everything I do priority, but that is just unrealistic. In prioritizing, it is beneficial for me to ask these questions:
Is it beneficial for me today or can it wait?
Have I prayed about it?
Can I realistically accomplish everything on my list in that day or that week?
Setting realistic goals in your daily duties and surrendering your to-do's to Jesus will center your heart and your tasks on Him.
3. KNOW WHEN TO SAY "NO"
How do we say "no"? This is something I struggle with mightily. I am a people pleaser and have this idea that I need to be everything for everyone. This has caused me to become burned out and carry unnecessary burdens. Knowing how to effectively say "no" - even to meaningful or spiritually enriching opportunities - allows you to stay in your lane, avoiding distractions and detours, in order to pursue His calling on your life with excellence. Hebrews 12:1-3 says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners, such hostility against himself, so that you will not grow weary or fainthearted.”
Hebrews tells us if we keep Him in the center of it all, then we can do many things. However, when we don’t keep Him as our focus and begin to say "yes" to too much, it can weigh us down and cause many problems. We must keep our focus on Him and pray continually about all things.
4. BE THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING
Finally, we must be thankful for all the Lord has given us. I am preaching to myself here. We must take hold of the things we have been called to do and give them our very best. Colossians 3:17 states,
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
So give it your best today, and may we all be controlled by the Spirit and be thankful in our labor. He deserves our very best and others do too!
About the Author: Charlie Bryan is from Live Oak, FL. After being called into ministry two years, he began pursuing a Bachelors in Ministry Studies at the Baptist College of Florida. Charlie is an active member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church and serves as a youth leader and Sunday School teacher.
Most recently, Charlie joined Clayton King’s Coaching Network. He is a man willing to do whatever is necessary to see the Gospel spread.
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Follow Charlie on Instagram: @swamp1998 and on Facebook: /charlie.bryan.75