ABC Extra – Too Busy for God

April 19, 2010 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

In 2007, the Gallup organization took a survey of the reasons Americans do or do not go to church.  According to this study, the number one reason that people go to church is to receive “spiritual growth and guidance.”  This is good.  But what is the number one reason Americans do not go to church?  They don’t have enough time.  They are simply too busy to worship the God who created the heavens, the earth, and them.

It saddens me that what the evil one could not do to the Church for thousands of years through persecutions, threats, and ghastly tortures, he does through something as insipid and stupid as busy-ness.  For when Satan violently persecutes the Church, it grows.  But when Satan draws our attention away from God’s Church and its Gospel and instead distracts us with the things of this world, we seem to fall for it every time.

This past weekend in worship and ABC, we continued our series “Five Family Fiascos” with a look at what happens to families and individuals when they are stretched too thin.  In our text for this weekend from Exodus 18, we saw how Moses became stretched too thin when he “took his seat to serve as judge for the people of Israel, and they stood around him from morning till evening” (verse 13).  There were simply too many cases for Moses to hear and arbitrate.  Blessedly, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, guided his son-in-law toward a saner schedule:

What you are doing is not good.  You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out.  The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.  But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. (verses 17-18, 21)

Long before management gurus peddled the value of delegation, Jethro suggested it to Moses.

In ABC, I mentioned that the Hebrew word for “heavy” in verse 18, where Jethro suggests that Moses’ workload is too “heavy” for him, is chabed.   This is the same word that is used for “glory,” and specifically God’s glory, in the Old Testament.  It is in this word that I think we find the sinful root of so much of the busy-ness that plagues our lives and our world.  Rather than looking to the glory of God, we look to the things that the world considers glorious.  Whether these glorious things be a job, or a product, or a leisure activity, or a lifestyle, this world invites us to trade in God’s glory for the glories which it has to offer.  And sadly, many people make the trade.  Sadly, as the Gallup poll betrays, many people spend so much time chasing after the glories of this world that they’re too busy to worship the glory of God.

The greatest danger in being too busy is that we can easily become too busy for God.  And this is a grave travesty.  This is why Jesus invites us to reject that which would pack our calendars and starve our souls and instead find rest in Him:  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  Jesus invites us, rather than being busied by the cares and concerns of this world, to find peace in Him.

So this week, I would challenge you with a little exercise.  Beginning today, find one thing each day that you can cut from your calendar and use that time instead to worship and pray to God.  I would guard you against cutting any activity that involves time with your family, as those times ought to be honored and cherished.  Instead, cut an errand and instead say a prayer.  Reschedule a meeting and instead take a walk and praise God for His good creation.  Use the time that you would normally check the headlines to instead read your Bible.  Take a reprieve from the some of the glories of this world so that you can better focus on the glory of God.  And the promise is, you’ll find rest – not just rest from your calendar, but rest for your soul.

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ABC Extra – How Could God Allow the Fall? ABC Extra – Be Reconciled Today

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