It seems that so many people are constantly busy and overwhelmed with the activities of daily life. But it's not God's will for you to be frustrated. He doesn't want you to be stressed-out about everything that you're expected to do. So if you find yourself feeling pressured to get things done, I want to help you fix that.
You may think time is the problem—that there just isn't enough of it. But God gives everyone the same amount. We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I guess that's God's way of saying that's all the time we need to live a well-balanced life with plenty of time for work, rest and play.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMP) says, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven." Instead of complaining that you don't have enough time, you can make the decision to have more wisdom with the way you spend your time.
You know, we spend time just like we spend money. When we spend it, it's gone. We can't get it back. So we need to think about what we are spending it on and decide whether or not we are making the right choices.
No matter what's on your to-do list today, I want to encourage you that God hasn't called you to be busy. He wants you to be fruitful—serving God and others in your everyday life.
The secret to being fruitful is simply to have a close, personal relationship with God.
John 15:5 (AMP) says, "I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart form Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing."
No matter what you have to do to make time with God your top priority, you are never going to regret doing it. There is absolutely no better way to spend your time than to pray and study God's Word. It will bring you peace, joy, confidence, wisdom and understanding. You'll be encouraged. You can be healed. There's just no end to the good things that can happen in your life when you put God first.
You may have to wake up extra early or stay up later at night, but I encourage you to set aside time daily to spend with God.
Listen for His voice. One reason why people feel pressured and under so much stress is that they're listening to every voice around them except the voice of God.
Matthew 11:28-29 (AMP) says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls."
Even Jesus spent time alone with God before He went out into the world to do ministry, and He only did what God put before Him to do. He didn't let other people decide His schedule. If we will do the same, then our lives can be peaceful as well as fruitful.
You might make a few people mad when you tell them, "I'm just not able to help you today." But if they truly care about you, they may not like it, but they will understand. And you'll maintain peace in your heart by focusing on pleasing God, not people.
I'm not saying it's okay for us to go back on our word. If we've committed to something, then we should follow through. But we can learn something from the experience. We don't have to keep putting ourselves into the same stressful situations over and over again.
Are you living purposefully or just being busy? Have you ever had a day when you were busy all day long but couldn't tell what you accomplished at the end of it? We don't have to live that way.
God wants to encourage us through His Word to live as people of purpose, making the most of the time we're given.
Colossians 4:5 (AMP) says, "Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity."
You can be a witness for Christ wherever you go—in your neighborhood, across your backyard fence, over the top of your cubicle at work, driving down the highway—simply by learning how to use your time effectively and stay in peace, rather than being overwhelmed like the rest of the world.
John 15:8 (AMP) says, "When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine."
God doesn't want us to be busy, but to be available to be used for His purposes at any time. And you don't have to uproot your whole life to do it. You can help change someone's life just by going about your daily life stress-free.
When you feel like you've lost your balance again and things are getting busy, don't just drag yourself through the day. Make God your top priority. He will give you the strength you need to finish strong and be fruitful.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Living Courageously (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.