I have met thousands of people who've told me they want to be used by God, but they will never be used by God. Why? They're too busy.
They've got their own agenda going. They've got their plans and dreams and ambitions, and they don't have any time! In the midst of their busyness, they try to carve out a little sliver from the pie of life and say, "I'll give this to God." But it doesn't work that way.
If you're serious about being used by God, you have to say, "Lord, what do I need to let go of? What do I need to cut out? What are the barriers that are holding me back, that are keeping me from running the race You have for me?"
There are lots of different barriers that will hold you back from God's plan for your life. One of the big ones is distractions. Jesus said in Luke 9:62, "Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back at things is fit for the kingdom of God'" (MEV).
Here are a few of the many things that could distract you from your life mission:
The expectations of other people. You've got to decide who you're going to please first in life. You can only have one number one.
Hobbies. There's nothing wrong with these things. But if they distract you from the most important things, then you need to let go of them.
Your past. Some of you refuse to let go of your past—whether it's guilt or resentment or grief. But if you're stuck in the past, you cannot get on with the present, and you certainly can't get on with God's future for you. Your past is past. It's over! You need to let it go.
What do you need to let go of? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, "'All things are lawful for me,' but not all things are helpful. 'All things are lawful for me,' but not all things edify" (MEV). What does that mean? It means this: A lot of things aren't necessarily wrong; they're just not necessary. Life is often a choice between "Am I going to do something good?" or "Am I going to do what's best?"
If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy. He'll get you so busy that you don't have time for the important stuff—time alone with God, ministry and mission.
You need to simplify your life and eliminate distractions so God can use you. Don't try to do it all. Do what matters most!
Talk It Over
- What are the most important things in your life?
- Think of some of the good things that you've put first in your life. How have they distracted you from God's mission for you and the most important things?
- Why do you think we're so easily distracted by seemingly good things that are not God's best for us?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.org.
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