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Don’t confuse urgent for important

Don't let what is right in front of you keep you from doing what is really important. 

Babies crying, emails piling up, and never ending text message notifications all demand our immediate attention. It's rare to begin catching up with a friend and not hear that each of you are not good or well-rested, but busy. Most of us are constantly submitting to the urgent. Who can think of what’s next month or next year when someone needs something done right now? How do we slow down this whirlwind?

Rest for the Weary

Contrary to our overloaded schedules, Jesus isn’t demanding more from us. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Jesus isn’t trying to burden us with a list of other needs we have to accomplish. He’s trying to free us from the voices and demands of the world so we can be obedient to Him alone.

To experience this, we are called to live in obedience to what is most important, not by what demands the most and yells the loudest. Ironically, the things that matter most but cries out the least are usually the most important, like spending time with the Lord, being with our families, or intentionally loving those around us.

Obedience Before Outcome

The difficulty in our fast-paced world is those are usually the same things that don’t produce immediate results either.

By spending time with God today, you probably won’t immediately conquer every temptation you face in the next week. Instead, if you go clean the dishes or go send some emails, you’ll immediately have something accomplished. But then, even within hours, dishes return and emails accumulate. Tending to only the immediate demands of the day doesn’t create lasting, long-term change. Spiritual growth is like a crockpot, not a microwave.

What if Noah had taken our approach? What if he put off building the ark, like God commanded, until tomorrow? Or the next day? Well before he saw any rain, the Bible tells us, “Noah did all that the Lord commanded him” (Genesis 6:22, Genesis 7:5). Like Noah, we can choose to be obedient today before we see the outcome. Set aside today’s demands and push away any desires to please people and ask yourself, am I investing in the outcome? Is the work I’m doing now going to produce temporal results or a lasting change in my life?

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