January 10, 2011

p r i o "R" i t i e s

Resist the tyranny of the urgent

Back to the matter of prayer: We need to pray for God to give us wisdom to be able to discern the difference between importance and urgency. In Matthew 23 we see the Pharisees focusing a lot of attention on important and obvious things--tithing, etc., while they missed the important things. Jesus pointed out to them in verse 23 that they missed justice, mercy, and faithfulness. He says, "You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former." So Jesus isn't saying that the activities they were doing were wrong, but he explained they had their priorities mixed up. They missed the important things.
Many many of us can say we are really busy, and legitimately so. Perhaps we even use the phrase "too busy." Being busy doesn't necessarily mean that we're busy with important things. Consider that we can be very busy doing things that are unimportant when ordered around what God considers important for His glory and for eternity.

Satan is trying very hard to keep us busy and to prevent us from doing what is truly important. In Nehemiah 6:3 some men were trying to distract Nehemiah from continuing his responsibility on the city wall. Nehemiah knew what to say to this distraction:  

"I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down." 

After 5 persistent requests to come down, Nehemiah prays in verse 9  

"Now strengthen my hands." 

We need to be praying for God to lead us to put effort into the important things, and then we need to pray for endurance and commitment!

Another example Nancy Leigh DeMoss highlights is in the Gospel of John when Jesus finds out about the death of Lazarus. Jesus, rather than rushing to him to do the urgent thing: keep him from dying, he waited and did the important thing: raised Lazarus from the dead. And in waiting and focusing on what God wanted him to do, Jesus was able to something great and bring glory to His Father!

If you haven't visited Revive Our Hearts website and looked at their resources or listened to the teaching. Click here!

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