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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Overload: We are not blessed in busyness.

If you follow this blog, then you are probably someone who cares about others.  Hopefully, you are a believer in the Gospel of Jesus.  If you are, then you are most likely someone who is focused on serving others in various ways.  If one of your spiritual gifts is service, then you are probably not just focused on serving others, but you are driven by it.  Or maybe you are someone who, no matter what your strengths and weaknesses might be, you just can't say "no."  Listen closely.  We are not blessed in busyness.  We cannot serve effectively if we are overloaded. 

Overload:  We are not blessed in busyness.
Overload:  We are not blessed in busyness.

Stop striving and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10
Remember this.  Overload is bad.  We can't keep flying through life as fast as we can.  Even race cars need pit stops.  We all need margin so that we have time and room for pit stops.  We need time to rest.  We need time to refresh anything that is worn out whether it be physical or mental.   

Overload:  We are not blessed in busyness.

It helps to determine where we are overloaded.  Here are a few of the most common areas in our lives where we might experience overload.

*Our Activities (Activities are good but we don't have to do EVERYTHING.)

*Our Choices (Choose wisely.)

*Our Commitments (It's hard to fulfill our commitments if we are overloaded with too many of them.)

*Our Finances (Stay out of debt.)

*Our Information (Have you ever heard of "information overload?"  We live in a world of constant notifications.  I actually have most notifications turned off of my computer and my phone.  I don't need to know the second someone sends an email or every time someone posts on social media.  All of that can't wait.)

*Our Work (A good work ethic is important, but too much work takes time away from our families.  We have to be careful to keep our priorities in the right order.)
Overload - Ways We Are Overloaded

What do we do when we are overloaded?  What we should do is take a break.  In our current culture of overload, we are sleeping less and resting less.  When electricity was discovered, light invaded our night time.  Sleep is important for good health.  Not getting enough rest is not healthy and our bodies suffer.  Overload causes both physical and spiritual health problems.  When we are overloaded, we spend less time in the Bible.  An overloaded life is an enemy.​
I am not as ease nor am I quiet.  I am not at rest but turmoil comes.  Job 3:26
We need margin.  Margin is the opposite of overload.
Margin is the space between our load and our limits and is related to our reserves and resilience.  It is a buffer, a leeway, a gap, the place we go to heal, to reflect, to recharge our batteries, to focus on the things that matter most.  Richard A. Swenson

Margin by Richard A. Swenson
This book is available here.

Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion.  When margin decreases, our relationships suffer.  Margin is good.  Margin is Biblical.  God gave us the example when He rested on the 7th day of creation.  Margin gives us breathing room.

What does breathing room look like?  

Talking with family.

Dinner at the table.

Worship time.

All good things happen in the space of margin.  We need both physical and spiritual margin.  We need margin so God can use us.
What are things that help us gain more margin in our lives?

We need to know our limitations.  
I have seen a limit to all perfection.  Your commandment is exceedingly broad.  Psalm 119:96
Everything has limits.
Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; and You have set his limits so he cannot pass.  Job 14:5
Our culture lies to us when it says "MORE, MORE, MORE is better!"  Our culture will never let us slow down and rest.  "All things are possible" is misquoted a LOT.  We have limits.  Many of us are carrying loads that are much too heavy for us to bear.  
We need to evaluate our motives.  We don't have to do everything or be at every event all the time.  We can't keep up with everybody all the time.  
A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.  Proverbs 14:30

The following graphic is free to you.  It serves as a reminder that we will serve God and serve others better when we allow margin space in our lives. 

​Simply right click and save. 
A Tranquil Heart is Life to the Body - Proverbs 14:30
A tranquil heart is life to the body.  Proverbs 14:30

What drives us into overload?  Is it comparison?
Not that I speak from need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in.  Philippians 4:11
We are not born content.  We learn contentment by being still in the presence of God.
One had full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.  Ecclesiastes 4:6
We need to be realistic about what we can and cannot do.  We cannot over commit.  

We need to do some subtracting.  If we are overloaded, something or some things have to go.  We need to take some things off the to-do list.
It is a trap for a person to say carelessly, "It is holy!"  And after the vows to make inquiry.  Proverbs 20:25
It is easier to stay out than to get out.  Mark Twain
It is easier to get into something than to get out of something.  
We should ask God for wisdom.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  James 1:5
Stop striving and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations.  I will be exalted on the earth.  Psalm 46:10
We need to be still.

We need to unload our overload.

We need to live FROM God's affirmation, not FOR it.

Let's be still and hear the heartbeat of God.
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.  John Piper
God is our refuge and strength, a very ready help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1
Let's hear from God and make good decisions about our margin space.
One habit we should adopt in order to create adequate margin space is to go to church.  We need to attend church regularly.  By regularly, I mean every week, every single Sunday, not just occasionally.  

Let me leave you with a few questions: 

In what area is God calling you to be still today? 

What is He calling you to subtract? 

What is God telling you to take off of your to-do list in order to create a healthy margin space for what is most important?

Start creating more margin space in your life today so that you can serve God and serve others effectively.
*This post is written from my personal Bible study notes taken during my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch the sermon here.


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