No one is to come before me without a gift. You must work for six days, but on the seventh day you must rest—even during the planting season and the harvest season. Celebrate the Feast of Weeks when you gather the first grain of the wheat harvest. And celebrate the Feast of Shelters in the fall. Exodus 34:20-22
Our verses from Exodus 34 include something beyond the sacrificial offerings we consistently give God. We’re also reminded to rest and to celebrate. Living in God’s seasons of life means living by his schedule and timing, and God is adamant about the balance of life. We often excuse our own schedules and timelines, because we think we can keep things in balance. I love organization, and I often make to-do lists. Lists of things to pick up at the store, lists of tasks that must be done this week, lists of people to call or email, lists of jobs needing to be done around the house. The list of lists could go on and on.
Here’s a challenge for you: On a sticky note, write a list of three things that need to get done in the next couple hours. Take the time to actually write them; writing them makes the plan for your next hour more deliberate.
Once you have your list completed (yes, that means you have to go back and actually write your list), read the following sentence out loud;
For the next hour, I have decided the following three things are what I most need to be doing: (then read your list).
Now turn your note over. Spend the next minute talking with God about your list. Ask him what he wants on your list. Ask him how he wants you to spend the next hour. Open your heart to his will.
On the blank side of the note, write three things you know are important to God and consider how you are going to use the next hour, the hour he has given you, to do the work he has planned for you. Be sure to place your note in your appointment book or some other prominent place as a reminder to put God first on every list you make.
Depend on the Lord in whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
God didn’t create you to go, go, go and do, do, do. He created you to be. His plan is the best. It seems I have to learn that lesson over and over again. Sometimes I’m certain I have something completely figured out. I’m certain my way is the best, and in many cases, it works pretty well. Yet over time, the chinks in the wall I’ve built begin to crumble, and I realize I’ve done my own mortaring instead of letting God design, guide and provide. So, we do some clearing together and get back to the firm foundation and begin to build.
Yes, Lord, you’re way is best.
That includes rest. It’s in rest that we recuperate. It’s in rest that God restores us. It’s in rest that we have checks and balances, so instead of forging ahead and building the wall ourselves or creating and completing our own to-do lists, we’re quiet long enough to inquire, “Yes, Lord?” And when he answers, we can confidently proceed with “Yes, Lord!”
He equips us for his to-do list in his timing. His gifts are for us but in his will and purpose. God’s gifts are ready for you to receive and use according to his will.