What does that mean to you?
You might think of a gymnast doing her routine on the balance beam or maybe a skate boarder or surfer. But what about the routine of everyday life?
Think of a pencil balancing on the end of your finger. A little too far to the right or to the left and it will fall off.
Now let’s label the ends of the pencil with opposing necessities of life, like “work” and “rest”, or “work” and “quiet devotion before God”.
These also need to be balanced. Too much of one and not enough of the other, and things come crashing down. (I might need to insert here the fact that we should always be devoted to God whether we are working or resting, but what I’m talking about here is that quiet time we spend alone with God in prayer and the study of His Word. If all we did in our waking hours was sit quietly before God, we would get nothing else done. Service needs to be a part of our devotion to Him.)
Next, let’s consider which end comes first. Does one write first, then erase? Or does one erase first then write. If nothing is written, there is nothing to erase.
In the realm of work and quiet devotion before God, which one should come first? 1 Samuel 12:24 (NASB) is one of many Bible passages that speak to this issue:
“Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”
When I schedule my work and activity ops without first consulting God for His guidance, my tendency is to stray from His true purpose for my life. This can go in various directions, but some of the common ones are the following:
- I do my work or service “for Him” out of routine instead of out of fervent devotion to Him.
- I do my work or service “for Him” to profit me somehow — to impress others, for example (which is NOT “in truth”), to get a pat on the back, or to receive monetary gain (not that working for a salary is wrong, but that the first reward we should seek is to please the Lord, the One who gave us the job and the abilities to accomplish that job.) Check out
Matthew 6:33 — “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
- I wander aimlessly putting out one fire after another and come to the end of the day wondering whether I have really accomplished anything at all. This leaves me with an empty feeling, a feeling that something is missing.
Of course something is missing!
When the Lord told us to seek Him first, it was not an attempt on His part to deprive us somehow or to devalue us. Rather, He, the loving Creator, knows that we will find our ultimate fulfillment in knowing and pleasing Him.
He, the loving Creator, knows
that we will find our ultimate fulfillment
in knowing and pleasing Him.
So, let’s go back to the pencil analogy. When we use the pencil according to God’s way, we let Him write the plans for our day, and we follow His plans by doing whatever He has ordained for us to do on that day.
Then, when we follow His plan and do His work for Him
“IN TRUTH, with all (our) heart, considering what great things He has done for (us)”,
we will not need to be constantly erasing the mistakes we would have made had we tried to “serve Him” for ourselves, in our own way, or lacking fervency and direction.
God will, Himself, erase that empty feeling we would have had had we left Him out of the equation, by filling us with His glorious Spirit and by giving us His joy in our hearts in knowing that we did His work in His way!
So, let’s do it His way because His way is always the best!