Encouragement for Today - July 6, 2005


July 6

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #1)


“Living in the Fast Lane and Looking for an Exit!” – Part 1

Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member


Key Verse:


Matt 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all else will be add unto to you.” (NKJ)




A die-hard fan said to a woman sitting next to him at the Super Bowl Stadium, “I’m surprised to see an empty seat at the Super Bowl stadium."


“It was my husband's," the woman explained, "but he died."


"I'm very sorry," said the man, "yet I'm even more surprised that another relative, or friend, didn't jump at the chance to take the seat reserved for him."


"Beats me," she said. "They all insisted on going to the funeral."


There are many reasons why we find ourselves living on the fast track of life. One of those reasons may be because our priorities are out of order. If I were to ask you to list your priorities in order of importance, most of you would write something like this: God, Family, Church, Health, Job, and so on. In the end, most of you would feel pretty confident about the way you listed your priorities. I mean, isn’t God suppose to be first? No, He’s not … He is to be our everything!


We shouldn’t live our life as if we have our own priorities and we carve out a slot for God. The believer’s very life isn’t his own – it’s God’s.  Our priorities should be the ones that God sets for us.  Only then, will we find true balance.


Have we somehow forgotten what an awesome, all-knowing, all-powerful, God we serve? Have we forgotten what a huge gap there is between our Holy God and us, His creation? The Word of God tells us there is no one like Him in all the heavens or earth. God is a jealous God and He will not share His glory with anyone or anything. From God’s perspective, there is not a second or third thing to follow after Him, because there is nothing else that can compare to His Greatness. The Lord stands alone. He is simply the main thing.


In order to exit off the fast lane of life, we need to let God be the main thing in our lives and allow Him to set our priorities according to His purposes. A great example of this is found by looking at a day in the life of Christ, found in Mark 1:21-35.


He got up and went to work teaching at the church in Jerusalem. His co-workers respected him for his ability to teach, and His ability to stay on task when interruptions occurred. Demons were a big distraction in His day. Yet, Jesus would quickly handle the disturbances by telling them to “be quiet and go away!”


Now I realize that you and I may not face many demons during our day; however, we do face distractions that can keep us from accomplishing what we need to achieve. Like Jesus, we need to “cast out the demons.” In other words, we need to identify the pot-holes in the road that waylay us and get rid of them quickly.


Jesus was not only good at discerning distractions; He was also sensitive to the moments that were divine appointments from God. Not all interruptions in Christ’s day, or ours, are bad. As Jesus went about teaching, He was often interrupted by the sick, the blind and those bound in sin. What was His reaction? Christ stopped teaching to heal, give sight, and set the sinner free. Don’t forget that while Jesus was God, He was also man. He felt the pressure of the crowds. He knew what it was like to have people depending on Him, just like those who are counting on you and me.


So, how did Jesus know which interruptions were distractions and which ones were divine appointments? How did He handle all that responsibility, stress and strain without losing it? His secret is found in verse 35. “Very early the next morning, Jesus got up while it was still dark and went to a scheduled place and prayed.” (NKJ)


Jesus’ time with God wasn’t something He tacked on to an overcrowded schedule. It was His highest priority, and where He discovered God’s priorities for His life. This is where He got renewed, restored and ready for whatever the day brought. And this is precisely where you and I so often miss out. Unlike Jesus, we attempt to live life in our own energy. We think we can keep giving out without getting replenished. Then, wearied by the life, we become impatient and annoyed with the very ones God puts in our path.


If Jesus needed to spend time alone with God in order to be successful in His earthly ministry and to have a peaceful, balanced life, then how much more do you and I need to do the same? Priority One: Make God the Main Thing, and all else will fall into place.


My Prayer for Today:


Dear Lord, I’m guilty of not making you the Main Thing in my life. As a result, I’ve not been available to those you have placed in my care. I want to be like You, Lord. I want to be a blessing to others. I want to live the peaceful, balanced life that You intend me to have. As I seek to meet with you every day, reorganize my priorities so that my life is pleasing to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps:


Spend time with God today. Don’t just say a quick prayer and read a few verses; fellowship with Him. Tell God how much you love Him and desire to know Him. Stay there until you sense His presence. Then you’ll know you have met with Him and your day will be empowered by His guidance.


Reflection Points:


How often do you spend time with God in prayer?


Looking at your priorities as they are now, what would they reveal is your main priority?


Are you able to discern divine appointments in your day? Why or why not?


What are some activities in your life that waste your time? Get rid of them.


Power Verses:


Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way.” (NKJ)


Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shall go. I will guide thee with mine eye.” (KJ)

Isaiah 30:21, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (KJ)


Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (NKJ)


Additional Resources:


Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes



Intimate Moments with God, by selected authors



Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst



Originally published Wednesday, 06 July 2005.