S1E4: How to Measure Busyness

Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still remains and is freely offered today, let us fear, in case anyone of you may seem to come short of reaching it or think he has come too late. For indeed we have had the good news [of salvation] preached to us, just as the Israelites also [when the good news of the Promised Land came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not united with faith [in God] by those who heard. For we who believe [that is, we who personally trust and confidently rely on God] enter that rest [so we have His inner peace now because we are confident in our salvation, and assured of His power.

(Hebrews 4:1-3a)

It is essential to have objectives because they help us in decision-making. Whatever is assigned to you ensures that your life’s overarching goals are always top of mind. God says His people perish, not because of demons, but because of lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). In as much as I agree that demons can cause you not to access the knowledge, the Scripture here demonstrates that knowledge is power.  

So, I went out to explore and search for a meter that measures busyness, and I found it. 

I thought busyness was not a factor in my life because I was working for my father. I thought wrong! The meter I found has helped me save my life’s time, given me accuracy in executing God’s assigned projects, healthier life for my family and me, submission to God’s will, and strength to obey His instructions.

Wikipedia defines busyness as having a great deal to do or keeping oneself occupied. I am more interested in the former portion – having a great deal to do – because it is a disease that I am accustomed to. Is there a way to know if we are too busy and getting into the red alert zone? Yes!

If You Can Not Find Time to Be Still Before God, You Are On Red Alert Zone! 

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.

I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalms 46:10

Anytime we are not still, we cannot know God is God. When we are too busy for God, our stillness before the Lord vanishes along with our peace. The moment our peace disappears, we stop following His commands because we conform to the standards of this world. When we are not obeying God’s commands, we stop being effective because we were created to worship Him in everything we do. When we stop being effective, we get frustrated because we are doing things by our efforts which causes us to not be still before God. This then becomes a cycle.

Not still – No peace – Not doing God’s will – Not effective – Frustration – Not still.

I heard the commands of God for me to move into full-time unpaid missionary work. It took me about eight months to accept this call. I left a thriving business with a steady income to work for non-monetary remuneration. I remember laughing loudly one day and telling God how I saw myself getting broke and struggling. 

My husband did not have a steady income even though he was on a full-time contract with the same organization. I could not see how we would manage to live in Nairobi, an unforgiving capital city that is merciless to those without financial power. This call could probably have worked in the rural setting – get a low rental house, have a small kitchen garden, plant a few greens, and survive on that as you wait on the Lord month after month.

When I joined the new organization, I remember going from one month to another without lacking and the Lord sending ravens to feed us. It was a life on the edge, and it was full of miracles, signs, and wonders. For a year, we lived beyond any money we could envision making. 

Our bills were paid on time (for the most part), our children stayed in school with all their needs provided for (well, almost all their needs), and our table never lacked delicious meals (though not always the choicest of meals). I had the most confidence in everything I did. I could not do more or less than what the Lord had asked me to do at the missions organization He sent me to.

There was neither an incentive to work better nor discouragement to do less because the organisation was not paying me. My sole focus was on hearing what God wanted me to do and then doing it with all diligence and to the best of my ability at the time. God was my employer, literally speaking, and I would ask Him for stuff – material things and payments for the work I was doing for Him (Matthew 6:4).

God is not a debtor to any man. He pays all His bills. When Peter told Jesus of all they (disciples) had left behind to become His disciples, Jesus responded and told Peter;

I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there is no one who has given up a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, who will not receive a hundred times as much now in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms—along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.

Mark 10:29-31

We can rest assured that God gives us a hundredfold recompense for all we sacrifice for His sake. All who have left houses, land, and relationships for God’s sake can expect a hundredfold recompense from God in this life and in the one to come. So, I enjoyed my recompense. Although initially there is a lot of anxiety, once you learn to live on the edge it becomes a fascinating way of life. 

It pushes you to depend on God. And when God pays, it is never to the same measure as the work you have done. He paid much more than we deserved (Matthew 20:1-16).

Things were going well and turning around for the organization’s good. We even managed to hire extra staff to help with the work. The ministry was self-sustaining, and seeing the fruit of my sacrifice to God gave me comfort.

Then I Turned the Promised Land into High Places for Idol Worship

Anytime you move from the place of stillness before God and get overly indulged in the very assignment He gave you, you start worshipping something or someone else other than God. This can be a business, ministry, job, partnership, spouse, children, or friends.

The very assignment and purpose God gave me slowly became the place I got too busy to be effective. My troubles started when, after one year, the organization allocated me an allowance though it did not have many resources to make consistent payments to me. I knew how much was owed to me every month.

At some point, I started to look at how we could make more and enough money to meet the monthly obligations and have some left for me to receive my allowance. I started chasing after seemingly better deals, and this led me to be occupied all the time. This organization had many connections and partnerships from outside the country. I would sometimes find myself working till the wee hours of the night to ensure I give real-time correspondence to those out of my time zone. I slowly entered into idolatry.

Find all the Episodes in this Series

A journey of recovery from toiling (modern day workaholism) to working (as God intended)

Too Busy for Worship Episode 1 - 15

S1E1: Market Place Talk – Are You Working or Toiling?

S1E2: God is the First Worker

S1E3: Toiling is a Curse from the Fall!

S1E4: How to Measure Busyness

S1E5: The Workplace As An Idol

S1E6:Working Without Toiling

S1E7: How to Work Without Toiling – Allow Others

S1E8: What’s the Sabbath Rest?

S1E9: Taking Up the Easy Yoke

Pause: How Are You Doing?

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