The Bondage of Busyness {Stronghold ~ Part 3}

I am guilty of idolatry. I have put doing in front of being and called it humbleness or faith. I do all of the faith duties: praying for others, Bible study homework, helping my friends and neighbors. I do go to church. I do housework and homework with my kids. I read them cute Bible stories at night. I do wife-hood and parenthood. I do.

All of these things are good and right… but they are out of order.

Beth Kinder writes in Chapter 5 of Stronghold:

“If we serve people out of obligation, if we say yes to an opportunity, hoping to impress a pastor or leader, or if we put ourselves out there hoping to be seen by others, it’s like the Levites who ministered to the temple, but their hearts were given to idols. Ministering and serving with any motive other than to love God is serving with a divided heart.
… Watchman Nee also said, ‘Let us note at the outset that there is little apparent difference between ministry to the House of the Lord and ministry to the Lord Himself.’ The only difference is the heart motive behind it. It’s only ministry to God after we’ve been to the Lord’s throne room first. Apart from that it’s idolatry.”

Idolatry used to look like a carved image on the shelf in the humble clay house of an ancient society. Today it looks like focus and we call it a calendar and to-do list. We have apps and books and seminars on how to better manage the busyness, the doing. We check off prayer, scripture, dishes, laundry, extracurricular activities for the kids, date nights with the husband, thank you cards and follow-up on Facebook.

Idolatry by definition is devotion, admiration, reverence, focus or worship of anything but God. And my focus on all the doing I’m doing is wrong and unfulfilling.

“The enemy will exploit our design and entrap us in a cycle of doing for others, and we can confuse serving, even in the church, as being with God.”

This chapter has wrecked me and my color coordinated schedule.

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“Ministering to the Lord first creates an intimate relationship with God the Son, a trusting relationship with God the Father, and a more in-tune relationship with God the Holy Spirit. The burden of busyness is designed to overwhelm our schedules and prevent us from carving out time to cultivate such a relationship. Without that relationship, we spend our lives striving, pushing, and positioning to be picked by a man, because we have forgotten we were chosen by a King.”

The truth is all my doing, all of my striving and positioning will amount to a hill of beans. I cannot do anything to be worthy of true love, to have peace that surpassess understanding. No amount of planning and scheduling can earn me that. God and God alone has given me a name, He has ordained my days and redeemed my broken nights. He alone gets that credit. Not me.

Romans 12:1-2 says, “Brothers and Sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.”

The temptation to be like that one mom in the carpool line who appears to have it all together, or the entrepreneur who drives the fancy car and posts on Facebook all of her successes, entraps me and keeps me captive in the striving and doing. It sends me back to my app of idols, fearful of the what-if’s and focused on the if-only’s.

I need to soak, instead, in Him, allowing truth to transform me. And in doing so, His presence will cascade through me overflowing into all these fields He’s already placed me. I need not list out my 10 things but instead start my day focused on my One Thing.

One last quote by Socrates:
“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”

Oh Lord, quiet my scattered mind and settle my frantic soul. Help me to sit at your feet every day and follow the order you have for my life. My doing cannot come before my being, for that will only leave me empty and barren.

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*This post is part of a series we’ve been doing on a new book, Stronghold: The Secrets beyond the Wall by Beth Kinder. It is available for purchase on Amazon THIS SATURDAY!! Find it here!

Come back next week ~ I’ll have a final videoblog (yes, I said video blog!!) recapping this book and the Book Launch Workshop Beth is hosting this weekend. (want to join me in Cali on Saturday?!! – click here for details)

Linking up today with Meredith Bernard (~with an amazing post today by the way!) , Kelly Belarie and Holley Gerth (she just launched a new, totally-need-read book!!).

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9 Comments on “The Bondage of Busyness {Stronghold ~ Part 3}

  1. Pingback: The Bondage of Busyness | Remade Ministries

  2. This blog reminds me of the Parable of the Sower – the seed that fell upon thorns. These seeds were choked by the busyness of this world. I make my to-do-list, but I always add IGW. (If God Willing) Happy Spring to you, Brandi, Paul, Mark, Maelin and Micah. Grandma Gray

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  3. Brandi this was so good! Idols can seem ancient but I know I have faced several in my days…the calendar, the pursuit of more, discontent even…those things that cloud out God and take honest motives captive. Thank you for the reminder that we don’t need to strive…we just need to seek Him first. Everything has a way of finding its rightful place when we do, doesn’t it?! Blessed by your words! Hugs?

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  4. Such wonderful truth here! And your words have me thinking deep about the place that lists and apps and productivity have in my life. Not that those things aren’t useful and important, but are they taking the place of God in my life? Important questions to think about. I’m glad to be your neighbor at Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup today.

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  5. Loved your blog. I loved your words about striving and positioning. Jesus said “it’s finished” on the cross. He did it all didn’t He? We need to be settled in His work. That’s the Sabbath rest talked about in Hebrews. We can rest in what He’s done.

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