How to Unload Your Life
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . ; but lay up . . . treasures in heaven. . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
-Matthew 6:19-21, emphasis added
Yesterday was the first part of a diagnostic test that can help us detect the symptoms of overload. Two remain, which I'll cover today, and then share God's simple solution for getting out from under such a deadly burden. So then, what are some other ways that we have let ourselves become entrapped in the overload syndrome?
We allow our lives to have possession overload. We have more "things per person" than any other nation in history. Closets are full, storage space is used up, and cars can't fit into garages. Having first imprisoned us with debt, possessions then take over our houses and occupy our time. This begins to sound like an invasion. Everything I own owns me in return as I become responsible to care for it, maintain it, clean it, insure it, store it, update it, and so forth. So why would I want more? God says, "Beware of having so much in life that the care of things makes your heart grow cold toward Me." (See Matthew 13:22; Luke 12:21; 1Timothy 6:8-10; Hebrews 13:5.)
In contrast to time spent on the information-overload treadmill, how well do you know God? How much depth is there in your personal relationship with Him? For instance, do you know His Word as well as you know your favorite hobby or sport? That is the danger of information overload-our minds become full of so much that does not matter to God or for eternity. God says, "To know Me, you must guard your heart." (See Isaiah 33:14b-17.)
Spending regular time alone with God is the only way that you will ever get to see "the King in His beauty." You will never find God's best for your life while drowning in the overload syndrome. What an appropriate reminder for living in the end times when time is so short!
Submit to Christ's rule. It would be the rare person who did not spot any symptoms of the "overload syndrome" in his or her own life. But the good news is this: you can find relief and rest for your soul by obedience to Christ's command: "Take My yoke upon you" (Matthew 11:29). The yoke is a universal sign of submission. The Bible begins and ends with the call to submit to Christ. From Adam and Eve in Genesis to the end of the age in Revelation, Scripture tells us that we are to obey God-or face the consequences along with those who rebel and come under God's endless wrath forever.
Have you given obedience to God the highest place in your life, as the inspiration for every action and motivation? If you yield to the searching of the Holy Spirit, you may find that you have never given Him total submission, or that you have somehow, over time, taken it back. I exhort you therefore to go before the Spirit in prayer and ask Him to show you: how defective the Christian life is where obedience doesn't rule all; how that life can be exchanged for one of full surrender to absolute obedience; and how sure it is that God in Christ will enable us to live it out! So ask yourself: Does submitting to God take the highest place in my life?
Become Christ's lifelong disciple: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me . . . and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29, emphasis added). Cling to Jesus that you may obey His admonition to "learn from Me." Surround yourself with His true Word. Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the Old Testament, the meek are those wholly relying on God, rather than their own strength, to defend them against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time. (See Isaiah 41:17; Luke 18:1-8.)
Gentleness, or meekness, is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over any situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Galatians 5:23). Are you a gentle spirit-or one who is wrapped up in self?
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