Day by Day - July 21, 2010
by Charles R. Swindoll
Philip Melanchthon and Martin Luther were once deciding on the day's agenda. The former was disciplined, intellectually gifted, serious, and goal-driven; the latter was equally intelligent but much more emotional, risky, even playful.
Melanchthon said, "Martin, this day we will discuss the governance of the universe."
To which Luther responded, "Philip, this day you and I will go fishing and leave governance of the universe to God."
What wise counsel!
I love Jesus' model of balance. He arrived on the planet with a mission more important than any soul who has drawn a breath of earth air. Yet He didn't really get started until He turned thirty. What about all those "wasted" years? He left them to God.
There's a great scene in Luke when a bunch of His disciples returned from their practical work project. They were all excited about their success, especially that "even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
Ever so graciously Jesus offered this mild rebuke: "Do not rejoice . . . that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven" (Luke 10:20). They felt good about themselves because they had done well. Whereas Jesus implied, "Leave all that to God . . . you have nothing to prove; you are approved. Your names are in the Book and that's what really matters."
I used to feel driven and drained by the never-ending demands of ministry. If folks weren't changing, I felt responsible. If some drifted, I felt at fault. If there wasn't continual growth, I ached as if I needed to make it happen. If a sermon failed to ring with clarity and power, I struggled all of Monday and half of Tuesday. Talk about wasted energy. I've learned to place those cares in the hands of One who can handle them.
Let's declare today the day you and I give ourselves permission to relax without being afraid or feeling guilty . . . and leave the stuff we cannot handle or change to God. Is it a deal? Great! But what shall we do about the person who thinks we are slacking off too much? You guessed it. Just leave it to God!
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.