Bible Reading: Exodus 18:13-23; Mark 6:30-44
It’s quite an interesting thought for me comparing the vibe of students when they finish writing an exam with the vibe when the results come out. You see students celebrating and rejoicing after an exam, telling you how the questions ‘played into their hands’ and all that; but when the results are released, the same students are quiet and hiding. In short, academic performance is not by whether we think what we’ve done is good, it is down to whether or not it is actually good.
You can probably relate to Moses in our reading today- putting in all your effort to do something in a way that you think is good, only to be told that it is not good.
So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good…” Exodus 18:17 NKJV
That can be very disheartening. But there is so much strategic wisdom for us to learn.
The fact that we put in so much effort into anything does not mean that we are maximising what’s possible. Moses was really working his socks off, spending himself everyday for the Israelites, doing all that he could, only to be told that it is not good.
As we gradually close out our season of surging and seeking God, I believe that all that this season has been to us should be bringing us into the wisdom of structuring, so that we can come into the full harvest of all that we have laboured for.
All through Scripture, God is intentional about structure and order. If this is going to be your greatest year yet, and if you’re going to see such a harvest, then you really must live your life in a structured and ordered way. You can’t merely work hard or put in a lot of effort- there has to be structure and order to it.
With God, order precedes abundance.
Jesus was going to multiply the five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed the five thousand, but the miracle didn’t happen until the people were first seated and arranged in order- groups of fifties and hundreds. Order precedes abundance.
Think a lot about what structures you are setting out to live with through the year. Is there any rhythm to which you live when it comes to your commitments, your finances, your work, your relationships, your spiritual growth, and so on?
Beyond working hard, are you working right?
Do you have plans for a healthy rhythm of rest? Do you have plans that put God first? Do you have systems that make the important things in your life important? What story does your time planning tell of the kind of person that you are? Beyond a 21 days collective journey of seeking God, what does seeking God look like for you this year? When next are you going to wait on God? What’s your Bible reading plan for the year? Where and when are you getting to pray? Who are you intentionally learning from this year and how are you going about it (or are you only ‘learning’ from WhatsApp status updates and broadcast messages?)
Don’t like Moses merely take it as it goes. That will never bring you to thrive in the full life that God intends for you. You might be doing a lot, but you won’t see a lot.
When you read through the Old Testament, you realize how God devoted layers and layers of intentionality into putting order and structure among His people. Leaders were known. Officials were known. Duties were shared. Important days were marked. Rest was calendared. Festivals were kept. And so on.
Sometimes, we avoid structuring because we feel we don’t have the most perfect plans. Quite honestly, the big question is not for structures to be perfect. Sometimes, you might mistakenly delegate to a wrong person who might drop a ball or two. Here and there, you might get a timing wrong. We’re not perfect people. The big question though, is about making yourself a person that inclines towards living your life from a place of order and structure and allowing God to bless that.
As you wait on God today, can you do some heart checks to be sure you are not just doing a lot and thinking that it is good, when in actual fact, it is not good. Why don’t you run a check on the key and important things in your life and see what order and structure they are anchored in and what can hold you accountable to that through the year.
Something To Pray
Let’s believe God today to work in us the awareness, the wisdom and the courage to set the right order and structures to our lives.