I want to talk today about slowing down for Jesus. You know we as human beings – especially in the developed world – are so caught up with the things of the world that we hardly have time to do something for the Lord. Or at least some of us are like that; some Christians are devoted to the Lord and already spend most of their time serving God and spending their time and efforts for Him. But for some of us we are so agitated and driven by the what the world has to offer that the Lord is simply pushed to the side.
When the rich young ruler asked Jesus
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answer him by saying “Go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” – Matthew 19.
The rich young ruler’s time was spent completely on the things of this world: he didn’t really care about serving God or following Him even though he boasted to the Lord that he kept all the commandments: there are many rich people who are morally upright; or who are good citizens; but all they care about is their money – that is what motivates them and preoccupies most of their thoughts and time.
When Jesus told the rich your ruler “Go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”; Jesus was telling the person – stop thinking about the things of this world and what it has to offer; and start thinking about the poor and what you can to do help others; instead of thinking about your money and what it can buy you and how much security it can give you; sell what you have and give it to the poor and start believing in and telling people about the Kingdom and heaven and what is good for their souls.
There was another rich man in the Bible was who so wealthy he decided to built more barns to store all the amazing crops he was growing.
“Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” – Luke 12.
So many Christians and other are so concerned about bigger houses; bigger rooms; more land; buying a cottages; and all that stuff takes money and usually more money means longer hours working, and more time taken to care of all the money one is making.
When I say to slow down for Jesus what I mean to say is that we have to stop the wheels that are turning in our own minds about the things of the flesh and the things of this world; and we need to go and do what Jesus is telling us to do – help the and teach them about the Kingdom of God – however that may be working out in our own individual lives.
When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den; what did the King do. The Bible says: “Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him. Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den.”
In Psalm 38:3-10 we read:
“Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me—
it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
My groans come from an anguished heart.
You know what I long for, Lord;
you hear my every sigh.
My heart beats wildly, my strength fails,
and I am going blind.”
So get off the treadmill of this world; stop spinning your wheels and driving yourself crazy with your self-imposed schedules and goals of making so much money – even though for some of us the extra money we make by working harder is not even worth it; it’s not like we’re making millions. For others, the rare few, they are more like the rich young ruler who has so much money that’s all he can think about. But for the rest of us we just keep ourselves so busy making as much as we can that we forget about having a relationship with the Lord.
Slow down for Jesus. Stop your mind from spinning; stop driving yourself crazy; take a deep breath and stop. Isn’t that what God says in His word:
“Be still, and know that I am God!” – Psalm 46:10.
Sit down somewhere, stand somewhere, or just while your driving focus on the Lord and worship Him. The Bible says that is how you are going to experience peace. It says in Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
After 26 years of marriage; and 27 years of being a Christian my wife and I’s marriage counselor told me to focus more on finding inner peace and tranquility. So I’m not standing at the podium preaching down to anyone today – I can’t be; I’m on this learning curve myself. I need to stop that wretched flesh from rearing its ugly head in irritation, agitation, worry, fear, panic, anger, intolerance, harshness and all the other things that come with living in the flesh.
I also need to just slow down and focus on the Lord Jesus Chris; to learn to trust in Him more and live more patiently and calmly.
The things of this world can consume us if we let them. The Bible tells us:
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2.
We think that there are so many things we have to do that we get so agitated and lack the peace in our hearts that we as Christians all desire; so let’s focus on the Lord and on the world that is within us; let’s focus on the peace that passes all understanding as we trust in the Lord, do things for the poor, and teach others about the Kingdom of God.