Overwhelming Obligations

Overwhelming Obligations

Overwhelmed with too many obligations.

I hope you have recovered from your loss of an hour on Sunday. You’re going to need your rest with such a busy week ahead.

We can be overwhelmed with a schedule that involves various obligations on top of our commitments to fellowship with members of our church family, friends, and neighbors.

When doing everything is impossible, it is easy to shut down and do nothing. We like our routines. We like to keep our calendars open and free from obligations.

Routines are important. We create them to ensure we accomplish the things we consider vital.

Seasons of solitude are good. Getting alone for the purpose of communing with God is critical to our growth in him.

However, romantic notions of routines and solitude can lead us to a self-centered lifestyle. When I am unwilling to be interrupted I know that I have put myself first. When I enter into a prolonged state of isolation I have ceased to consider others more important than myself.

The pattern of our lives should be structured enough to get what matters most done, and free enough to let others in. The trajectory of our lives should point toward what is eternal and not passing away.

Paul challenges believers in Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

The cost of discipleship involves sacrifice. Giving our time to listen, debate, encourage, rebuke, and exhort others is one of the most rewarding sacrifices we can ever make.

This is why the promise of God’s presence is so encouraging. Isaiah 43:1-3a teaches us:

“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

The obligations we make to one another can be overwhelming, but today’s sacrifice reminds us of tomorrow’s reward. So let us “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).