This is Courage Cast - Faith, Inspiration, and Motivation for Today.
Well, hey everyone. This is Eric Nordhoff and you're listening to a new episode of Courage Cast, so good to be with you. As always, we give about 10 minutes of inspiration, motivation, and faith-based message and today is no different. I'm so glad to be with you and I look forward to sharing what God's laid on my heart for you today. Today's message is titled, "Waiting Before Working." I read a message that is written in Jesus Calling from August 29th. I guess it's a devotional. I got this message from more than just one person. I don't read Jesus Calling as my daily devotional but I do know a lot of people do.
This one several people felt compelled to send to me or to me as part of a group, and so I thought, "You know what, that is an amazing concept that I want to explore." Not just a concept, an amazing truth that I want to explore. It's a habit that I want to add into my life. A lot of our messages, a lot of the messages in the Courage Cast are things that I want to add to my life, habits that I want to add to my life. That's actually the theme of this week. The habits that I want to add to my life. What is a habit? What does it mean for me and how can it improve my life? How can it improve the life of others? How can it improve the life of the courageous community, of the individuals in this community.
How to work more efficiently
My message today is waiting before working. I'm going to read to you a little bit of just the first paragraph of the message in Jesus Calling from August 29th. "Demonstrate your trust in me by sitting quietly in my presence. Put aside all that is waiting to be done and refuse to worry about anything. This sacred time together strengthens you and prepares you to face whatever the day will bring. By waiting with me before you begin the day's activities, you proclaim the reality of my living presence. This act of faith waiting before working is noted in the spirit world where your demonstration of trust weakens principalities and powers of darkness."
Of course, the entire book of Jesus Calling is written as if Jesus is speaking to you and me. It is powerful when you just change the perspective of the writing and read it to yourself as if these are the words of Jesus to you. Of course, it's paraphrased and inspired by scripture, greatly inspired by scripture, and so we read it with that mindset. This is not scripture we are reading but we're reading as if the spirit of God is speaking to us and he really is. This is something I believe that he would say to us. He would say to you. He would say to me.
He's saying this to me right now. "Eric, why don't you wait on me? Why don't you wait with me? I so long to be in your presence. I so long to be connected with you. I so long to have you close to me." My answer to why don't I do it? The first answer I came up with is maybe I'm just staying up too late. Maybe I'm staying up too late and I'm not going to bed on time. Before I start my next day, maybe waking up 30 minutes earlier just to get quiet and listen, and wait on his presence. Or maybe I just have a hard time waking up in the morning and I enjoy that few extra hours of sleep, maybe it's because I stayed up too late, or maybe I had a bad night sleep.
Maybe my kids woke me up, maybe I had a bad dream or something happened that distracted me and kept me from going to bed early the night before. Those are all things that we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves about. I'm not going to be hard on myself about that because there are times that I won't be able to get up early and spend time with him. The question is not those instances. The question really is why aren't you doing it on a regular basis. Why don't I see you more often?
How to spend more time with God
It's not about work. It's not about performance. He's not speaking to me in a performance-based mentality and that's so easy for me to get into. Why don't you spend more time with me? That's what he's saying to me. Don't you see that if you spent more time with me, all of these other things would be added on to you. That you would begin to move the principalities would be weakened and the powers of darkness would be even weakened. Do I believe that? If I believe that, then why don't I do that more often? Wouldn't the worries that I carry and the worries of my day that I'm bringing to my day, wouldn't those go away? Wouldn't the concerns that I have and the things, the struggles that I have and the challenges that I have, wouldn't those slowly over time dissipate?
Because of the strength that I receive from just being in his presence and hearing what he has to say about me? Well, then I would say ... Then my response might be, "Well, I don't even know what to do during that time. I feel kind of silly just sitting there and listening. What if I fall asleep all over again because I'm just sitting there listening?" Well, I say, why don't you try it? I feel like the Lord is saying, why don't you just try it? Try me. Test me. Pray to me. Talk to me. Try me in this and watch what happens. Jesus said to his disciples, "Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, about your body, what you will wear. Consider the ravens, they do not sow or reap. They have no store room or barn yet God even feeds them and how much more valuable you are than birds."
Why worrying is bad for you
Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Why not instead wait before working. You see I'm one that just dives into work. I can wake up. I've got all these ideas. I've got a lot of enthusiasm and I want to just jump to it. I want to get to it. I can't wait to get to work most days. I can't wait to get about the business of living life because I believe life is so good but that is sometimes the course of the optimist and that I believe I can do anything and I can accomplish anything, and anything is possible.
Sometimes, I'm so busy, I don't ... I want to just jump into that instead of sitting quietly and waiting to hear from God. Getting honest about my issues and my challenges, and my worries, and laying my day before him. I believe most of our problems can be resolved by just going to God and spending that time, that 20-30 minutes even, and laying out our days before him. Laying out our worries before him. Taking our calendar that we have set aside and set up ourselves, and before making one more appointment, before making one more decision, before jumping and doing the next thing. The next great thing you want to accomplish.
God has to be the one that leads our days because Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed." How are you doing in that? How do you commit to the Lord in what you do? What can you do to begin to lay your day before him, before you start doing it? Commit to giving him the decisions that you are making and giving them over to him, and asking him for his guidance, asking his holy spirit to speak to you and then just listen. If you don't hear an answer, it's okay. You won't always hear an answer but why would you move anyway if you don't hear an answer?
Maybe he just wants you to wait some more. This is not a legalistic thing. This is not a controlling thing. This is about a trust, a release of trust between you and God, your heavenly Father. I don't know about you but I'm going to jump into his lap today and I'm going to make a habit of getting into the lap of my heavenly Father, and asking him what he wants from me today. Does he want me to do these things today? Does he want me to jump in to one more task or decision? Or does he want me to trust him? Do something completely different or do nothing at all? He will answer. Believe me, he will answer you and I know that he's faithful. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." Take time today and the rest of your days, challenge you to form the habit of drawing near to him because he is faithful to draw near to you.
That's my encouragement for you friends today. Wait before working. I look forward to being with you again on another episode of Courage Cast.