“And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, what is this thing that thou doest to the people? Why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God; When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make the know the statutes of God, and His laws. And Moses’ father in law said unto him, the thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee; Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mays bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties and rulers of tens; And let them judge the people at all seasons; and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge; so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.” Exodus 18: 13-23
Our weekly Christian devotional
“Rod, I need you. The pipe just broke from my dishwasher and water is leaking everywhere.” The panic in his sister’s voice instantly woke Rodney’s exhausted body.
“Denise, can’t you just call the landlord? I’ve barely gotten any sleep…” Rodney knew his words were pointless.
“But Rod…” Denise moaned. “My landlord is not answering his phone…and the kitchen is looking like hurricane Katrina.” The sound of metal pots slamming on the counter could be heard over the phone.
It didn’t matter that poor Mr. Levi had worked a double shift to cover for his college’s vacation…Whenever Denise needed him—even if Rodney hesitated to help, it was always just a short hesitation.
Although Rodney had a wife and three children of his own, Denise never seemed to take that into account when dealing with a crisis. Rodney had always been his single sister’s trusty and reliable replacement for her husband, father and best friend.
After a lifetime of always saying “yes.” to the sister he adored, it felt impossible for Rod to begin saying the word “no.”
Without question, this strained the Levi family terribly. It seemed as soon as things were going well between Rodney and his wife Samantha, it wouldn’t take long for Denise to interject her personal dramatics. The honeymoon for the Levis never lasted very long. In reality, never actually begun!
In today’s world, if you aren’t capable of juggling a million things at once, many subject you to: ‘the look’. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of it, you know how useless it can make one feel.
But, let me remind you of this very simple truth: Just because people feel entitled to pull on your very capable shoulders; at some point, something’s got to ‘give’.
The Bible shares some very encouraging words in Exodus 18: 13-23. Although Moses was the equivalent to a spiritual ‘rock star’ in his day, these passages in Exodus remind us that Moses was still only a man made of flesh. (Kind of like the rest of us!) Also similar to the rest of humanity, Moses had the same twenty-four hours to eat, sleep, take care of himself, tend to his family’s needs and lead the ever-dependent Israelites.
In Exodus 18:13-23, Moses’ father in law gives this great leader some very sage instruction. He instructs Moses to take care of himself by sharing his responsibilities with capable people; ones who had proven their character by healthy actions and good work ethics.
Although Moses’ desire to serve came from a very good place, he was actually hampering his own personal growth and happiness on top of preventing others from ever reaching their higher potential.
Guilt has a tendency to pull on our heartstrings unnecessarily weighing us down. But, in the end, nothing good comes out of a kind deed that was only performed from that kind of motivation.
If you’re a child of God, you are important to Him. It’s crucial for you to keep connected with the Holy Spirit. This will allow God to guide and direct your next steps. When you don’t take the time to hook up to your power source, you may be adding some very frustrating detours that God never had in mind for you.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I’ve taken on a lot of responsibilities, thinking that doing more was better. I have made the wrong assumption that my worth and value was reflected in how well or how much I performed. The truth is my worth and value comes in you. I’m valuable because Christ saw me as valuable enough to die for.
There are many projects and people I have committed myself to that weren’t your plan for my life.
Lord, help me to have discernment on what responsibilities are mine to take on. There are only twenty-four hours in the day, and it isn’t unreasonable to start saying the word, “No.” to some things. Show me what I must say “No.” to, Lord.
Help me to be okay with doing less and taking more time to seek your face, your presence and your will for my life.
I’m tired of taking detours. I need to know your plan and your direction. So, to hear your still small voice, I commit to being quiet and doing less in the natural.
In the name of Jesus, I bind the demonic spirits of guilt and condemnation that will try and veer me off the path of peace. I will follow peace, Lord. Because I know you really don’t work in any other way. In Jesus’ name, I embrace Shalom, even if it is a habit that I will have to commit to getting used to. Help me, Lord. Amen.”
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Author: Julia Shalom Jordan