I'm writing this blog for a friend that was asking me some questions about this subject yesterday, but I truly believe we can all learn from this.
She was basically saying that as she looks around in her realm of influence there is so much more that needs to be done as far as reaching out, caring for, and witnessing to those around her, but at the same time she simply has no more spare time. She said she basically already feels overwhelmed by all that is on her plate. How many of us have felt this at one time or another???
I think we need to take a step back and point out a few important things. First off, being overwhelmed by circumstances is not from God. He will not cause you to be overwhelmed, He does not want you to be overwhelmed. In fact, scripture says just the opposite...
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
So, what's causing us to be overwhelmed? That's really the root here because obviously it is the opposite of what Jesus wants you to feel. He wants you to have peace, let not your heart be troubled, and not be afraid. I have two main thoughts, but there's only one I really want to dive into. I'll just mention the first one and that's that the enemy wants you to be overwhelmed. Often times when we become overwhelmed with the things God is calling us to do, we'll slack off or stop completely, so if satan can get you overwhelmed and frustrated chances are you won't ever fulfill the assignments God has given you. There is much to be done and YOU have a valuable role in bringing God's will from heaven to earth.
The next thought is the one I want to focus on. I am more convinced than ever that the church as a whole and us as individuals need to get a specific plan from the Holy Spirit for what He wants us to be doing.
If the enemy can't get you to do nothing then he'll try to get you to do so much that you're spread so thin, completely overwhelmed, and ineffective.
As we look around at those around us, you will see great needs. You will see many people that need their physical and spiritual needs met. There are those hungry, thirsty, orphans, widows, drug addicts, prodigals, those who have never heard the gospel, those who have heard and rejected, and the list goes on and on and on.... Those in need cover the spectrum from young to old, black, white, asian, male and female, broken, hurting, prideful, deceived. I believe in helping as much as I possibly can to meet the needs of those around me, but I also believe in being Spirit led.
If your plate is full to the point that you are overwhelmed and yet you still feel like you have to do more, then you need to take a step back. Ask the Holy Spirit what things are you doing that He didn't even ask you to do and what specific things does He want you to be doing. Chances are you're doing a lot based off of the needs you see and not by His leading and direction.
The enemy will try to busy you with many "good" things, so that you never do the one thing God has intended for you to do.
Each of us have specific assignments that God has for us. Imagine if the person who witnessed to Billy Graham had been too busy working in a soup kitchen? What if Smith Wigglesworth's wife (who led him to the Lord) would have decided that evangelism to the lost in her neighborhood was more important than ministering to her husband? Who/what is it God wants you to be pouring your time and energy into?
It's time for the church and individuals to seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him, "What do you want me to do?". Do you want me to be involved in this bible study? This outreach? This soup kitchen? This evangelism team? This prayer team? What part do you want me to play?
We all have the responsibility to first love God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength, and then to love our neighbor as ourself. We all have the responsibility to be a witness and fulfill the great commission. However, how that looks for you might look different than for me. Love those around you with the love of Jesus and seek Him on the assignments He has for you specifically.
I find great joy, peace, and happiness in fulfilling the assignments God has given me specifically. Perhaps he gives me an idea or plan to do, perhaps He gives me a name of someone to reach out to, maybe He just brings someone across my path for me to minister to. Everyday I have opportunities to do assignments God has given me, some long term, some short term, some are easy, some take more time and effort, but doing the work of the Lord brings fulfillment. If you're not fulfilled in what you're doing, take a step back, and ask Him for direction.