ODJ: multi-hat syndrome

August 6, 2013 

READ: Deuteronomy 10:12-22 

What does the Lord your God require of you? (v.12).

A pastor recently listed 36 different ‘hats’ he might wear. The roles included community activist, theologian, financial advisor and life coach. These roles evolved from the different needs of churchgoers. While it’s important for all of us to respond to others’ needs, if the demands consume us, we may begin to serve people instead of serving God.
To prevent this, we need to orient ourselves around what God desires from us. But what does God want from us? After posing this question to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 10:12), Moses announced this answer: “He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul” (v.12).

God wanted to be at the centre of the Israelites’ lives. They were to respect Him as the owner and creator of everything (v.14; Psalm 89:11). They were to “obey the Lord’s commands . . . for [their] own good” (Deut. 10:13). They were to love Him exclusively—to “cling to Him” (v.20).

Interestingly, their service to others, especially foreigners, was to be a reflection of God’s mercy and fairness to people who had significant needs (v.18). Everything in their lives was to flow from the person of God and their relationship with Him.

Is your life centred on God? Preacher Vance Havner said, “It’s ironic that people who work in God’s name often have the most difficulty finding time for Him. The parents of Jesus lost Him at church, and they weren’t the last ones to lose Him there.”

If you’re losing Jesus in your service for God, rekindle your relationship with Him. Renew your hope and confidence in the Lord today (Jeremiah 17:7-8). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read Psalm 63:4-8 for a snapshot of David’s devotion to God. See Micah 6:6-8 to see what God does and doesn’t want from us.  
Why isn’t it enough just to reshuffle our priorities when we feel overwhelmed? How can we avoid burnout by keeping Jesus at the centre of our lives?