WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 3, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T LET THE DEVIL KEEP YOU BUSY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now as the king passed by, he cried out to the king and said, ‘Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and there, a man came over and brought a man to me, and said, ‘Guard this man; if by any means he is missing, your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ While your servant was busy here and there, he was gone” (1 Kings 20:39-40a New King James Version).
Get your priorities right this year; don’t let the devil keep you busy doing what is not necessarily bad but is not necessary or beneficial to your purpose on earth. Ultimately, it is not how much you have done, the achievements you have made, or the applause of men you have received that is important but the will of God you have done.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “You say, I am allowed to do anything’ — but not everything is helpful. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’ — but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23 New Living Translation). You should not do anything just because you can do it; you should do it because it is beneficial or right. You should do only what is helpful.
As it’s been said, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” Don’t let the devil deceive you to do just anything. If he does, he would have succeeded in keeping you busy, yet you only have limited time. The New King James Version puts 1 Corinthians 10:23 way: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”
An unnecessarily busy schedule will not allow you to make the most of your time. Get your priorities right and devote your time to accomplishing the important things in your life. Learn from the story in 1 Kings 20:39-40a and don’t be here and there; don’t major in the minor or minor in the major. “Now as the king passed by, he cried out to the king and said, ‘Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and there, a man came over and brought a man to me, and said, ‘Guard this man; if by any means he is missing, your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ While your servant was busy here and there, he was gone” (1 Kings 20:39-40a New King James Version). The king of Israel told the person who narrated this story, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it” (verse 40b New King James Version).
One of the sons of the prophets had disguised and told Ahab, the king of Israel, the story to deliver God’s judgment to him for allowing Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, He had delivered to his hand for destruction to escape by making a treaty with him. He replied to Ahab, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people’” (1 Kings 20:42 New King James Version).
Don’t let the devil keep you busy here and there and allow what God has committed into your hand to suffer. Don’t neglect what God expects you to do because you are busy doing things that are not major, crucial, or relevant to your destiny.
Many people are stressed out because they are busy doing unnecessary things. Every assignment is not for you. Beware of overcommitment. Don’t let the devil keep you busy with assignments meant for other persons. Get rid of a busy schedule that gives you negative stress – say no to unnecessary tasks. Maintain the right focus in life
If you allow the devil to keep you busy, your spiritual life will suffer. You won’t have time for personal Bible study and prayer. Joshua 1:8 says this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). The devil keeps many Christians so busy that they go for days without studying and meditating on the Word of God.
Don’t let a busy schedule make you prayerless. During your period of spiritual slumber, the enemy will plant tares among your wheat (Matthew 13:25). In other words, he will create problems in your life and when they manifest, whatever money you might have made from being busy and neglecting your spiritual life will not be sufficient to solve the problems.
Busyness is not the same thing as a business! Don’t be too busy that you don’t have time to attend church services. It is the devil’s strategy to destroy you. Not going to church, especially on Sunday, is a manifestation of spiritual sickness. Hebrews 10:25 says believers should not forsake the assembling together of saints. Psalm 92:13 says those planted in the house of God will flourish. Be an active member of a living church where your life, home, destiny, business, etc. will be watered by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Avoid businesses or commitments that keep you away from the church. Remember the Sabbath day to keep holy. Worship with other believers regularly. As someone has rightly said, “Seven days without a Sabbath makes one weak.” Another person said, “Seven days without God makes one weak.” You will be a weak Christian if you don’t observe the weekly Sabbath and fellowship with God.
Don’t let the devil keep you busy and neglect your spiritual life. It is the blessing of the Lord that makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). You may continue to rise up early and arrive home late every day after a busy day without prayer and studying the Bible just to acquire wealth or achieve earthly success. But you cannot by your efforts keep what you have gathered. Many have gathered like that in the past but everything is gone today. Psalm 127:2a warns, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows” (New King James Version).
Don’t be too busy and neglect spiritual life. You need God in your life. The psalmist says, “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (Psalm 33:16-17 New King James Version). Your ‘busyness’ is no match for the devil. Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). By strength, no man shall prevail (1 Samuel 2:9).
Don’t let the devil keep you so busy that you don’t have time for your family – your spouse and children. Your success at work cannot be a substitute for your failure at home! Don’t neglect your matrimonial duties. Parents must not be too busy that they don’t train up their children in the way of the Lord. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 New King James Version). Educate, nurture, guide, and discipline your children. “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 New King James Version). Parents who fail to fulfil their divine responsibility will regret it later.
The devil can keep anyone busy, including the ministers of God. And this does not mean doing something sinful but getting out of the will of God or making you focus on the non-essentials. “But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities” (Luke 10:40a Amplified Bible).
The ministers of God must be sure that they’re doing exactly what God wants them to do They shouldn’t be busy doing other persons’ assignments or assignments provoked by ambition, pride, or because they have money to fund it. They must avoid being distracted from their call. They must not be working for the devil thinking they’re working for God!
Nehemiah refused to be distracted by Sanballat and Geshem, who invited him for a meeting to harm him. But he refused to honour the invitation four times, telling them each time, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you” (Nehemiah 6:3 New King James Version).
Don’t let the devil keep you busy. Get your priorities right. Focus on your purpose. Face your business.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to get my priorities right this year; let me not major in the minor or minor in the major. The devil will not keep me busy; I will not be distracted from my purpose in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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