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Stop Bowing to the God of Busyness

Two Thrones

Pharaoh was a false god-king who demanded endless toil from God’s people so he might sit enthroned in perpetual restfulness. When he demanded ceaseless labor from slaves, his throne was more secure, his reign more feared. That’s how the god of this world still works. Motivated by fear of lack or failure, we labor for the heaven of earthly prosperity, wealth and luxury. Or worse yet, we labor for subsistence, afraid that if we stop we’ll miss an opportunity to be great.

“Enthrone me in your work,” the god of this world cries.

Then there’s Jesus. Jesus doesn’t need our work to keep him on his throne. He’s the one who leaves his throne to work for us. Trusting Jesus in your work means learning to put it down and enthrone him in your rest. To acknowledge that he is Lord and he is Savior requires that we cease striving long enough to breathe in grace—grace that cannot be earned. That’s why he says, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Single Finished Work

In the Greek myth, Sisyphus is punished for his pride by being forced to roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll down once it reaches the top. This endless loop is his fate for all eternity—and more or less describes the character of the false god of this world. Despite the promise of a platinum retirement, easy living and comfortable lifestyle, you’re never quite done earning it, paying for it, maintaining it. If you worship the American Dream, you may never awaken from your Sisyphean nightmare.

But the God of the Bible is different. His promises are better than a nice retirement villa in Florida. His offer is better than ceaseless toil. The world with its work nitpicks with a constant refrain of “you’re not quite done.” But on the cross, Jesus shouts with his final breath, “It is finished.”

And it is finished.

Whether you’re a get-it-done kind of person or you’re constantly feeling like you’ve not done enough, the good news is that you get to decide the deity to whom you’ll bow.

This article about being busy originally appeared here. Check out Adam’s new book, The Art of Rest.