A few years back I was managing a small pool supply store. We had one particular employee that was not quite living up to the standards of his employment. He was not completing his tasks or was too slow to complete them. He was also not helpful to the customers and did personal business on company time. When challenged with each issue the responses were, “Well, I really didn’t want to,” or “I did not determine that it was necessary,” or “I was busy talking to my girlfriend.” One time when he was late there was no excuse just, “I did not feel like coming in that early.” As we talked, it was apparent he was only willing to work if it fit his schedule and something he wanted to do. He did not get the concept that working for another means you WORK. You work for the company not for yourself, that being hired to do a job means you make your bosses’ or company’s agenda your agenda…and do what they say to do.
Well this week I have been studying for this Sunday’s sermon on Sabbath, a scheduled time to rest and focus on life and God and a whole lot more that is truly of great blessing and benefit for us, (join us Sunday to hear more). This is a time that we schedule and do, yet… it’s God’s agenda not our own. Isaiah put it this way…
Isaiah 58:13-14 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Notice the bold part, we are to go into this day of rest and refocus on God and His way of life, on His agenda, not our own. Now yes, this Sunday we will talk about some key elements to be on God’s agenda for what we plan and do for a Sabbath, but this also goes with our whole life.
The question comes up, Whose agenda are we living under? Something I know is that I can be like that self-focused employee just doing whatever I want, when I want to do it. Yet the truth is…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Jesus paid a hefty price to buy us out of our slavery to sin…His death. Not just any death, the horrific death on a cross. He paid our sin-debt, (Romans 2:23, 6:23), and yet did not just leave us to fend for ourselves but gave us the honor to be adopted into His forever family, (Ephesians 1). He made it possible for us to be grafted in, (Romans 11), to the full and purposeful life we were designed to live.
How silly and strange if we were to then seek to live this life by our own agenda with all our short-sighted outlooks and sophomoric ideals. I know from personal experience and observing many others, that when we live life on our own agenda it leads to empty hardships, meaningless suffering, and pointless pain.
Proverbs 16:25 25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Yet, God’s way, God’s agenda is good and right and leads to a fulfilling life. Now sure there will be bumps, trials, difficulties and hardships along the way but God will be with us every step of the way. He will help us to endure and even thrive as we forge on.
So whose agenda are you living? God has one for you… seek it out, His way is good.
Striving to Live His Agenda with you,