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Monday, October 19, 2009


Productivity. That's the god I worship when I'm not willing to worship the only true God. I make sacrifices of time, relationships, priorities, just to try to get some approval from my god of productivity. It promises so much satisfaction, so much recognition, fulfillment, respect. But it requires more than I can give. That's because it's a false god set up by the one who rebels against the true God. I'm just like the Israelites who made their own gods, claimed those gods could give them what they wanted, and obeyed the demands of those s0-called "gods" - even going so far as to sacrifice their children. Well, I've seen children sacrificed to the god of Productivity. But, that's not really my god. I know my God is the Lord. He's again taken me back after I've taken a promiscuous spin with Productivity. I need to spend time with my real God so I remember how good He is and how much more worthy He is of my worship than my other god.

So I've been thinking and praying about a few things. How do I keep myself from being a slave to that god of Productivity, while still being responsible to God's call on me? What does God really want my life to be about, because I know really clearly what Productivity wants me to be about, and I can connect with that pretty quickly. My thoughts go to a few sections of my God's Word I've been in lately. First is in Micah 6:8 "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." So what does being productive have to do with acting justly and loving mercy and walking humble with my God? Occasionally, a little. But the god Productivity doesn't allow time for considering that.

So how can I combat Productivity? This morning, my friend Dustin taught from Jeremiah 17. It starts in verse 5 with God putting a curse on those who trust in "mere human beings". Productivity demands that I trust in my own abilities (and maybe the abilities of those under me). Productivity threatens that if I don't worship and give it my full devotion, I won't be provided for. So in verses 7 and 8, God says

"My blessing is on those people who trust in me, who put their confidence in me. They will be like a tree planted near a stream whose roots spread out toward the water. It has nothing to fear when the heat comes. Its leaves are always green. It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought. It does not stop bearing fruit."

So, God's saying all I have to do is trust in Him and I'll be amazingly provided for. That sounds like a much better promise than Productivity has ever given me. So then we go down to verse 19 to the end. God tells Jeremiah to go to the city gate and tell the people they better stop working on the Sabbath. If they don't stop doing work one day a week, He'll destroy them. But if they start observing the Sabbath (resting one day a week), they'll be blessed, rich, and respected. What kind of an upside down requirement is that, says my mind that's been brainwashed by Productivity? But God is very clearly laying out the way things work in His Kingdom (which He's inviting us all into, by the way). If I trust in God, I need to stop worshiping Productivity, stop believing that it's me that provides for myself. Show that I trust God by stopping all activity (both what I do to provide for myself, and even the good things I'm doing to serve God) and rest. And incidentally, I believe God's designed this Sabbath so that when we observe it, we are weekly reminded of what it's all about and how good our God is compared to any other god that tries to compete with Him.

One more thought related to this. In Leviticus 25, when God is first setting up His nation of Israel, He says they should work for 6 years (agriculture was their main work) and then take a whole year off. He said on the 6th year, the land would produce a triple crop - enough for that year, the seventh year when they didn't work, and the 8th year before their crops came in again. That takes even more faith, and is even more upside-down than the Sabbath day. So I wonder how I can live out that kind of understanding of just how trust-worthy my God is in my life. Any thoughts?

If you've read this (which I guess you have if you're reading this sentence) please take some time to consider whether the god of Productivity is getting any worship from you, and then take some time (a lot of it, so you're taking it away from Productivity) to consider God's worthiness promises compared to Productivity's, and what it means for you to trust in and worship God alone.