"And he said unto them, 'I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.'" - Luke 4:43
The phrase, “I must” appears 16 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Jesus said, “I must preach” in Luke 4, “I must walk …” in Luke 13:33, and “I must be about my Father’s business” in Luke 2:29.
John the Baptist said,
“He must increase and I must decrease “ -John 3:30
These were driven by something greater than the urgency of the moment. Urgency is a poor substitute for purpose and priority. When we establish an understanding of what is truly important based upon God’s abiding principles and mission, we need to stick with it. The reality is that the moment we prioritize our ministries, diversions will emerge, distractions will appear, and urgency will shout in our ears, “Stop and take care of me NOW!”
We need to be able to say “no” to urgency any time it steps outside the boundaries of our priorities as given to us by God. Yes, there will be emergencies that must be faced as they arise. There will be extraneous details that must be handled. The problem arises when every urgent matter presents itself with the same emergency motif and both ministry and the spiritual life become one great series of emergencies. We have fire departments to put out fires.
What is your focus? Make sure it receives a prominent place on your calendar and that you do your best to follow your calendar. Leave time for incidentals. Leave cushion for emergencies. Live by grace because you won’t meet all of your goals. But, know this, if you heed every urgent cry, you will meet none of them because your life will be controlled by something far less than your God-given priorities.
Live on purpose, directed by God’s master plan for your life.