Too Busy To Be Free
When God determined to deliver His people Israel from bondage in Egypt, He sent Moses to say "let my people go, that they may serve me"(Ex. 9:1). But rather than let them go, Pharaoh schemed to increase their burden and make them so busy that they didn't have time to think about freedom.
Scripture says, “Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, "Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, 'Make bricks!' And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people." But he said, "You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.' Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks."”(Exodus 5:15-18).
Pharaoh knew that he could make Israel’s burden so heavy that they would rather stay in terrible bondage to his will than to endure the temporary inconvenience necessary to be free. Israel had the responsibility to make bricks for Egypt to build their cities with. But up until this point, the straw needed to make the bricks was provided for them so that they didn’t have to gather the materials for themselves. But now, they would still have to make the same number of bricks, but they also had to spend time gathering these materials. This would have made their days much longer, harder and complicated.
This was mental warfare, the manipulation of desire. Pharaoh’s powerful words of control were go now and work! In essence he said, be busy. Do. Be too preoccupied with all of the things that you “have” to do! You don’t have time for freedom. You don’t have time for worship and devotion to God. Their bondage was not one of chains and walls, they were shackled to the pressure of time and duties.
I can promise you this saints of God, when you determine to be free in Christ, when you desire to be more devoted to the Lord, or when you decide to lead your family closer to Jesus, the enemy will do everything he can to make you too busy. He'll make everything go wrong at work. He'll attack your finances. He'll stir up conflict between you and your spouse on Sunday morning to make you feel like you can't go to church. He will try to get you too preoccupied to pray in the mornings, or too stressed to read the Bible with your children at night; anything he can to deter you from being free to serve God and know freedom.
Satan wants us tired, addicted and distracted. He knows that we’re less effective and more discouraged when we’re anxious and busy. But the Lord tells us to do the exact opposite of those things. He tells us to "be still and know that I am God"(Ps. 46:10). He says "they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength"(Is. 40:31). And He promises that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ"(Phil. 4:7). Psalms declares that God "gives His beloved rest/sleep"(Ps. 127:2). And Paul says that circumstances shouldn't determine our time with God, but that the answer is always to "pray without ceasing"(1Thess. 5:17).
Don't let the enemy keep you so busy that you can’t know and worship the Lord. Don't let him stop you from pursuing freedom in Christ. Be free. Be a worshipper. Live a life of prayer, walk by faith, and spend time in the word so you can abide in it. Rest in Christ. And when the devil digs in his spurs to make you too busy and anxious, get alone with Jesus and He will refresh you and make you free.