Things I Must Protect

image 14 When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurried out early in the morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley.But he didn’t realize there was an ambush behind the town. 15 Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten. 16 Then all the men in the town were called out to chase after them. In this way, they were lured away from the town. 17 There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not chase after the Israelites, and the town was left wide open.  – Joshua 8

The King of Ai was about to get wiped out.  His entire city and all it’s people would die.  By the end of the day the King would be executed.  Why?  Among other things he was lured away from the town and left it unprotected.  He was lead away from the very thing that he was in charge of protecting. Both the King and the land he was to protect would be destroyed.

There are things that I have to protect:

My devotions
My time with Steph
My time with Madison and Mariah
My time with myself
My health

Pretty much in that order.  I can’t walk away and leave them unprotected.  I have to say no to other things in order to not leave them wide open.  I should make no excuses for protecting my time in these areas.  Otherwise I am walking away from them and leaving them wide open.

What is your list?  What are the things that you are supposed to protect? What are you leaving wide open?

Don’t feel bad about protecting what you need to protect. Saying "no" may be the best thing you can do in order to protect your time.  Just yesterday a good friend called me and asked if I would join a group of college students for a Q and A on Christianity.  The meeting is today.  It is a fantastic opportunity to engage with non-Christians.  It is the cause and heartbeat of Christ.  I thanked my friend, but declined the meeting.  How could I do such a thing?  Easy; it would leave other areas of my life unprotected.  I just finished a killer week preparing for and leading our Easter gatherings.  Monday, I had a long day with an Elders meeting lasting well into the evening.  I was in danger of leaving my family time unprotected.  By saying no, I was able to stay at my post and not leave things unprotected.  It was easy to say no; I know my priorities.  Will I go and do a Q and A with my friend another time?  You bet.  It was just the wrong time.

When you say yes, to something, you say no to something else.  Saying no may be the most spiritual thing you can do today.

Let me encourage you to a discipline today.  Make a list of what you are to protect.  When decisions come along, lay them against the list.  God has given you leadership over little kingdoms of your life.  Do not be led away from the very thing that you are assigned to protect. 

photo by freeparking

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6 thoughts on “Things I Must Protect

  1. Ok…I’m sitting here studying for a Theology quiz. I have an orientation tonight for a job I was offered at the PX. I already turned down one position because with the kids and school, and let’s not forget the wife, I just wasn’t sure I could get it all done. So, I’m sitting here….I can’t really concentrate…haven’t been able to for a few days. I barely have time to study without the job. How am I going to squeeze time in for it? Not to mention, we’re in Europe and have every weekend available to see amazing places. Should I just kiss that goodbye? It’s not like we’re hurting for money. We’re actually better off now, with one income, than we have been with 2 incomes for the last 2 years. We are living on an Air Base…We’re not gonna get evicted; there is no rent….They’re not gonna shut the power off; we don’t pay for it.
    So, I pray and I pray and I pray…..God, lead me in the right direction. Well, I never come to your blog Scot. I’m subscribed, so I get an email when you post. I really have no reason to be here right now. Thank God for bringing me here as I, too, will say no today and keep my priorities in line.
    Good stuff Scot…Keep in comin!!

  2. Thanks for the thought. Newly married, I’ve made the decision as I start a career that my job cannot come before faith and family, thanks for the reminder that we must keep our priorities in check.

  3. A wise man wrote this to be read at my wedding….

    “…Aye, you are together in the memory of God”, and His plan. Let there be spaces in your togetherness that the winds of Heaven may dance between you. Love one another and let it be a moving sea between the shores of your spirits. Fill each other’s cup, but drink of your own. Give to each other of your bread, but not of the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you find moments of aloneness; even as the strings of the lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping, for the hand of God contains your hearts. Stand together, yet not too near together; stand as pillars apart supporting your buildings of choice and purpose. Remember, the oak tree and the cypress do not grow in each other’s shadow though they flourish in the same soil….”
    -the late Rev. D. W. Lacy