Jesus managed the “tyranny of the urgent” by establishing the purpose and priorities of his existence. He healed all who were oppressed of the devil who came to him, but he didn’t heal ALL who were oppressed of the devil. His purpose and priority during his three-and-a-half years of public ministry wasn’t to feed ALL who were hungry, or to heal ALL who were sick, and dying … his priority was to demonstrate the goodness and heart of the Father to those who were oppressed. This was part of the “Good News” and merely the precursor to a greater plan than meeting the urgent immediate needs of every living Jew in Israel.
Though meeting the people’s needs was important, it wasn’t his only assignment. It was part of his assignment. The greater assignment he had was to raise up and equip twelve men who would learn his kingdom values, meet the Father through him and his life, remove the Old Covenant and replace it with the New so that both Jew and Gentile would be made one through him, and that all men and women could be reconciled back to God through his death and resurrection.
Because Jesus knew his purpose from his morning, daily prayer and fellowship with Abba, Father, he was able to prioritize his time to maintain and discern the “important parts” of urgent matters. As I mentioned two weeks ago, when Jesus returned one morning from prayer, after a previous successful day of ministry, his disciples came to inform him that the “rest” of the unmet needs of sick people were waiting for him. But he responded to the tyranny of the urgent with his main purpose. His assignment was not to stay in one place until every last need was met, but to bring the demonstration of God’s kingdom power and message (i.e.—“the kingdom of God is at hand”) to every town, city, and village in Israel—and ultimately Jerusalem.
By getting his daily spiritual time with the Father, he was able to keep the main thing the main thing and not let the “tyranny of the urgent” bully or shame him into doing something outside the will of his Father’s purpose and plan for his life. This is why his yoke was easy, not stressful, and his burden was light, and not heavy—because he operated within the limits of his own calling, not what others thought he should be for them.
“As he went,” he could do everything, every day that he needed to do and nothing more. Though the work he did was exhausting physically, it wasn’t exhausting or taxing for him mentally and emotionally. He had plenty to give, when he needed to give it—whether it was to a woman about to be stoned for adultery, or when he fed five thousand hungry people who came out to hear him preach about his Father’s kingdom. This is why he was able to say on the cross, “It is finished.” He didn’t say, “Father, forgive me, for I didn’t get to everyone who needed my help.” He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
This is how you confront the guilt, the shame, the anxiety and pressure that weigh on you at the end of the day. There’s always tomorrow, and there’s always another “urgent” matter. If you go to the Father in the morning and draw your strength, your discernment, and examination of the most important matters that his plan requires from your life, then you’ll find the urgent matters aren’t so urgent after all. They’ll manage, somehow, to get worked out, many times without you, because that may be someone else’s assignment. You have your own—as you go—and you’ll have enough time to do all that the Father wants you to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and the rest of your life until the day comes that you can safely say to the Father, “It is finished, I have finished my race, I’ve done all that you’ve asked me to do.”