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24/7 : The Spirit Of This Age
Pastor Jack Hoffman ©2002

Since its inception, the church, the body of Jesus Christ, has been at war. Birthed in a hostile environment, the followers of Jesus, have been called out of this world (kosmos) and sent back refurbished, recreated and regenerated to that same world system. The difference being that once they were immersed in the world’s culture, now they are immersed in the Lord’s Spirit.

First Century paganism was bad. God’s redeemed children were assaulted on every hand with its symbolism and poisoning influence. The church withdrew from partaking in society’s debauchery. They were hounded and persecuted because they didn’t fit in. But they would not renounce their Savior.

They choose the best path that led to sacrifice and hardship, which would result in a glorious eternity. They rejected the good of this world leading to ease, defilement and damnation.

Now, two thousand years removed from those first converts in the early church, we are likewise placed in a spiritual and emotional vise. The spirit of this pagan culture still assaults us from every angle, in fact, with greater ease and influence than ever. While the culture is as raunchy as ever, we Christians are less committed and less interested in preserving our distinct “holy” walk. The world buys and sells Christians for little of nothing; like Esau we are willing to sell our birthright or our blessing for a mess of stew (or whatever that might picture in today’s society, ________________________ you fill in the blank). Which brings me to the current idiocy of the 24/7 mentality, or how Satan is destroying people and families through the tool of the spirit of busyness.

24/7 is the unofficial modes of operandi that our culture is laboring under. We are open and working twenty-four hours a day and that seven days a week. Doesn’t leave much time for anything else, now does it?

Satan has conspired to help promote a spirit of busyness. It is so intense that most people don’t have time or energy in a week to consider the things that are really important, the eternal quests. Most folks rush from home to work, through work and back to home, but no relaxation there. Every night of the week there can be something for them to be part of or to be doing. Children that have been busy all day in public or private school now must be whisked off to extra activities. Rush over to this activity; hurry over to that special class, run over to another practice and each one is so important and so critical to our child’s well being. Or so we have been conned into thinking. Before long, the children are just plain tired. Something has to give and the thing that usually loses is most often the most important thing(s) that they should be doing. School activities are equated high priority, church or spiritual activities and fellowship get low priority. There is the rub.

When anyone begins to buy into this present culture’s mind-set, they begin to think that busyness is the way of life and that God and His church are non-essential and certainly non-effective. They do not see the importance of the church that Jesus shed His precious blood for. They simply get tragically mired in the urgency of the immediate. Everything is so important, so vital and necessary. Book and over book the scheduled time. Book and over book our children into so

many opportunities being offered. Run, run, run. Go, go, go. Don’t spend time as a family at a dinner or supper table, grab a carryout. Don’t have a family night together; everyone has somewhere else to go. Don’t engage in real communication, sharing heart and mind, it takes to much time and we have to be…

I am going to make a radical suggestion (at least it will appear to some of you to be so). This is my opinion and yet I do believe that it is a correct evaluation and opinion. Why don’t you just limit how much you will go and do and run? Why don’t you limit how many clubs, organizations, and events and so on that you or your children are allowed to participate in during a week? You may think it might stunt growth, but in reality, it probably will stimulate camaraderie, conversation, and concern for one another and compassion for each individual. Stop allowing this culture and the prince of wickedness to influence you. Decide on the most necessary extra events, or event, that your children need, and then simply forget about the rest. But don’t forget about God. Don’t minimize the church and your time there.

We will have revival in this church and in the church at large, when God’s people begin to intelligently understand how important His church really is. It will begin when folks start to reject the influence of the evil one and decide to only allow themselves and their children to be scheduled a minimum of their spare time. When they are not tired and haggard from long days and the constant rushing from one location to another, and they put as the first priority being in God’s house and fellowshipping with God’s people, a death rattle will be heard in the throat of 24/7.

God is using this letter as a loving wake-up clarion call, for some of our people and for you personally. You need to purposely schedule time in God’s house, along with God’s people. Set out to make it to all the mid-week services our church will be providing, especially the Awana and children’s programs. Don’t allow the schools or culture to dictate to you how you should conduct your life and what values and activities are really important. Joshua stood before his nation, as an old man, and challenged them with the famous “Choose you this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” It was about priorities, and commitment and loyalty. Take a spiritual knife and dissect your over-booked schedule.

The demon of 24/7 will continue to take its toll because so many [and some of them church members] do not even realize that they are in servitude, in bondage to a hostile spirit. They have given their sons and daughters over to its clutches and will pay a terrible price for their misjudgment about what was really important. But I am asking you to break away.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, break away from the bondage of the flesh and the spirit of busyness. Kick old 24/7 in the teeth and rearrange your schedule to something that is more family friendly. You don’t have to run every night. Hear me, you don’t have to be busy every night in this secular culture. Your child doesn’t have to be involved in something every day. Give them some time to relax and just enjoy being with you. Put your family time and the church schedule back up in a place of prominence. Place the service and worship of God center stage once again, make it the highlight of the week’s activities, not just a sidebar conversation.

I write these things because I see this 24/7 cultural influence in too many people. Children of our church can not get to Sunday School because parents are so tired from weird and stressing work schedules and from not resting when they could and should have. Business cares not a whit for faith and family and will want you to sacrifice your children just as long as its coffers are full. Don’t trade the short time you have with your children as they grow for a few dollars that the Scripture says “takes wings and flies away.” Many parents think they must be socially acceptable and one way is to allow their children to be in everything imaginable, to keep up with the “Jones” children. So, almost without constraint, they allow their kids to sign up for one commitment after another and they push and prod their kids to the point of exhaustion. We would be upset if one of our parents was guilty of child abuse, but some are not far from it, the way that they allow unfettered busyness to wear down and stress out a child.

By now some of you are thinking that the pastor is a little strong or a little wrong here. But I must warn you when I have cause to or I am not a shepherd that cares for his sheep. I challenge you. Stop. Take a long look at how much running around you are doing. Try keeping a log on how much and how far and how often you are busy during the week. Evaluate the most important, the eternal over the temporal, and cut away that which is doing nothing more than placing you into bondage of the spirit of busyness, the unnecessary ill of 24/7. It you would, not only would you have a greater measure of normalcy and sanity in your personal life and in your home; you would also find yourself fulfilled in doing the important things well. The important things are not necessarily the busy temporal things, they are the things that will last forever and we will face in God’s presence.

The Holy Spirit of God is waiting to fill you with peace, comfort and joy, but will you take the time to receive what He has to offer.