They appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor…they compelled them to labor rigorously, and they made their lives bitter. Exodus 1:11,13,14

Egyptian taskmasters

Heaping upon the Israelites

Grueling work

Day after day

Beating them down

Yelling, “Never enough!”


My persistent taskmasters


What I expect of myself

What others are demanding from me

Whispers of “Not enough!”

Never a break from those tyrants.

This poem describes how easily I get trapped in a cycle of performing, attempting to gain the approval of God or others. Too easily I forget what God declares in his Word. He chose me before the foundation of this world to be HOLY and BLAMELESS before Him (Ephesians 1:3). By one offering Christ has PERFECTED for all time those who are sanctified (Hebrews 10:14). His divine power has granted me everything pertaining to LIFE and GODLINESS through the true knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3). And perhaps best of all, He is able to keep me from stumbling and make me stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great JOY (Jude 24). The taskmasters will crush me unless I choose to enter His rest, believing what God has spoken over the voices of “not enough.”



In one of her classes, my daughter, a psychology major, read about an experiment involving a child and marshmallows. She was eager to try this on her 5 year old brother. She placed 1 large marshmallow in front of him and told him that if he did not eat the marshmallow while she was out of the room, he would be given 2 more. Depending on his ability for cognitive reasoning, he would either eat the marshmallow wanting immediate gratification or wait for a short while anticipating the great reward.

Aren’t our lives like that? Can we postpone the immediate to anticipate the eternal? Will I choose daily to lay up my treasure in heaven instead of bowing to the clamor of the here and now? In Luke 10:40-41, Jesus told Martha, “You are worried and bothered about so many things but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Every day I want to choose the good part – the things that won’t be scattered like dandelion seeds in the wind, the things that I can anticipate as I spend eternity at the feet of Jesus.

Enemy Tactics

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy.” Unfortunately, he is still at work today. As I ponder the work of the devil, here are some of the ways I labeled his tactics.

The enemy shows me a Snapshot of my life at a bad point and convinces me that my life will always be like this. Nothing will get better. Satan wants to keep me from remembering ‘with God all things are possible’ and He can change everything with a single word.

The Bully preys on my fears and worries. He lurks in the shadows, taunting, trying to get me to engage with him. He keeps at it continually, wearing me down and making me miserable anticipating the encounter.

When one problem after another keeps popping up, the enemy is trying to get me to lose focus and become consumed by small, immediate things. This happens when I need new tires, the dishwasher malfunctions, and there is an extra bill from the dentist. Add on a little more drama and a few extra tasks and I spend hour by hour, day after day, whacking those moles.

The time share agent– He is well-trained to sell, sell, and sell some more.  In fact, he creates a false need for something that is not necessary or even good for me making me believe I should not go without – after all, I deserve some good things. He points out all the benefits and hardly, if at all, mentions the steep costs. He glosses over any objections, and before I realize I am suckered into something that in the long run will be very costly to my well-being, finances or relationships.

Hand Grenade– Out of nowhere, a big explosion rocks my world. The enemy gets behind me and whispers “Where is God? He doesn’t love you. ” He hisses, “Surely, God is not in control over this and if He allowed this, He is not a good God.” I am maimed by confusion and doubts.

The Liar –Satan distorts truth. He may speak a shred of truth, enough to convince me to accept everything he is saying hook, line and sinker. His lies are clever, entwined with logical, sensible statements. If I am not on guard, I am duped.

Knowing this, I still fall prey to my adversary’s deceit.  But more and more often, I am able to detect and resist his traps. I am an overcomer because the Word of God, the Truth, abides in me and I in Him.