Happy New Year! We thank God for His faithfulness and the gift of life.
As we begin a new year, we are reminded that none of us is getting any younger and also none of us will ever be any younger than we are today.
This is why we need to appreciate that life is a gift and it is very important for us to treasure the gift of time.
It is my prayer that as we begin 2023 we will be able to utilise this precious gift of time wisely because one can never redeem time.
There are many facets the world has for systems of time management and many books have been written about this subject.
However, be that as it may, there is a bigger truth about time management that as believers, we need to transform our thinking in.
One of the ways through which I have invested my time productively has been through going to the Bible School.
The amount of wisdom I have gained through enrolling at Charis Bible College (CBC) is beyond measure. As some of you may be aware, I have an earned PhD in Strategy but I count that as dung like Paul says compared to what I learnt at the CBC.
- Grace tidings: Do you understand what it means to be holy?
- Grace tidings: Does your faith move God or moves you to God?
- Grace tidings: Celebrating the finished work of Christ
- Grace tidings: Craving for sincere milk
The wisdom of this world is foolishness compared to the wisdom of God. No wonder the Bible says God’s foolishness is wiser than man’s wisdom.
Among the many subjects I studied was the one on Time Management from a biblical perspective.
“Time management is not a skill or art of organising and dictating to ourselves how we use and manage our time to get things done, but what is most important is that we understand that time management is about surrendering our time and schedules to the Lord. Letting Him dictate to us our priorities and the daily use of the time He has given us as a gift” (C. Pickett).
Before we become people that use time in effective and purposeful ways, we must realise that our time doesn’t belong to us.
I have discovered that for most individuals our identity is wrapped up in what we do and what we accomplish.
This time is key to living out our agendas. Yet our identity should be in Christ not in ourselves or in our plans.
Our lives are hidden with Christ in God. It is very important that we come to a place of true revelation that our lives don’t belong to us, but we are vessels and servants of the Lord.
We died to a worldly way of living and success is to be placed into another realm of opportunity and ability. Apostle Paul says “For I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
In Colossians 3:23 – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
It is very important that we see time as a supernatural gift in our lives just as any other spiritual gift we see in the Word. My question to you today is “How do you see time? Is it something you value? Do you realise how your opinion of time affects so many aspects of your life?
You should realise that what you give your time to, determines your focus and reality. Furthermore, it is what you are becoming and it also reveals your real desires.
Therefore, as we start the year, take time to reflect on your views about time and the way you have been spending your time.
What value do you place on your everyday 24 hours? What are some areas where you have been the master of your time as opposed to surrendering your time to the Lord?
In addition, when you look at your day, is it planned by you and your to do list, or does the Lord lead?
What are some practical ways needed to begin rewriting your to do list? Do you know that your destiny and the use of time go hand in hand?
Even more than the importance of time impacting your destiny, who you surrender your time to will make or break you. God says in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”.
The revelation that our time belongs to Him, goes hand in hand with the revelation that our destinies belong to Him.
Your calling is the heartbeat of relationship with Him. You can never fully understand your calling if you don’t have an intimate relationship with Him. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Corinthians 1:9).
Paul goes on to say in 2 Thessalonians 1: 11-12, “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ”.
When we realise that our calling is in the Lord and our daily life is about learning to delight in Him, then our daily life can take on His supernatural purposes.
These purposes can then be lived out in the priorities of what a relationship with God reveals and keeps balanced.
It is very critical that we have our priorities right as believers. The first priority is relationship with God, followed by marriage relationship if you are married, then relationship with children, then the Call of God on your life and then taking care of yourself.
The reason priorities are important is because God designed them to be a showpiece and microphone of His glory which can be communicated and demonstrated out of your everyday life. Everyone around you has some of the same so called priorities, yet because of lack of focus, the weight of those priorities become a problem.
Yet when living in God’s will these areas are a light and testimony on the most basic life level.
Relationships take focus, work, sacrifice and energy. Don’t let everyday life drain your commitment to building relationships. Time is best spent in building relationships.
Following the call of God on your life is not a one-time revelation of what you are called to, it’s a daily surrender and decision making process of letting the Lord lead you.
Being at the right place, at the right time and knowing the right things to speak and do.
It is also very important to take care of yourself. This is a priority most people neglect out of busyness or out of lack of desire and understanding. Either way, loving ourselves by taking care of ourselves is also key to living out our priorities and fulfilling the call of God upon our lives.
One of the challenges most people face as they get older are health issues. Take time to evaluate your health and what you want for the next seasons of your life. Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time, until you value your time, you will not do anything with it (Scott Peck).
It is important that you take time to reflect and ask yourself several questions. What do your pursuits say about the priorities you have set?
How can you make your time with the Lord in daily communion in the word, worship, prayer and meditation a greater priority? What actions can be taken? What things can be eliminated or rearranged?.
- Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura