Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Foxes in the Vineyard - Time

Right now, I am listening to the loud ticking of my desk clock. Every second can be heard clearly and distinctly.

Time. It's such a tricky thing, isn't it?! One minute we can be waltzing through life, enjoying every day the Lord gives us and then the next minute we are racing here and there, enslaved to time, and firmly held in its stressful grasp. Where's the balance?

"We master our minutes or we become slaves to them; we use time, or time uses us."
~William A. Ward

When the Lord first convicted me of this "fox in my garden", I didn't really know what it meant to live each day as unto the Lord. If you would have asked me, I would have said that I was doing just that, but in my heart I was confused. How was someone supposed to live every day for the Lord? My days were often filled with chores and activities, but not with the beauty, peace, and joy of Christ. I needed to learn how to master time; but not only to master it, but to manage it according to His direction.

Ultimately, resolving to use time for the Lord is a way of life. And every way of life begins with a mindset. How do you view time? How do you view each day? Is it a beautiful gift given to you by your merciful Heavenly Father or merely another 24 hours you are forced to get through?

We are not our own, therefore the time we are given is not our own.

If we truly understood this truth, how would we live?

As redeemed servants of Jesus Christ, we have been bought at a high price, the highest price that has ever been paid. Everything we have been given is a gift from our Father that should be laid right back at His feet, so that He can use it for His glory. This means that the 24 hours we have should be surrendered to Him at the beginning of each new day, asking Him to rule and reign over our schedules, our chores, our work, our play, our everything.

"As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer." (Psalm 103:15-16)

Oh my dear friends, we are here for only a short time. We will soon be gone. Our possessions, our money, our jobs, our reputations will all disappear in an instant. What are you doing with the time God has given you today to leave an impact on eternity?

This is one of my greatest struggles. Every morning, I plead with the Lord, asking Him to give me a focus on eternity, that everything else would seem unimportant. And yet, I still care so much about things that aren't really even mine. Oh, to truly live this day as if it were my last! How differently it would look!

About a month ago, the Lord gave my mom an idea on how to use her whole day focused on Christ. Isn't it frustrating when you have a beautiful time with the Lord in the morning and then at the end of the day, you look back and wonder where He's been?! Well, that was the struggle being discussed at our house, when the Lord gave my mom the idea of a timer.Yes, a timer.

We each have our own timer, which we start after our morning devotions. After an hour passes and the timer goes off, we go away to a quiet place and spend time (usually it's just a couple minutes) reading His Word, discussing the past hour with Him, repenting of any sins we had committed, and asking Him to direct us in the next hour. Then, we set our timer again and go back to what we were doing.

This idea has been such a blessing in our lives! Not only are we continually being refreshed by Christ, but we have been able to keep our eyes focused on Him throughout the entire day. At least for me, it has been one of the first steps to learning how to abide in Him, walking every step hand-in-hand with my Maker. Such joy, such intimacy with Christ has been brought about because of this. It is a beautiful thing!

One word of warning, though. If you decide to start using a timer, you need to be very watchful that you do not become lazy with it. What I mean is this: It is so easy to hear the timer go off, but then finish whatever you're doing first, before spending time with the Lord. Then, before you know it, another hour has passed and you forgot to spend time with Him at all.

This is exactly what had been happening in my life the past couple days. I was putting my schedule first and Christ second. The intimacy had disappeared and I was wondering why I was having such a hard time writing this post. Yes, to be completely honest with you, I've been working on this blogpost for the past several days, but am only now able to actually write it. The Lord needed to convict and change my heart first, before allowing me to share this idea on my blog. :)

"Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of. In nothing on which you might not pray for the blessing of God. In nothing which you could not review with a quiet conscience on your dying bed. In nothing which you might not safely and properly be found doing if death should surprise you in the act."

Overall, this whole post is not relevant if you are not seeking to cultivate a personal and deep relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are not seeking after Him, it doesn't matter what you do with your time. It will not be glorifying to Him. Only after you have laid your time at His feet and given Him the Kingship over it, can you live in a way where truly everything is done for the glory of God. (Colossians 3:17)

No comments:

Post a Comment