Reclaiming God's Time

Time - arguably our most precious commodity. Auntie Maxine had it right, when she so sternly demonstrated that she was simply not here for anyone wasting her time. We waste time in so many ways. Whether our time is wasted in doing things that we aren’t passionate about, spent with people who aren’t good for us, or simply living in discontent with our current situations.

As I round the corner towards 30 *insert gasp* the concept of time has begun to have a heavier presence in my life. It has been the proverbial elephant in the room. The concept of time is strange, because, even when we lose track of it, are running late or get caught up in the moment, there is always someone, something to remind us that the clock is ticking or we’re past due in some aspect of our lives. But, even when we are reminded of our own fallacies with respect to time, we must remember that the Bible implores us to not forget that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). So, when the world tries to impose it’s standards of time on our lives, we need to stand firm in the Word of God. When the television and social media impress upon us to question or doubt God’s timing, we must go back to Genesis and think on what He promised to Abraham in chapter 18 verse 14: “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah will have a son.” If God can open the womb of someone well past the age of childbearing, we know that there are no limits on our lives and what He can and will do to get the Glory.

Last year, I went through a season of anxiety and it wasn’t until I started to “reclaim my time” that the season passed. In reclaiming my time, I had to come to the realization that nothing in this life belongs to us, time included. The saying “we are on borrowed time” is more profound than we think. God has gifted us the precious gift of time on earth and every day that we are alive is unique and should be purposeful. When we are not good stewards of our time, we are essentially rejecting the gift that God has given. Senator Waters understood the implications of her position and the time she had been granted to steward. As a result, she protected that time and refused to let it be wasted on anything that wasn’t intentional and purposeful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 tells us that we are required to be faithful stewards. That means that when it comes to protecting God’s time and using it wisely, we need to become devoted representatives of Christ and take a page out of Rep. Water’s book.

Often, when we think about “wasting” our time, the first thing we consider is relationships. I can attest to the fact that far too often we spend far too much time in romantic relationships with people that we know we have no business with or people who are counterfeits, sent to deter and distract us from our destiny. When we truly begin to take hold of the Promises of God and how they relate to our Destiny, our lives and actions become so much more important to us. When we realize the magnitude of our Purpose, we become purposeful in our dealings.

Honesty moment: I haven’t always been intentional or purposeful. I haven’t always been protective of my time. Even in my season of transformation when God was pulling me out of negativity and evil and pulling me towards the things of God, I was still missing the mark. I was attending church multiple times a week, spending time with God and in the Word daily. But, even then, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit. There were still things in my life that I gave my time to that weren’t that bad, or maybe they were even good, but, they weren’t of God. Good things are fine; God things are better. In Proverbs 8:19 it says “my fruit is better than gold” and though the passage is specifically talking about the wisdom that comes from God, I believe it can be applied to anything that He gives us. There will be seasons in our lives when God is pruning us and we have to cut away, even the good things, because He wants to fill us up with God things, and help us to produce fruit that is better than gold. So, how do we discern the difference between good and God? How do we know what He wants to prune from our branches? The Holy Spirit gave me a simple tool to use to determine whether something needed to be cut away or not. Whatever I was spending time doing, whoever I was spending time talking to, whatever I thought about on long car drives, I would ask myself “is this good?” if the answer was “no” then I rejected it. If the answer was “yes” then I had to follow up with, “but, is it growing me in the things of God?” If the answer was “no” it, too, had to be rejected. Temptation, is funny, in that we know it’s bad, but it always sneaks in in the form of something seemingly good. However, there are so many seemingly innocent things that are good (if we ask our flesh), but can be dangerous or a hindrance to our overall growth in our Christian walk. Proverbs 7 talks about the temptation of the crafty harlot and warns us that temptation, “with her enticing speech she caused him to yield” (verse 21) and “he did not know that it would cost his life” (verse 23). Good things may entice us, but we must be able to discern the total cost. Another transparent moment: I am passionate about many things, knowledge being at the core of that passion. I like to know things. I am also pretty passionate about finances for someone of my age, social status, etc. I get really involved in conversations about money, saving, investing, generating wealth, etc. However, the problem arose, when I realized the time I was spending having these conversations with people, but the spirit of God wasn’t there. Upon assessment of long exchanges or drawn out text threads about finances, I began to discover not once did the other person mention how our finances can have an impact on the Kingdom. So, when I asked myself “is this good?” the answer was yes - building wealth for my children is good. But, when I asked myself, “is it growing me in the things of God?” there was a resounding no. It was simply allowing temptation to creep in and plant seeds, because I had already told God that I didn’t want any friendships or relationships that were not centered around Him. I had told God point blank, “Lord, if it’s not of You, I don’t want it” and that’s when the crafty harlot of temptation showed up at my doorstep. Once I realized what was happening in the relationships that I was giving my time to, but was reaping nothing of God from, I had to do some pruning.

So, for 6 months, God kept me in isolation and removed the desire to even communicate with people outside of my family, church, etc. because He was training me to be able to exercise discernment in how I use my time when it is time to cultivate new relationships. Is that to say I will never have relationships or associate with people who are not of God? No, if I chose that route, I would never be able to witness. However, we have to recognize those seasons in which we do have to retreat in order to prepare. The Bible tells us that even Jesus, the Master Disciple, often retreated, to “lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Being alone is not always something to lament, once we see how God can use our solitude to transform us. In addition to assessing the quantity of time we spend on things, we must also take into account the quality of that time spent. I don’t get a ton of alone time. I have a full-time career, and I am a full-time single mother. Add dance, gymnastics, church, volunteering, and everything else life throws my way to that and I generally have obligations every single day of the week. My weekends are rarely spent relaxing and almost always spent working, whether at my job or in my home (because, is laundry ever really done?). I always tell people that my ideal weekend would be 1) sleep and 2) not having to leave my house or change out of my pajamas. And while that isn’t a reality for me in this season, I find solace in knowing that He is using the present to prune me for the future - for His time. So, how do we Reclaim God’s Time? We begin by learning how to manage the time He has given us and by spending time in His presence. We begin by reflecting and assessing what we devote our time to. We must always remember that history will eventually be forgotten and only what impacts eternity matters. To quote 1 John 2:17 “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” Though our total days on this earth may vary, God gives us all the same 24 hours in a day. The Bible tells us to “number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Simply put, we must be aware and intentional about the use of our time. Time and our usage of it is so important. Just look at how 3 days changed the fate of the world.
What do you intend to do to Reclaim God's Time? Comment below!


Popular Posts