It counts to every one of us and how we steward it impacts our lives and the lives of others. It can alter the very course of it! How we use it tells us where our priorities in life lie. Time is spent on relationships, working, travelling, dining, relaxing, recreation and the list goes on. The Lord started to speak to me about time, when I came to Him struggling with all the things I had “on my plate”. He said to me, “When you give your time to me, I will re-order it and give it back to you in a way that you can handle, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”(Matt 11:30)
I get the impression, that those who choose to surrender their lives to Him are getting busier, but enjoyably so, as we fulfil His directives. It is imperative that we have our houses in order, meaning clutter free .Why should we live like that? So we can live less stressed lives in finding things in their places quickly. Clutter free living saves us time locating things, takes less cleaning time and enables you to “take stock” of your household resources, which you may sell excess items for cash flow! It “frees up” more time to focus on our master strategist –the Lord Jesus, and His plans, being less distracted by “things”. Learning to live a non-hoarding lifestyle with the bare essentials and small collections of belongings enables you to live a more flexible lifestyle, being ready to move when the Lord requires. It also proves that many possessions don’t have a hold on you, (Luke 18:22) which in the event of having to move, burden you!
Time with the Lord
Our priorities of time are based on the value they bring to our lives. My relationship with the Lord is my first priority, for without Him I can do nothing. (John 15:5) He is my first love (Matt 22:37) and I am in Him. He is also the seven fold Spirit of God, (Rev 4:5b AMP) honestly, we really do not do our best life without Him, after all He knows all things! (Col 2:9-10, John 1:3-4) I know that I am joined and in union with Him and He can speak to me anytime, but I feel He is honored when I give the first half hour of my day to Him. I pray in tongues and wait on Him and sometimes He speaks and directs me, other times we just love on one another. I start the day with His peace and strength in my spirit and it flows like a river, touching every person I connect with that day.
Time with My Spouse
As I am one with my spouse (Matt 19:5) and we both honor the Lord and His kingdom as first priority in our lives, (Matt 6:33) we schedule regular time to spend together without distractions. This allows us to follow through, implement and confirm strategies the Lord wants to direct in ANY area of our lives including family and practical. As husband and wife we submit to one another when we are both submitted to the Lord, because then we walk in our new creation nature (not to say that there are not times when the old man tries to resurrect ;)) and the fruit of Holy Spirit causes me to honor and respect him and he to love and cherish me. We see each other as our Father sees us –made in His image. As we connect together in the spirit, intimacy in the soul and body flow naturally. We make it priority to enjoy rest, recreation and dining activities that we have in common.
Time with my Children
I purpose to spend quality time with my children, together and one-on-one. To give them the love and security they need to be happy, confident and free. I teach them to be in relationship with Daddy-God and as they grow older to have their security in Him. To spend time encouraging them in their strong areas of interest and hobbies or be willing to explore or give something a try.
It is Imperative that my children be grounded in the word of God. Why? So they know who they are and can walk in victory .So that any attack of the enemy can be pulled down with the word of God that has been instilled in their hearts from a young age.(Ps 119:11, Col 3:16, Heb 4:12) As my children are visual and auditory I play worship or dramatized bible for going to sleep, we watch praise and worship dvd’s with “lyrics on”, so they can also read and I also read scripture based books that apply to real life circumstances, enforcing the Loving nature of Daddy-God consistently.
I also encourage discussion of dreams and what my children are seeing in the spirit and pray with and in front of them daily. To lovingly re-direct my children if they should display traits of the sin nature and to work through according to the direction of the Lord, with emphasis on the fruit of the Spirit. Together, my spouse and I purpose to model to them what a loving, functional relationship looks like and how we treat each other with dignity and respect. We take the children on regular outings (even the local playgrounds) to teach them that fun and pleasure are a part of life and away on holidays to teach them to adapt outside of their comfort zones.
Time Spent Producing (Paid and Unpaid)
In our modern day lives, we all need income to live (unless you are totally self-sufficient or F.R.O.G –Fully Relying On God). It has been appointed to us to produce from before our time began – In Genesis 1:29 God supplied the seed for the food of mankind in itself, but it still had to be sown by man again and again from that initial tree that produced the seed. “Be fruitful and multiply “is the command given to us. Much is said about sowing (seedtime) and reaping (harvest) (Gen 8:22, Gal 6:7), so, if you don’t sow anything (time, finances, gifts, love etc.) how can you expect to reap? Our Father is Creator and we are made in his image – we are made to create and produce.
It says in Isaiah 3:10, “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings”. To create and produce, diligence is needed. Diligence or “spoudazo” in the Greek (4704) means to use speed, that is TO MAKE EFFORT, be prompt or earnest; do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward) ,endeavor, labor, study (emphasis mine). The bible says in Proverbs 10:4,”He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich” and also that diligence is a man’s precious possession (Prov 12:27) and “The hand of the diligent shall rule but the LAZY MAN shall be PUT TO FORCED LABOR” Prov 12:24 NKJV (emphasis mine). How many of us are in jobs we dislike? Is it not forced because we have not become creators and producers of things (entrepreneur) in our lives that create cash flow?
I’m not saying you can’t enjoy a job that you were forced to take and that the Lord can’t make it work out for good, as we can find total peace/rest and joy in Him, living above the circumstances, but I believe He doesn’t want you there for the rest of your life as He wants to give us more than we could ask or think or imagine according to the power working IN US. He has plans to prosper us, if we partner with Him. We can be pursuing the ideas and strategies He gives us in accordance with our/His vision using our skills and gifts, trusting Him to order our steps to bring His word to pass outside of our working hours to start with.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 -20 says, “As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and REJOICE IN HIS LABOUR this is the GIFT OF GOD. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the JOY OF HIS HEART.”(Emphasis mine) Our time producing is supposed to be enjoyable, and that comes from taking dominion in our lives, creating and producing, in knowing how the Lord wants to use our gifts and talents and discovering what our divine purpose and vision is =the Joy of Our Heart J
In Genesis 28:13-15, God blesses Jacob because of the Abrahamic covenant with supernatural multiplication of his livestock (wages), however, Jacob still had to step out in faith with the strategy God had given Him (striping the rods from green poplar, almond and chestnut trees and placing them in the cattle’s water troughs) It was by the cattle coming together to drink before the rods that they conceived and multiplied in Jacob’s favor. That same Abrahamic covenant applies to us (Gal 3:14), so why should He not give us strategy to step out in faith with?
I am currently in a job that I enjoy, helping people and at times ministering to them, it is bringing in a cash stream, it is physically demanding and does not fulfil the vision I have of being financially free to help others and get on with other creative projects that I have, therefore, in the beginning I struggled with taking it, but had to humble myself and be willing, as it was God’s will at this time. It is merely a stepping-stone of provision and equipping for the bigger picture. As I steward and continue producing, I am believing God for more. I believe the Lord uses forced labor to train us, expand our skill set and produce the fruit of the Spirit in our character, also to influence those we come into contact with His Kingdom (As He is in us). Since time spent producing is to be enjoyable it would be using those hobbies and gifts in our spare time, in unforced labor that excite and energize us and eventually sharing them with others and the world.
“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” Prov 18:16
Time for practical tasks
There is no escaping housework and home and garden maintenance!(Unless you are wealthy or have fantastic parents) It is part of stewarding what we have and what God has given us in children ,family, pets, belongings, property and vehicles. In people being our top priority, we are looking after them when we look after these things, as home is foundational for relationships and learning community living skills. Time spent looking after one’s home and belongings brings pleasure and the usage of resources for all (Community) and to enjoy a sense of order in all things. Our homes, belongings and vehicles do not belong to us anyway, but to God, We are merely caretakers, as we surrender more of our lives to Him in the process of our spiritual walk that this becomes more apparent, and we are willing to do so.
Time building relationships
Isolation and independence is a curse of my generation, no man is an island unto himself! (prov 18:1) Let’s face it – we need relationships. It is tough trying to do life alone and even when it’s just, “me and God”, our soul still longs for the loving warmth of fellowship with other human beings deep inside. We were created to desire this J As God’s children, we are family and members of the body of Christ(1 cor 12:27,Rom 12:4) and of one another(Rom 12:5).It is natural for us to want to bond together and only love can do this! It says in 1 Cor 12:22(emphasis mine) that,” those members of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary” and in verse 23,” those members that we think to be less honorable are these we bestow GREATER HONOR and our UNPRESENTABLE PARTS have greater modesty, verse 24, but our presentable parts have no need” Why is that? Because it births the Love Of God! Love Covers (Prov 10:12,1 Pet 4:8) Continuing verse 24,”But God composed the body, having given greater honor to the part which lacks it , that there should be NO SCHISM IN THE BODY but that the members should have the SAME CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it ; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it .”As Romans 12:10 says we are to be “kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another. “Let love be without dissimulation”, says Romans 12:9 –which means, “don’t fake it! Love is pursued (1 cor 14:1) by allowing Holy Spirit to birth it in our hearts (Rom 5:5) and this must be the foundation to every relationship –the unfeigned love of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, and with that foundation, there is to be no shunning, snobbery, elitism and ignoring but love perseveres, bears all, believes all, hopes all and endures all things and NEVER FAILS!!(1 Cor 13:4-8)
In building relationships, we must extend or receive the invitation to fellowship with one another, as Paul says in Romans 12:13 that we should be, “given to hospitality”, this means that we are not living life for ourselves 24/7! It means we actively seek out getting together with intent of building relationship,” and so much more as you see the day approaching.”(Heb 10:25)
Time for rest and relaxation
In our day to day lives, we need decent sleep in order to function at capacity! Many people for one reason or another do not sleep well. “For so He gives His beloved sleep”, says Psalm 127:2a, and that is a promise that we can stand on and command our soul and body to come into alignment! That does not mean we do not take natural measures to help our bodies wind down. Some strategies may be to get off the caffeine after 4pm, watch wholesome media or listen to music, cease mental activity (planning and financial etc.) 2 hours before sleeping, go for a sunset walk (no sunglasses on!) have a bath before bed and many others you can think of!This is where the fruit of self control (discipline) is exhibited in our lives.(Gal 5:22) Some people are just not active enough and may need to exercise or start releasing creativity during their days and produce in order to sleep better! J
As we spend time with Father God, His Holy Spirit can show us areas in our lives where changes need to be made. If any areas of our lives become excessively time consuming or out of balance with the order of time, it will produce negativity, extreme tiredness, fatigue and burnout. I am thankful the Father gets us through these times until we run to Him to, “Lighten the load!”
Having a break from routine and changing location is needed at times and good for our souls. Some of the time the Father wants to just get us alone to talk to us without distractions and circumstances around us. We get to look back on our day to day lives and contemplate any necessary changes or plans to be made for the future. As life is busy, Our Father loves and takes good care of us and approves times away for spirit charging and soul and body refreshing.
By Heather Mars -firstname.lastname@example.org
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