Growing In Faith
Ephesians 5: 15-17 applies to everyone. We are all going to be held accountable for the way we spend the precious time God has given us. God has called us all to be wise in how we spend our days, therefore we need to be asking ourselves: Does what I am doing have an eternal impact? Could I be doing something else with my time that would glorify God more? Is my heart in the right place? Matthew 6:21 (NIV) says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Where do you find yourself spending most of your time? What activities are you doing?
There is no doubt that the responsibilities and pressures of this world vie for our attention. The many things pulling us in different directions makes it easy for our time to get swallowed up in mundane, lesser matters. Those things that have eternal value, then, often get pushed aside. To avoid losing focus, we need to prioritize and set goals. Additionally, we need to be aware of how and with whom we are spending our free time.
Rest is a legitimate and needed use of our time. Although we cannot neglect spending time with God, both in private and corporately, and we are absolutely called to invest time in relationships with others and work hard in the things of life, we also cannot neglect the refreshment He gives us through times of rest. Rest is not wasted time; it is refreshment that prepares us to make better use of time. It also reminds us that it is ultimately God who is in control and who provides for our every need. As we seek to manage our time well, we are wise to schedule regular times of rest. So often during our rest and "down time", we pick up our phones, get on social media, and watch mindless videos when we really need to be recharging our minds and spirits with the presence of God and His word.
We need to schedule regular daily time with God. It is He who equips us to carry out the tasks He has given us. It is He who directs our days. The worst thing we could do is manage our time as if it belongs to us. Time belongs to Him, so ask for His wisdom in how to best use it and be obedient to what He tells you.
If you are seeking to change your use of time, the first step is reflection. Make an effort to consider your time management. Consider what things God deems valuable. Consider what He has called you to specifically. Consider how much of your time you are currently investing in these things. Consider what else is taking your time. Make a list of priorities and responsibilities and ask God to direct you regarding any changes that need to be made. Reflecting on your priorities and use of time is a good practice to engage in regularly.
The Bible tells us that we need to place our focus on that which is eternal as opposed to the fleeting pleasures of this passing world. We should move forward with diligence and divine purpose as the courses of our lives progress towards God’s ultimate goal. Time spent with God and getting to know Him through reading His Word and prayer is never wasted. Time spent building up the body of Christ and loving others with God’s love (Hebrews 10:24–25; John 13:34–35; 1 John 3:17–18) is time well spent. Time invested in sharing the gospel so that others will come to know salvation in Jesus bears eternal fruit (Matthew 28:18–20). We should live as if each second counts—because it really does!