I was recently asked to come and teach a workshop on Time Management for a non-profit organization. When I received the call, the Director of the organization explained to me his frustration in the staff not be able to effectively capitalize on the time they were given during the work-day. He stated that many were texting, checking and updating Facebook, and sometimes sitting idle when they should be working towards the mission of the organization.
After much discussion about how to structure the seminar, we shared a few laughs, and hung up the phone. Yet the conversation seemed to really resonate within the recesses of my mind. I posed to myself a question, “Am I in my own life effectively utilizing the time God has given me to accomplish my goals, my kingdom purpose and destiny? or am I just haphazardly throwing away precious and priceless moments that could possibly be the key to unlocking things that I have been earnestly praying and seeking God for? Am I wandering aimlessly through life doing whatever I feel is good at the moment? Or Am I effectively using every minute I have to honor and glorify God?
I honestly can say that I have not always utilized my time effectively nor purposefully, but I decided that this year that I would not mismanage my time, nor would I allow anyone else to misappropriate or waste my time. Even more, I will not allow myself to fall prey to distractions that cut into time needed to fulfilll my goals this year. My time is valuable.
This is the year that the saying rings true, “time is of the essence.” Yet the bible speaks clearly about the role that our time plays in the life of every believer, in Ephesians 5:16 says “Redeeming the time, for the days are evil.” The previous verse in this passage of scripture admonishes us that we should be careful how we walk, not as a fools but as wise men. It is a warning that in this year we must guard our time and Redeem it, literally meaning “to purchase; to buy up” from the possession or power of anyone; and then to redeem, to set free for the God ordained purposes that will lead us to a place of destiny. We must seek to buy up those moments which others seem to throw away; steadily improving every present moment, that we may, in some measure, regain the time we have lost. Let time be your chief commodity; deal in that alone; buy it all up, and use every portion of it yourselves. Time is that on which eternity depends; in time we are to get a preparation for the kingdom of God; if you get not this in time, your ruin is inevitable; therefore, buy up the time!!
Then how can you start redeeming the time in your life this year?
1. Be Unapologetic to anyone or anything that is wasting your time. You must seek to remain focused this year, and many distractions will come to infringe upon what God desires for you to use to propel you to your best life! Do not make apologies or excuses for staying focus and true to yourself.
2. Don’t be afraid to say no! Many times as believers we feel obligated to help someone who is in need. But we must also sharpen our ability to demand that other people respect our time. Most emergencies come from improper planning.
3. Don’t be afraid to plan! Many believers who live by the spirit somehow are afraid to plan. It reminds me of years ago, we would go to church and in the program it would “Order of Service is subject to change the Holy Spirit“. You know what that says to me, this a church that doesn’t plan, or doesn’t have order!? We must now begin to operate at a totally different level! If you want to lose weight this year right down your daily meal and snack plan! it is though impromptu lunches that add weight. If you want do more for God plan, plan, plan!
4. Stick to your schedule! If at all possible stick to your schedule. Resist the urge to make a one time adjustment here and there. Because you will eventually be completely off track. Be willing to tell people you have a schedule!
5. Know the seasons and cycles of distractions, trends, and events in your life! The bible says the sons of Issachar had the divine ability to discern the times and the seasons. We must be so anxious to redeem the time in our life that we keenly aware of the times of the day, or year when distractions come our way, and plan for them. We must also further discern what season we are in, so that we can adequately judge or discern what moves to make.
6. Utilize the resources you have! If you are spending lot of time doing something, figure out ways to accomplish your goal or vision while doing something you enjoy. For example, if you love to spend hours on Facebook, then utilize that time for the glory of God by encouraging others, networking, spending the time to build yourself and your vision!
This is the time for us to redeem the time, because there is so much work to be done and so little time (no pun intended 😉 ). This is my year to make up for lost time, and use the time I have left to do damage to the kingdom of darkness! Let’s Go get it!
Redeeming the Time,
Father I thank you for the person reading today! I thank you for second chances to make up lost time! I thank you for giving us strategies to use every bit of time we have to accomplish that which you have put in our hearts. We thank you even more for allowing us to take back the time we have lost and to accelerate the time we have now to accomplish what we can only do with your power! I decree and declare that we will accomplish in these next 12 months what most couldn’t do in 12 years!! In Jesus’ Name!