Time: Yours or Mine?

I am learning that God often does or asks us to do things that do not seem to make sense, especially to our finite earthy minds. We often worry, how can I get it all done.

How many wish you made more money?

The Center for a New American Dream commissioned a poll of students, ages 9-14, here are a few results.

  • 13% wished their parents made more money
  • 32% say they spend a lot of time with their parents
  • 23% say this is primarily because their parents are to busy due to work
  • 19% say this is primarily because they are to busy with homework or school activities
  • 63% of polled students who, if granted one wish that would change their parents? jobs, would want their mom or dad to have a job that gave them more time to do fun things together as a family

I am learning that God often does or asks us to do things that do not seem to make sense, especially to our finite earthy minds. We often worry, how can I get it all done.

We are busy people. Look at Jesus? interaction with the rich young man in the second half of Luke 10
To whom (or what) does my time belong?
We need to listen for God?s guidance in spending time.

(Luke 10:25-37) And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The Levite and the priest both saw time as belonging to themselves and had agendas. But the Samaritan let go of his claim of ownership and helped some one else out.

Time is like ?the right away? at an intersection. My dad, when I was learning to drive, taught me that the right away is something you never have and always give.

Some people reading Mark 6:30-32 might say that Christ saw time as his own
And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

Jesus and the disciples took some time to get away and hang out ? but reading on:
And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
Jesus saw the needs of others and acted on that need, to do the will of the Father.

A song I?ve sung with children is Jesus on the inside working on the outside. O, what a joy in my soul. Christ saves us outward and begins to make us mindful of the needs of others.

No, I don?t really think that Jesus saw time as his own (nor should we). (Luke 4:42-43)
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
Here Jesus tells the people that want him to stick around, that He has to go, God the Father has a purpose for him, and He needs to fulfill that purpose.

So we see that Jesus, one of the Triune, did not even see time as His own.
(John 6:38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Jesus sees time as belonging to God the Father, creator of time, and the Time Keeper.

Is my time mine to do with what I want? Is my time yours to do as your needs require? Or does my time, ultimately my life, belong to God?

(Luke 14:33) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Quite simply, we need to yield out time to the owner God the Time Keeper.

But what does yielding time back to God look like? I don?t know, but maybe it could involve yielding the Sabbath to God by not packing it as full of activities as every other day. I really believe that spending time in personal prayer and Bible study is a way of saying, God you own my time.

Think about this: Lord, you have given me another day in which to enjoy and serve you. I offer it back to You, lead me in the way You would have me to use it.

So, is my time mine? No, my time, my life belongs to God. Which, naturally, leads to a second question:
Is there time enough?
Someone once said, God put me on the earth to accomplish certain things. Right now I?m so far behind I think I?ll never die.

Is there time enough?
No, not if we are trying to find significance in our busy schedule, or fill boredom, or cover pain, or gain acceptance. But YES, there is enough time to do the things the Time Keeper calls us to do.

Paul talks about time in (Acts 20:24)
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Here Paul says, I give my time to God to finish the race before me.

Look at (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
So, the task of preaching the Gospel wasn?t finished, but Paul?s God given task was finished.

Here is where we fall short in our thinking; we think, I have to do it all and I have to do it all now. But, I am learning, not everything we think to do is something God is calling us to do, and not everything God is calling us to do we need to do now.

I believe that God has a specific design for our time. (Ephesians 2:10)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
That is, a plan for our life ordained or prepared for us, or as Paul refers to it, our course or our race to run.

So we are yielding our time to God, before we know it, our thinking is changing a little, we find ourselves involved in time-inviting. Instead of my insistence of time being spent my way, we start to invite the Time Keeper to tell me what to do with the time that he gives me.

God has given me time enough to do what he will give me to do!
Here is an important concept: What becomes important is not that I manage time; but that I let God manage the time he has allowed me to have.
In the practice of inviting God to direct our time there are some questions we can ask to help discern God?s time management for our lives.

As we ask these questions, consider the option of a new job, for the sake of an example. We could use any scenario, maybe, should I teach Bible school?

Is this opportunity consistent with God?s will, as I have come to know it in Scripture? Does a job offering, which results in more money, mean I take it, even if it means more hours?

How does God see things compared to most people?
Most people ////////// God
Accumulate ////////// Love
Advancement ////////// Patience
Power ////////// Community
Self reliance ////////// Others centeredness
Admiration from others ////////// Spiritual growth
////////// Faithfulness
////////// God-dependence

The more we know the cadence of God?s voice in Scripture the more we will recognize it?s counterculture tone when He speaks to us when we have our personal time communing with Him.

Is it consistent with my passions and gifts?
We each have unique burdens of the heart and unique abilities to meet needs. God will sometimes ask of us something which does not fit in those personal areas, but generally He works through those special unique areas of passions and gifts, which He has given us.

What are my motives, in adding something to my schedule?

Is it something that:

  • Will make me feel better about myself?
  • Will make someone think better of me?
  • Am I afraid to disappoint, or let someone down?
  • Or, is this a call from God to respond to a need in His kingdom?
  • How does this fit into what I already know I am called to do?

You might ask; what types of things am I called to do? Let me tell you some of the things I am already called to do:

  • love my wife and provide for our family?s needs
  • spend time in prayer and Bible study
  • attend worship with other Christians on a regular basis
  • eating, sleeping and exercising correctly
  • teaching a Faith

New time expenses should fit in with those things NOT replace previous God-given tasks.

What do others think? (Advice of others)
(Proverbs 12:15) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. It is a good thing to ask advice from others, often they can see more objectively and help you see your blind spots. I have a friend that I get together with for breakfast once in awhile and we spend a couple of hours talking about what is happening in our lives, bounce ideas off each other. Awhile ago I was telling him about something I thought God might be calling me to do, and he was able to help me see through some of my failings, suggest some areas to pray about, and support me in that task it looked like God was giving me.

In conclusion: The time given to me, is it mine? No.
Is it enough? Not enough to do everything I wish, but more than enough to do what God gives me to do.

When we give recognize that God is the keeper of time, and when we invite Him to schedule our life we will have MORE than enough time to do those things that are in His will for our life.

I choose to yield my time to its rightful owner, the Time Keeper, and invite Him to lead me into the life He has designed for me.

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