Some friends of mine texted me a few weeks ago, asking me if I was up for a Christian concert. I checked my iCal to see if I was free (since I no longer have the capacity for instant recall of my own schedule).
Sure, I’m open. I double-click my home button and pull up my texting screen when something in me pauses for a moment. Did I forget to enter an engagement for that day? What am I missing? There’s something . . . This doesn’t feel right.
Then I realized the problem. I heard my checkbook screaming in anguish, “Enough with the plans! I can’t keep up!” Then I heard the LORD whisper, “Don’t forget to pay your tithes this week.”
In that moment, I was reminded how closely time and money are connected, how one affects the other, and how both can be squandered away with a few taps on a mobile device. It’s no wonder when we have an idea to do something for God, give to a financial need (yea, even pay tithes), or schedule a Bible study, we just can’t make it happen!
Where we are in our Christian walk, our daily living for God, can easily be gauged by looking at three simple things: our clocks, our calendar, and our checkbooks.
Today’s post is the first of three that examine how easily we surrender control of these three things and how our clocks, our calendars, and our checkbooks greatly impact our Christian walk.
Our Clocks: Gauging our daily walk
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice . . . (Ps 118:24)
. . . and be too busy for Him in it.
This familiar verse, often quoted in greeting cards, devotionals, and songs, doesn’t as often ring true in the realities of modern society. Many of us wake up in the morning to children needing breakfast, spouses needing attention, clients needing answers, barely able to brush our teeth without the cares of the day overwhelming our brain, and all before we walk out the door to face the world. Indeed, many of our minutes and hours our planned (or consumed) by everyone but God.
By mid-morning, we surrender to our overdue task list and before the end of the day, we often bemoan, “There’s just not enough time in the day.” Seriously, how far ahead do we have to set our clocks to arrive on time to the same place every day or week? (Can the church say Amen?)
These things ought not to be. We need to live intentionally for God!
Joshua 24:14-28 speaks to a people that needed reminded, even forced, to choose whom they would serve each day. They had allowed the world to consume their attentions and devotions. They stood to lose their inheritance. By allowing the cares of this life to overtake our daily schedules, we too risk losing our inheritance. We cannot live a Wordly life, a Christian life, if we repeatedly surrender our daily time to everything but God. It is false to believe that you are living a Christian life, if you are not spending time with Him daily and devoting time to serve Him each day.
Be intentional with your minutes and hours. Make plans with God today, tomorrow, and each day, choosing each day whom you will serve.
- Create two new entries for God appointments–one in the morning or early afternoon, and one in the evening. These are real appointments, not just reminders to think about Jesus. Each appointment should be at least 30 minutes long.
- Write what you are purposing to do for each of your God appointments. For instance, you may intend to pray for 30 minutes, read the Word, have a Bible study with a friend, minister to your neighbor or another person who may not know Christ. Be as specific as possible with your entries so that you don’t’ end up spending the 30 minutes you allotted figuring out what to do.
- Prepare yourself for the God appointment. Just like you would need to do if meeting with a client or supervisor or doctor, you have to be prepared for the event. Do you need to bring notes, other resources to help facilitate the meeting? For a Bible study with a friend, do you have pens, pencils, paper? For praying, do you have a list of needs, people to pray for, scriptures to pray through?
- Keep your appointments and repeat each day. You may alter what types of appointments you make, but know that each minute you’re intentional with God, He will reward you for your faithfulness.