Saturday, August 9, 2014

Decompression And Understanding The Value Of Time

For almost two weeks now, we’ve been on a family vacation.  It’s been the first vacation that we’ve had in over eight and half years and we’ve been very thankful for it.  To the family who followed their hearts and blessed us with the means to have this trip, we say thank you!  Your graciousness has really been a refreshing for us.  We’ve not been a position to have the fun that we’ve been having these past several days and it’s just been a joy to “enjoy life” and the free time.  

On our trip, it was about the third or fourth day of our time away, that I really began to “decompress” and feel free.  Free in my thoughts, my relaxing, and my just being able to let it all be still.  As I was relaxing on the porch, seven hours away from it all, with the mosquito candles burning, hearing the crickets, seeing the stars and pondering everything, I was reminded of a message that has meant a lot to me over the years.  When I stop and get quiet, I remind myself of its points. I thought that I would put it into words and on paper and share it with you.  We all need to “decompress” and value our time. 

The Bible tells us in James 4:13-17, "Come now, you who say,"Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is yourlife?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is evil.  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

The Bible describes our existence in this life here on the earth like a vapor.  The Amplified Bible says, "You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]."   Naturally speaking, our existence here on this earth is but for a moment of time.  When you start to look at it in the light of eternity it is really a very brief moment at that. Our natural existence in the light of eternity is really a short time. 

The little fraction of time that we have here on this earth has great bearing on our eternity. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."  How we live now affects us here and now, but how we live now has great bearing on eternity too. 

Grasp eternity for a moment.  It's FOREVER! How long is forever?  FOREVER!  If we stop and consider time, it has a beginning and an end.  Our time of existence, should Jesus tarry, has a beginning and an end. When we get to heaven there will be a new time reference, eternity.  Right now, we have a beginning and an end here and now. 

All of life is a process.  All of life is a process that will one day have an end result.  So, that means to me that TIME is valuable!  It has a beginning and it has an end.  Time itself cannot be stopped.  You can manage time, mismanage it, or even waste it altogether.  In various sporting events, you can stop the clock to move the "chains".  In some games you can put more time back up on the board or the clock.  You can repeat the "down".  In our lives, we don't get the privilege of putting more time on the board or stopping the clock to move the markers.  No, our life is measured and represented by the time that we have here.  Our time spent is eventually what others will look at when they remember us and what we have done.  Therefore we should value with all diligence the time that we have here and now.  Amen. 

There are great things before each of us!  The Lord has GOOD things for us!  We need to value the Lord’s blessing in our lives and where we are at right now. It’s a special place.  As we are sharing on time, on a personal level, let us take the time and increase in our intimacy with God, our passion for Him and His Word, and our commitment toward Him.  Some of my favorite verses in God's Word are found in Job. Job 22:21-23 says, "Yield now and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you. Please receive instruction from His mouth, and establish His words in your heart." (New American Standard)  We must discipline ourselves to yield to the Lord.  We must yield to Him more in our lives.  Yield more to His influence.  Yielding yourself to Him puts you in a position to receive increase.  God wants to be your provider, but He also wants you to seek His face.  Psalm 34:10 says, "They that seek (inquire of) the Lord shall not want any good thing."  The Amplified Bible reads, "None of them shall lack any beneficial thing."   

Job 11:13, 17-19 reads, "If you would direct your heart right, and spread out your hand to Him... and your life would be brighter than noonday; darkness would be like morning. Then you would trust, because there is hope; and you would look around, and rest securely.  You would lie down and none disturb you, and many would entreat your favor."  (New American Standard)  Seeking God more, becoming more intimate with Him, having a passion more for the things of God and His Word, and being committed to Him will give you peaceful sleep, brighter days, supernatural security, and supernatural favor.  Seek God's face, not His hand! Let’s not be whiners and complainers in the moment and miss the prize. We need to remind ourselves that just because things don’t always go our way, doesn’t mean we’re not smack dab in the middle of the will of God for our lives.  Let's draw closer to Him more and more each and every day of our lives.  Amen!

All of life is a process.  All of our lives should be a "progression" or, simply put, "personal growth".  We should be increasing and moving ahead in our walk with Him.  Look with me at Ephesians 5:15-16.  Notice what it says here, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil."   I love the way The Amplified Bible reads, "Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil." 

It is important how we live because we may not have an opportunity to repeat it or make up for it.  It's vital that we draw close to God.  Seeking the Lord and spending time with Him will put you in a position of increase in your walk with the Lord.  It will also multiply your days and the quality of those days according to Proverbs 3:1-2, "My son, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward andcontinuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you."

Think about YOUR time. Think in the light of eternity. What you do and what you are doing are so precious right now.  Don't go and grab all the gusto that you can.   No, grab all of God that you can.  It will bless so many by the way that you live your life. 

Just being busy does not produce happiness.  Activity does not produce productivity.  Your time with the Lord will multiply in your life on all levels.  Prioritize your time. Prioritize your living life and the priorities of your life.  Put your life in order with God first, spouse second, children third, church fourth, job fifth, and so forth.  My goodness, our time with God and our spouses and our children is so important! What you are doing now and how you are living now has bearing on so many things both here and now, and for our eternity that is still to come. 

Get hungry for more of God.  Seeking God more, becoming more intimate with Him, having a passion more for the things of God and His Word, and being committed to Him will give you peaceful sleep, brighter days, supernatural security, and supernatural favor.  Seek God's face, not His hands.  Let's draw close to Him more and more each and every day of our lives.  Let's value our TIME.  Amen!

Pray this prayer: Father, I choose to take the time and make You my priority everyday.  I choose to spend time with You and progress forward in my walk with You.  You are my all in all.  You are my everything.  I have decided to follow YOU and follow I will do.  Amen.

Pastor James Farmer