“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Time is short and the work that needs to be done is never-ending. This will never change. There are only so many hours in a day and you will only live for so many years. You know how many hours there are in a day, but you do not know how many days you have left to live. Add this fact of life to a dilemma many face, “How can I make my life count for eternity?” In other words, “How can I redeem the time?”
Words mean something. The Strong’s Concordance teaches us that redeeming means to buy something up. Webster’s definition is similar. I know that this sounds simple, but think about it, can you buy time? No. We can buy all sorts of things, but time is not a thing. Time is allotted to us by God. What we can do is use the time given to us, “understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
There are many books, blogs, podcasts, and all kinds of resources that teach us how to use our time. The premise behind many of these things is often to be more productive. If one is more productive then they are more successful. For the child of God, success is never defined by how much we get accomplished in** the world, but by doing the will of God.
God’s will gives our lives purpose. James London said, “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use them.” Let this be a challenge to all of us; are we just existing or are we doing the will of God for our lives?
Allow me to be personal. I want to do more than just exist. I need more for my life than just punching a clock. I need more than just living for the weekend. I would imagine you are the same, you want your life to count for something.
This is why it is so important for us to learn how to redeem our time. How can our lives count for the Kingdom of God if we waste the limited resource of time that makes up our lives?
I am seeking to learn how to manage my time better, not to be productive by the world’s standards, but to do the will of God. This is where we will begin for this post.
You may be reading this and you’re thinking that you do not even have that part taken care of; you may not know what God’s will is for your life. I do not believe that there is a step-by-step guide that can be used to “discover” God’s will for your life. There is no book called “Finding God’s Will for Dummies.” I am not saying that it is difficult, but you must be willing to do what is needed so God will show you what He wants you to do.
When we think of the will of God we automatically think in terms of the big picture. Our minds need to be retrained to start looking at God’s will in terms of a small picture. I am not saying that God’s will is small. Anything that has God attached to it is not small. God’s purpose for your life is not small. But I have learned that God will not show us the big picture, He shows us one piece at a time.
I have also learned an important lesson that can be tied to the previous thought, God only shows us the next part of the puzzle, the next step on the path of life, when we obey Him. Pastor Sexton has often said that the job of the servant is to obey. This is why it was said previously that there is no guidebook (outside of Scripture) on finding God’s will. Why would God show someone the big picture if they are not willing to do a small piece of the puzzle?
My life’s verse is 1 Timothy 1:12. I will give you a minute to look it up. Paul praised God that he was put in the ministry. I guarantee that this was not some sudden revelation from God, but it was the natural sequence of events in being faithful to the will of God. This is seen in Acts 13:1-3. Verse 2 says, “As they ministered to the Lord…”. This was when the next step was shown. He was separated for the purpose of the ministry.
Really, we are all in the ministry. The question is how much are you willing to do. This will be the extent to which you will find God’s will. If you are willing to obey what God wants you to do now then He will show you what to do next, in His timing. Now is the time of service and preparation.
I have not left the thought of “Redeeming the Time.” I am simply trying to build to it. Why should we redeem the time? Why should we be better stewards of our time? It is so we can do the will of God for our lives. For right now, a good exercise would be to develop a purpose statement for your life. Write it down in a place that you will see on a regular basis. Then I will ask you to be open to learning what the Bible has to say about time and then we will learn, together, some practical tips on how to redeem the time we have.