The art of time management — there is hope!

Learn about life and where to find it, and you will learn where to spend your time and what to spend it on. This is not hard because it isn’t simple, but because it is made up of a thousand little choices that coincide with the most important one that we have before us:What will you do with life? You can take it or leave it; but beg for wisdom when you make it because death is your default.

I’m just impatient for more patience!

If you struggling with impatience today and you’re windering if you’ll ever be zapped by the patience wand or see this spell of waiting lifted, don’t forget that God can do more with mundain moments than we can do with the grandest moments in our lives.

If you are still having a problem with God’s timing after the wait has already been extended several times, then it’s a pretty safe bet that you need more time. This is not a cruel thing, but the beginning of many blessings. The work of patience always preceeds the rewards of virtue.

If you can’t enjoy one of the most encouraging and productive parts of God’s work, than He will take the reins of your time in His hands to teach you how well your Father knows the art of using time.

He’s been working behind my back all along!

Have you ever been in a place where you’ve discovered that God has been working behind your back? It happened to me today and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

I’ve been praying about a young women discipleship program for the Junior and Senior High girls in my church for a few years now. At first, when God impressed the need upon my heart, I thought that I must be the woman for the job, so I prayed to that end. But I hoped that He would give me some help if I was to do it because I really didn’t have any experience with this kind of thing. I was grateful for the women who walked with me through my teenage years of spiritual development and I wanted to be able to pass on the legacy.

But, at least for the moment, this is a dream I was given to nurture in prayer and in faith and in discussions with other like-minded people, but not to develop. Instead, God has raised up a woman that He has been specially fitting for the job. A girl who will learn to follow God in new ways through this. And a leader who has a fine set of cohorts to get done the job that God has given them.

You see, God’s been showing me — and, oh, how I need it! — that I don’t need to be the one on whom everyone depends. I do not make people grow in godliness or delight in God’s grace in fresh ways; God does. I am just a little counterpart who gets the joy of being a part that is connected to the grand machine of God’s will.

I don’t figure any larger than anyone else, but I don’t need to because God uses everybody — and He uses us in the best ways when we work together on something larger than any one of us can see. We simply trust God that He can handle each of us and keep us in the place we need to be for His glory-machine to run well and be able to bless the whole world.

Must I communicate my heart or God’s?

It is so important to me that I get across what’s on my heart. I want people to know exactly what I’m thinking and feeling — there must be no confusion or misunderstanding. I will not be a failed communicator to the people who must comprehend me to my satisfaction.

But is there more than that? Am I the only thing that I need to be communicating? What if that were just the tip of the iceburg? What if my eyes could be on higher things? What if a better understanding of Jesus Christ were the thing that had to shine through in everything? What if knowing this could make it bearable to be foggy myself as long as my Lord was clear? After all, who is it essential that the world love — that I love — but Him?

All these little things that stand in my way!

Do you miss the little things in life because you are convinced that you might miss the big things that might be ready to come your way?

Have you noticed all the “might”s we have here? It seems to me that it is better to stick with the sure things involving others that are happening right before us rather than holding out for what will just benefit us.

Perhaps it is better for us if these things never come to pass! We could use more than solitary excitement; it would be better for us to concentrate on sharing the fleeting moments of excitement that are already there for those around us.

Are all sins really deserving of death?

I was reading a small section of Deuteronomy in my devotions this morning and came upon something in God’s law that I felt like I had to fix. How could God say this, I wondered, why would He allow the sin of His people Israel to get to the point of capital punishment?

The problem that I was considering was that a son would be put to death for disobeying his parents. The text in chapter 21 describes the law for sons guilty of disobedience to the parental honor commandment this way:

When a man has a stubborn son, a real rebel who won’t do a thing his mother and father tell him, and even though they discipline him he still won’t obey, his father and mother shall forcibly bring him before the leaders at the city gate and say to the city fathers, “This son of ours is a stubborn rebel; he won’t listen to a thing we say. He’s a glutton and a drunk.”

Then all the men of the town are to throw rocks at him until he’s dead. You will have purged the evil pollution from among you. All Israel will hear what’s happened and be in awe.

I must say that this is a lot to take in. But still, why do I sit here and squirm at what the Word of the Lord says about the consequences of sin? I frantically ask, How can this be right? How shall I think of God now? And why have I been treated with mercy when I have not listened or heeded my parents perfectly? I have had memorable seasons when rebellion has taken over my entire being — what am I now to think of this? What is God’s perspective on all this?

Sin and justice are no easy topics, but it is impossible for us to confront them without enabling the Word of God to bear down upon us. We are in bodies that have never known anything but sin, therefore, we need to turn to the counsels of God-who-has-already-been-in-the-flesh: Christ.

My reaction begs the question: Is it ever a good idea to have sin without punishment? And isn’t this what I am asking for — a weak approach to sin; ; less of an exposure of our need for Christ? It is either one or the other — we be exalted in our sin by God’s failure to bring us to justice, or God is exalted by His faithfulness to spare no expense in treating us according to the requirements of His righteousness.

Do I really know what I’m talking about here?

I don’t like to appear to be in the dark about anything. Instead, I strive for the critical acclaim of an expert. I want what I have to say about any issue or topic of controvercy to be well-received and appreciated. I want to be in the know and known as such more than I want to know something in the barest sense of the verb.

I know this to he true because I am not content to merely know, but to share what I know. The publicity I crave would not be so much for the information that I would share, but for me. The conversational pieces and the interest they might stir up only serve a desirable purpose if they turn attention back to me in a significant way.

This is why God hates gossip! Not primarily because it hurts people — though it does — but because it does nothing to point any of us involved back to God. How can selfishly crafted share-sessions and misleading inuendoes direct anyone to a God of truth? And how can we who know Him stand more closely to Him when we will not insist on building ourselves up in the truth alone?

So perhaps when we don’t understand something about a situation or a person it is not so important to find out that matter as it is to handle our lack of knowledge in a sound way.

When I try to decide the major motivations and markers of other people’s lives I tend to manipulate the facts I do have for the sake of a proposition I want to support. I need a heady proposition — perhaps even a controversial and sensational one — to help me look like I know more than the average person in detecting patterns and personal positions. But the problem here is that if I elect to boost myself in the eyes of others I know that I shall end this campaign in ruin. Having already chosen a goal that can never be found in God’s priorities for me, I can certainly not hope that I will seek to attain it in any ways that are less than corrupt in motivation.

I will chose rather to set the stage for a fictionalized intimacy with other people (based on unprincipled insider knowledge of my gossip victim) than to insist on keeping my eyes on one key relationship: the one that forever exists between me and God through Christ.

This one cannot be maintained by any other means then genuine representations of self, honesty between parties and vulnerability to Truth. And since God is involved in everything that I do, I must answer to Him for the genuinessness of character, representation of honesty and commitment to Truth that I espouse in every other relationship. Whatever involves my heart will in some way invoke His Lordship.

Talking my way out of…a relationship?

Have you ever been accused of talking too much? Well, this is the accusation that the Holy Spirit has been bringing upon me. I use talking as my way out of an uncomfortable situation — even when this situation is characterized by what God is or is not doing. Here are some sample instances where I tune in to my words more than Him: when I am in the presence of the Lord; when I feel like I am struggling and I want change immediately; when I am frustrated with God because He either seems silent or slow. I talk to convince, to instruct, to inform, to fill the silence — and this seems to be especially true when it comes to God.

Why is quietness so unnerving to me? Why do I constantly need to be convinced that God is with me; that things between us are okay; that He is always working to bring us closer together — even when I am on a completely different mission?

Because I evidently want to accomplish things that are not necessarily what He is prepared to do with me, I must ask myself, Is talking sometimes a way out of trusting?

I think that sometimes it can be. If I can talk a lot then I can feel good; I can believe that my relationship with God is strong even when we are going through a lull period, I can also believe that I must know something about that which I speak. After all, I am more confident in my ability to guide the relationship than God’s.

So that my words cease and my tongue be still, let me choose rather to be in awe of God. He does not change or need my words to frame the situations between us that He already marks. Let me just sit with Him and in silence entreat Him to speak where my words are not enough. For the whole point of our relationship is that I would be able to know Him, not that I would be content only with being known and treated in the ways that I wish.