James 4:13-17 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
Yesterday morning I received a devotional email. I receive many such emails, and they range from inspirational to thought provoking. Yesterday’s was life-changing.
The devotional included a question from the Lord – “What are you going to do with the time I have granted you?”
We have indeed been granted time. It is a gift, every second of it. Time does not even exist in the heavenly realm, it is a construct designed by God purely for earthly measurement. Whether we are granted 20 years or 100 years, every moment is a gift from the Lord, not a right. Some people have packed more God-time into twenty years than a dozen 75-year-olds combined. Others, sadly, will go through their entire lives thinking themselves worthy because they go to church on Sunday, and deign to grant God a precious hour of “their time”.
Even more sad is the fact that most people monitor their watches closely during allotted “God time”, waiting for the perceived obligation to be over so they can proceed with “real life”.
God sits in the heavens, and His eyes search for those whose hearts have turned towards Him. He reminds, cajoles, persuades, pokes, whispers and invites us into His service, while we rush to jobs and football games and Caribbean vacations and karaoke bars…He sees our personal clock ticking down, and He sees when it will stop. We do not. And yet while secretly dreading death, we live as if we have forever. One day…when we are older, and our kids are grown, and we have more money in the bank and have nothing more important going on, we will give our time to God.
“What are you going to do with the time I have granted you?” Are you going to pursue things that cannot follow you after death? Are you going to delude yourself that the best way to care for your children is to provide them I-phones and Hollister jeans while they wait at home alone for the end of your workday? Are you going to continue to ignore your neighbor’s pleas for help, convincing yourself that you have to save your money for a rainy day? Are you going to head for the Sunday tailgate party while telling yourself that God will understand that it is your day off?
Do you even know how much He loves you, and how your ignoring Him breaks His heart?
When someone passes from life to eternity, young or old, they stand before the Lord. He will ask each of us for an account of every moment of our life. I personally cringe at the thought of standing before Him acknowledging the hours on computer games instead of praying for hurting people; the times spent in front of the TV instead of going to see someone who needed a friend. I do not dread the moment because of fear of punishment – He has assured His grace and forgiveness, and my salvation. I dread the moment because God granted us each a precious gift, and implanted in us a destiny and a purpose for His Kingdom. And repeatedly, I have let Him down. The Savior King who stepped off His throne and died for me, who asked me simply to give generously and pray without ceasing and love other people… My soul despairs at the thought of standing before a glorious God and admitting I did not care enough, sometimes, to acknowledge Him. That other things were simply more exciting, more intriguing, more attractive, more…
“What are you going to do with the time I have granted you?” I read the question yesterday moments before going into a court battle. The Lord was absolutely with me, and showed me great favor. But the parting words from the judge seared into my soul. “Ms. Brassil, I am granting you more time. When it is over, there is no more recourse”. It was as if the Lord Himself issued the challenge through the mouth of a secular judge.
When my time is over, it is over. And that could be a breath away. What am I going to do with my time?
1 Timothy 4:15-16 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life closely. Persevere, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
This type of divine challenge requires more than a haphazard response. And so begins “365 Days on God’s Clock”. Every day for a year, I am challenging myself to give, to serve, to pray, to volunteer. Every day, using His time the way He leads. In my Spirit, I know this journey will be life changing. I cannot go back and change how I have spent my time until now. I can, however, make this the year that Jesus got my attention, and monopolized my time.
This journey is about showing my gratitude to the Lord for what He has done for me, and doing my best to introduce Him to others as He requested I do. I hope the stories inspire you to think outside your world and your personal circumstances and to use His time the way He said to.
It is my wish that you will join me. I hope to hear awesome testimonies of God moving through your heart and life to touch others.
Be His hands and feet.
What are you going to do with the time you have been granted?
You’re on the clock. (tick-tock,tick-tock)