Finding Faith: Number your days
Here we are at the start of the New Year 2019 and it is almost the end of January. Many of all ages might ask, “Where does the time go?”
I remember that when I was a child, the summer vacation seemed a long, long time and the celebration of Christmas was not even considered until Dec. 1, because there was so much time! Now my seasons and often my days seem to blur one into another.
Today, we live in a microwave, drive thru, high-speed internet, instant gratification lifestyle. I think, we are on “busy-ness overload” like the proverbial hamster running in his wheel without stopping and still remaining in the same place. But truth be known, we all live our lives in the same 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This can cause you to question, is there a purpose for what I am doing, my choices, or how I spend my time?
The Bible teaches us “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1. Each activity is listed in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8.
This does not mean that you should just spend your time counting how many days you have lived and be predicting how much longer you have left. Despite all of our technology and knowledge, no one knows this except for God. “…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before they came to be.” Psalm 139:16
And we must be clear that God does not live in the same time element as we do. 2 Peter 3:8 “…with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
We tend to mark our life in years such as with birthdays, anniversaries and yearly celebrations. But God’s Word says He gives us “days.”
As I have been evaluating my time since the beginning of the New Year 2019, I am reminded of the verse in Psalm 90:12 “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Or basically, “Life is short, live it wisely.”
Moses is credited with writing Psalm 90 towards the latter part of his life. Moses had seen the mighty hand of God work with amazing supernatural miracles and provision. And yet he still felt it was important to ask God to teach him to number his days to gain wisdom. Let’s camp-out on this verse.
Basically, Psalm 90:12 is saying:
1. Do you need wisdom? I think wisdom can be defined as knowing God’s will, plan, purpose which is reflected in your daily choices. Wisdom was all that King Solomon asked God for when he started his rule as King and God offered him anything. 2 Chronicles 1:7-12.
2. How do you get God’s wisdom? Ask God to teach you.
3. God’s answer, “Number your days”. Value your days; spend your days, as God wants you to. Sometimes it is not just about what you can do, but also what you should do. Ephesians 5:15, “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as the wise.” This may lead you to want “to live your life to the fullest” but we need to be careful how we define “fullest.” I like to say, live your days “completely filled, containing all that they can” for Jesus.
I do not know all of your life situations. You may be very active, even too busy. Or you may be limited in your abilities.
Remember no matter what your age or what your life situation is; every day is a precious gift from God. Do not waste your time hating, gossiping, criticizing or fighting especially in anger, which will take root in bittiness. Or spend you day worrying. Matthew 6:27 It is not worth it.
These things are not of God. They will not improve your life. Avoid saying “I cannot wait until…” or “I will be glad when this day is over.” In the bad times, we have to trust God even if we do not understand. Or do not say, “I have all the time in the world” or “I can do that later.” Carpe Diem meaning “seize the day.” Take hold of your days for Jesus; do not give them to the ways of the devil.
When we use these words we are actually giving our time away. No matter what the circumstance, each day is valuable to God and for you. Thank God for your life. Thank God for each day. Ask the Holy Spirit how you should spend each day, “number your days.”
I know we all have responsibilities and activities of some sort, things we need to do. But what is your attitude as you go through your day? Is your attitude one of thankfulness and praise to God, a willing and humble heart? Attitude is just as important as action.
Evaluate and prioritize your days: what should I eliminate or what should I add to my day such as prayer or reading the Bible, going to church, reaching out to someone or sharing about Jesus.
You could start by asking yourself: How much of my day is given to God or is God directed?
God loves you. Psalm 90:14, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy, and be glad all of our days.”
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Janis Heiser of River of Life Fellowship Church, Lock Haven.