Girlfriends in God - September 30, 2011

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September 30, 2011
Making My Heart Sit Down
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:12, NLT).

Friend to Friend
Every minute of every day is either wasted or invested. Since the Bible contains over 400 verses about time, we can safely assume that time management is important to God. In fact, it is a spiritual discipline that helps determine the rate of growth and maturity of our faith. We not only need to view time as an eternal investment, but as an immediate one as well. One of the most valuable investments we can make is to spend time in solitude.    

I once read an African proverb, “Lord Jesus, make my heart sit down.” Solitude is deliberately and diligently setting aside time to “sit down” at the feet of Jesus. It is in those still, quiet moments of solitude at His feet that we can more clearly hear God speak and gain strength and wisdom for the journey ahead. In order to practice solitude, we must learn how to budget time.    

It’s been said that women must balance their time more carefully than men because women don’t have wives. The fact is that we are all responsible for how we spend the time God has given us. Time is a precious gift. Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds. No balance is carried into the next day and every night erases what we fail to use. If we use it in the wrong way, that time is lost forever and cannot be reclaimed. Time that is not purposely and wisely budgeted will inevitably gravitate to our weaknesses and be stolen by others or wasted on the unimportant. We must budget time, just as Jesus did. 

Luke 2:52“Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (NIV).

At the age of 12, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with His parents for the annual Passover Celebration. When His parents began the long trip home, they did not miss their son at first, and when they did, assumed He was traveling with friends. Jesus was found in the temple - teaching. My first reaction would probably have been pride in the fact that religious scholars and teachers were actually listening to my young son. I would most likely have encouraged Jesus to continue, basking in the looming recognition and acclaim. Instead, Jesus returned home where, for 18 to 20 years, He simply grew and matured. Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. Luke 3 records the beginning of Jesus’ ministry – the single most powerful ministry and life ever lived. In other words, Jesus Christ budgeted His time wisely, resulting in a balanced life of fulfilled purpose. We can live the same kind of life if our priorities are right.

Set priorities:Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us “there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven” (NLT). We either set our life priorities or allow circumstances and other people to set them. We are often guilty of allowing human standards and expectations to determine priorities for our lives when what we need to do is set our priorities and then plan the days of our lives around them.

Schedule priorities: There is a right time and a right way to carry out right priorities. Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 warns, “For a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight” (NASB). We must schedule time for solitude. We must set aside portions of each day to spend with God. 

Stick to priorities: The apostle Paul teaches us to “make the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:16 NIV). Every challenge will either wreck our priorities or affirm them. Right priorities stand firm in the face of changing circumstances because God empowers them and honors obedience.

One day, we will all stand before the Father and give an account of how we have invested our time. Today, examine your time management habits in light of eternity. Initiate schedule changes that honor God and give Him first place in your life. Make a new commitment to invest your time wisely. 

Let’s Pray
Father, I recognize my need for time alone with You. I lay down my schedule, my agenda and anything else in my life that would keep me from that time. Please forgive me for the way I often squander away the minutes, hours and days of my life. Give me the power to invest time wisely and the wisdom to live a balanced life that pleases and honors You. 
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

  1. Choose to practice solitude in your daily life.
  2. Select a place to spend time in solitude.
  3. Lay down your agenda. 
  4. Focus on Him and listen for His voice.
  5. Memorize Psalm 37:7 (NIV) “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” 
  6. Ask yourself these questions and use the answers to shape a plan for regular solitude:
  • Why am I afraid of silence?
  • What is the greatest obstacle to solitude in my life?
  • What steps do I have to take in order to remove those obstacles?
  • What do I hope to gain from time spent in solitude?

More from the Girlfriends
Learning to rest and be still before God is so important to our spiritual growth, strength and maturity. It won’t just happen. We have to carve out time to spend alone with God in solitude. Time spent in solitude allows our heart to be still before God, filter through all of the voices in life, and seek out God’s voice above the rest. I encourage you to read Psalm 23 every day this month and find time each week for solitude. Escaping the Stress Trap (available in book, CD or MP3 download) can be a helpful tool as you learn to make your heart sit down.

Come as You Areis Mary’s NEW Online Bible Study that begins September 26! The most common invitation offered by Jesus Christ is simply to "come." He doesn't ask us to fix what is wrong or expect us to clean up our lives. That is His responsibility. Jesus loves us just as we are and when we come to Him with a "yes" in our hearts, He lovingly transforms the broken places into beautiful scars of healing that give birth to new life. Enroll before October 1and have access to all 2011 lessons. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebookor through email.

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

 
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