November 4, 2023
Ephesians 5:15-16, New International Version
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
What if you were given $86,400.....each day to spend, but whatever you didn't spend you couldn't keep? How would you spend it? What would you spend it on? Would you use it all knowing you won't get it back? We are given 86,400 seconds each day. How we spend them matters and those seconds we will never get back.
God cares a lot about how we spend our time. Scripture is packed with reminders that we are called to “number our days” (Psalm 90:12), that there is “a season for every activity under the heavens,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and that we “do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” (James 4:14). Paul says in Ephesians,
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
While this was written thousands of years ago, it still applies to the present day. God has not only appointed this specific time period for each of us to live in, but He has already orchestrated each day for us. God cares about how we spend our time.
Time is a gift. While there are seasons when it’s fine for you or me to sleep in or enjoy an afternoon with a good book, we are also called to use each day well. One of our life’s missions to love God and love our neighbor well is to understand the significance of passing time. God has asked us to make the most of every opportunity.
What does this look like? Most of us don’t run large corporations, governments, or institutions. I bet your daily routine probably looks a lot like mine: Folding laundry, answering emails, taking a kid to soccer, making dinner, attending a work meeting, maybe meeting a friend for coffee. How do we make the most of every opportunity in ordinary, modern life?
The way we spend our time says more about our spiritual condition than you may think. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” I admit, I struggle with micromanaging every minute of my day or packing as much as I can into each hour. While having a schedule is not necessarily a bad thing, we could be filling up our time with things that may not matter in the long term.
Time has a way of getting away from us, or time has a way of filling up with things that are not so urgent. So, if we take control of our time, hopefully then, we are really making sure we are setting aside time for what matters most, and not giving our time over to lesser things.
So, I really believe there’s a call on us to plan. A call on us to do our best, to structure our time, structure our day, structure our week to ensure we’re slotting in the most important things. And I think one of the battles we face is that things come up over the course of the week, over the course of the day that seem urgent, and we’re constantly having to make this call off. Will I do what I had planned to do, or will I do what this urgent thing is? If we are not too sure what God has called us to, I think we can give into the fear of man or to people please. By which I mean, I want to please people. And so everything that comes along, I am thinking I am just going to do that instead of holding to my plans. And so now that time I had set aside to pray, which is usually the easiest thing in the world to carve into that empty space, every time something comes along I am doing that because I really want people to be pleased with me. And the way I can show love to them is to give them time and the easiest time to take is out of prayer.
So, I think we have got to be very careful and weigh every opportunity. What would the Lord have me do? Maybe just prayerfully in that moment consider, how can I best achieve what God wants me to do today? How can I best do good to others and glorify God? Sometimes it might be to say no, I’m sorry, I can't right now.
I think it’s very difficult, it’s a constant balance, it requires lots of prayer and wisdom on how we spend our time.
God cares about every single second of our short time here on earth.
Lord, help me to honor You with how I use my time!