walk in the word
Category: Spiritual Life
“Lord, teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Well, here it is another week. How have things been going for you? Time just marches on, doesn’t it? But listen—God doesn’t just want us flipping pages on the calendar, randomly going through life. He doesn’t want us paging through our days casually and apathetically like we’re in some doctor’s waiting room just passing time. God wants us to use our time wisely.
For the majority of this week on the broadcast, we’re on the subject of “Numbering Our Days: Six Keys to Effective Time Management.” Now just in case you’re thinking, “I don’t want to hear dumb stuff that I could get from some business seminar.” Amen. That’s why I want to turn your attention to Psalm 90 for God’s instruction.
Psalm 90 is the oldest Psalm. Did you know that? Moses wrote it. But here’s the thing—only time changes; people don’t change that much. People still struggle with the same things; we still go through the same burdens as Moses’ day. Psalm 90:12 is a good summary of this whole topic. It says, “Lord, teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
On the broadcast we’ll look at six ways we can number our days, six ways to measure them, to assess them, to consider them. Let’s look at just one now: REFLECT. You’ve got to think about your life and look at it.
Life doesn’t finish for us on the upturn. Just when you get old and you have enough wisdom to live life well, you’re into eternity. When we’re most prepared to live life, we’re almost done. Notice this in Psalm 90:9, “For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.” Newsflash: This life doesn’t go on forever. Everyone has a certain number of days on earth. In fact, verse 10 tells us, “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength, eighty” So that settles it—you get only so many years. For most people that’s 70 years. You say, I thought it was a lot more random than that. Not really.
Those who study mortality rates tell us that if you put 1,000 people in a room, 300 of the people will die of heart disease, 230 from cancer, 70 from a stroke, 200 from other causes related to aging, 110 from other diseases, and 41 people will die suddenly from an accident. Give or take a few years, it’s just like the Bible says. Most of us will live to be about 70, so . . .
If you’re 30—you’ve got 40 years to go.
If you’re 40—you’ve got 30 years to go.
If you’re 50—you’ve got 20 years to go.
If you’re 60—you’ve got 10 years to go.
If you’re 70—you’re in overtime.
Let’s not presume or assume that we’re going to have more or less.
Our prayer needs to be this: Lord, teach us to number our days. There’s no mystery about it. God forgive us for living like we will always live. Let’s not be surprised when our earthly life comes to a conclusion. Let’s live our lives in such a way that we recognize this does not go on forever.
How do you do that? Biblically speaking, reflection includes three things:
Look back. Hey, how was your week? How did it go? How were you in the relationships that matter most to you? How were you at work? How did you handle the challenges that you faced? Look back and think about it! Hey, but when I do that I see some ways I really blew it. So . . .
Look up! Take those things before God. Ask Him to forgive you. Purpose in your heart to begin again. Someone has said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Take some time to reflect. Then…
Look ahead. For many years now, every Sunday night or early Monday morning I take some time to look ahead. What’s coming this week? Who will I be talking to, where will I be going? Where are the holes in the road? Where are the hurdles that will have to be cleared? Think about your life.
You’re like, “Where do you find time to do that?” My point exactly. First of all, do this by beginning every day with the Lord. Secondly, God has given us one day a week where we take time to rest (this is God’s model, Genesis 2:2; and command, Exodus 20:8-11) and part of resting is reflecting.
This kind of reflecting will help you get priorities in line. You’ll get the big things at the top and be able to devote yourself to the things that matter most. You won’t do that well if you don’t take some time to reflect.
Time is to be managed for a purpose. There are some things that God wants done—later through us, but first in us. His first agenda is to build His character in us. Are you cooperating with that?
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