One of the frequently asked questions is how to grow spiritually and be effective in ministry and life. Inherently, I strive to be effective in all aspects of life; however, I have learned that there is a huge correlation between how we manage our time and the outcome of our destiny. How we spend our time and what we spend our time on determines what we will achieve. There is a direct relationship between how your spend time and your purpose in life
Teach Us To Number Our Days
One of the areas I find highly contested by the devil and neglected people is time management. Time management here applies to time and investing time to develop something of value to be effective. I believe as believers, and we must utilize time strategically because time is short. Oh, how fast times flies. We just began the new year, but already we are we will be in the middle of March. This weekend we are turn clocks forward to adjust to the season.
I believe that each purpose and assignment God has for us is directly aligned to time; meaning, some things need to be accomplished in a specific time or season so that we advance to the next season or project or assignment. This is how we progress to accomplish everything God wants us to achieve. God desires that each of us be effective and fruitful in all areas of life, and this t involves the effective use of our time. Moses in Psalm 90 contracts the frailty of man and the shortness of time. Moses, who spent most of his time in God’s presence and the wilderness guiding the Israelites, must have observed a lot and noticed the importance of living a fulfilling life. In Psalm 90:12, Moses prays, Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. From this scripture, we also see that wisdom is the effective use of time.
Whatever Steals You, Time, Steals Your Destiny
Satan has multiple ways of stealing, killing, and destroying. One of the ways is to draw your attention to non-essential things. The use of time is one of the most contentious areas in spiritual warfare. I believe in 2020, the enemy used two strategies against the Church. The first one was the pandemic, and the second one was to divert the Church’s attention to politics, a distraction that targeted the effective use of the believers’ time. Globally, so many were drawn into political debates, opinions, and predictions, away from their designated assignments.
What steals your time will also make you dishonor or disrespect another person’s time and even God’s time. Such dishonoring includes tardiness, being late for meetings appointments, missing divine opportunities, not being prepared for interviews or the opportunities, engaging in social media while in Church or fellowship, not having time to engage with God personally.
The other strategy is busyness. Satan has used this tactic to keep believers distracted from praying, devotions, fellowship, and connection with the Holy Spirit. It is as though we are in a hurry when it comes to spiritual things to engage with other things. Not everything good is necessarily vital and or for the season you are in.
The Spiritual Warfare
Time alone with God is of utmost priority; whatever steals your time with God wants to keep you away from God. Among the signs that you are already deep in Satans attack is the inability to find personal prayer or devotions. This indicates that the enemy is on the verge of another attack- his plot is often to weaken you spiritually before weakening you physically- financially, relationally. A believer’s fort is the fort of prayer. The fort of prayer’s weakening will impair other areas such as worship, thanksgiving, Bible study, acting on the Word, and obedience to the Holy Spirit. So fight vigilantly whatever interferes with your devotion time!
Fight this fight with the Holy Spirit’s help (Zechariah 4:6, Ephesians 6:12, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Guard your time also by engaging the fruit of the Spirit of discipline, self-control, coupled by putting a structure in place and setting boundaries. If you are struggling with your prayer time, the best way to activate it is to set time and pray. If you are struggling with reading the Bible, the best way to set time is to open the Bible and read it. There is no laying of hands, impartation, or prayers that are going to this for you. You must intentionally purpose to pursues God diligently- remember God rewards diligence (Hebrews 11:6. The diligent plans lead only to plenty, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty (Proverbs 21:5).
Invest Time to Develop Yourself
Life can keep us so busy that we place God secondary in our affairs, But our gifts and callings will not grow if they are not given time to be developed with God. God the creator and giver of all things who perfects everything He has given by the Holy Spirit; however, this requires partnership with the Holy Spirit. We must create time for the Holy Spirit to work with us one on one to enhance and sharpen our gifts. To be effective, with every skill, gift, and calling, we must go through a developing and maturing process that involves -giving time to that element.
Spiritual effectiveness or effectiveness in ministry requires investing time to develop what God has given you. When you invest time to develop your skills, it will result in value. Your investment will add more value, but you will able to influence and impact many – this is how the billion soul harvest will be prepared for the coming of Christ! This is a large-scale revival.
You attract who you are and what you have. Value births value and attracts value. I realize that some believers do not want to invest time to develop anything; they want you to be continuously fed without any action on their part. The Apostle Paul admonished Timothy to study to show himself approved or valuable (2 Timothy 2:15). Timothy had to invest time to sharpen his skills independently. Most of the immaturity we see in believers and ministers is partly because they are not intentionally investing time to develop and mature spiritually. “I want to grow in my gifts,” but no time is created to develop the gifts. “I want great power and anointing,” but we do not create personal time with the Holy Spirit. “I want to advance and progress in life,” but we are distracted and busy with most social media or what is going on with other people, or we are too busy chasing idols.
As believers, we may be doing things off-season or engaging in things we should not be doing. These things do not have to be wrong, but even not all spiritual things are of God. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says There is a season for everything and a time for every event under heaven. -So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because of evil times. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17, also Romans 13:11-14)
Understand The Lord’s Will in Everything we Do
Romans 13:11-14 instructs that we know the will of God in everything. This calls for relevance and intentionality in all we do but especially how we manage our time. Managing our time is just as important as managing our money, gifts, and resources. What are you spending time on? Does it advance, distract, subtract, or add value to you? Does it leave you worse than where you were before or leave you the same?
A principle says you are what you eat- my thoughts are what you spend your time on eventually defines, shapes, or defiles you. One way of evaluating any endeavor is that it makes you better than what you were before? Are there measurable outcomes that are positive from that endeavor, interaction, or relationship? Is it just small talk, or will it lead to a productive outcome?
Remember that your destiny is directly tied to time. Let us endeavor as believers in 2021 that whatever we do with our time henceforth. Spend time in what advances the kingdom of God- Jesus is coming back. We should ask whether what we are spending time on hastening the return of the Lord. Is the creation still waiting for the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God, or His children distracted and busy? Let us engage in what edifies, encourages, and comforts us. Let us influence our communities and immediate environments with God’s love.
Most important, strive to ensure that whatever you spend your time on is relevant to the plans and purposes of God and the destiny He for each of you. So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because of evil times. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Lastly,make time for God, for prayer, for His Word, and for listening to His voice. In all your planning and time management, schedule time with God at least twice daily. But seek ye first his kingdom and righteousness; all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
The following are prayer areas that I would encourage you to reflect on and utilize as prayer points and devotional areas to engage with the Holy Spirit:
- Review areas and things that you consider time wasters, including conversations, and associations and repent of them.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to expose to you any unholy alliances, soul ties (things and people, drainers, leeches, false -friends) that you are connected to. Break the soul ties and cut off ties with unholy alliances. Psalm 1, Colossians 4:5
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you things that you are involved in that have already expired and or whose timing is not for this current season you are in and cut them off. Isaiah 43:18-19, Philippians 3: 13-14, Philippians 3:7. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
- Ask God to show you the season you are in right now, meaning what is God doing with you, in you, and through you- This is important because you do not want to miss what God is doing in any season. You want to stay in synch with God –1 Chronicle 12:32, Psalm 32:8-9.
- Review how you spend your time daily and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a strategy for managing your time. Present that schedule and plan to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to guide you and strengthen you to accomplish each task daily- This prayer point and instruction are in line with that about your vision and daily goals, Proverbs 3;6 Isaiah 48:17, Isaiah 41:13. Proverbs 16:9.
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to position you at the right place and the right time, with the right connection, Isaiah 46:10, Philippians 1:6, James 1:5
- Pray for increased diligence and commitment to all you do. Actively combat laziness, procrastination, and passivity in prayer and inaction- Proverbs 21:5, Luke 14:28, Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 10:4
Scriptures related to Effectiveness and Time Management
- Psalm 90:12-So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
- Colossians 4:5 Behave wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of your time.
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 There is a season for everything and a time for every event under heaven.
- James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.
- Proverbs 16:9 A person plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.
- John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.
- Psalm 31:14-15 But I trust in you, LORD. I say, “You are my God. My times are in your hands. Deliver me from the hands of my enemies and from those who pursue me.
- Proverbs 14:23 In all hard work, there is profit, but merely talking about it only brings poverty.
- Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep, or you’ll become poor; keep your eyes open, and you’ll have plenty of food.
- Proverbs 6:9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.