Your Time Is Your Life
Martha once said, “Show me how you spend your time and I’ll tell you what you love.” You live your life according to your love, so time and life are linked.
We’re having a delicious little meeting of the word this morning. I called for it because Jennifer has one of the most amazing testimonies and I wanted her to share it with every one.
But before we begin there, I wanted to say be sure and be reading John’s blogs, Get Along With God. He’s on the subject that is so practical and wonderful and it’s living the moment and knowing that you have everything you need in the moment. And since he’s on that topic I wanted to share how real that can be.
During my husband’s illness, he went through three years of extreme illness of two different things, and one of the things I learned to do with him was to say, “Ok, right this moment you have everything you need.” And he would say, “I do!” And I would remind him of that over and over for those three years and he would get to where he would say, “Ok, I have everything I need at this moment.” And it liberated him from fear and concern and sense of being overwhelmed. It was powerful for him and for me because I too going through it have what I needed just now, just this moment. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow.
So I wanted to just share that because it’s so usable and practical to live in the moment, no matter what crisis is going on. You still have only the supply of this moment. And, of course, it’s when the Lord says, “Give no thought for the morrow for the morrow will take care of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” And we can’t handle, we’re sheep and we can’t carry a burden but we try to because we’re, some of us are goats! And so we think we can. Goats think they can and they’re, they think they’re wonderful.
So that was the first thing I wanted to share.
The other one is I had a call from a dear friend in another state and, and she said, “Martha, you will have a conference! Do you understand? You will have a conference. There is no if because I’ve been praying for it.” And she said, “I’ve never been able to come to a conference. I’m coming to this one. Just understand I will be there.“ It was so cute and delightful and encouraged me so.
But I went ahead and told her we are pretty, pretty set on having it in Dahlonega. Jennifer says we’ve had a lot of responses of enthusiasm about that and she, she said, “Sounds like a delightful little town.” And it is. And so we’re going to have it in Dahlonega and work out all the details of that. And it looks like it’s going to be in the fall just the right time to be in the mountains when the leaves are turning. We’ll give you more information as soon as we can nail it down.
So I’m changing now to another subject. We’ve been really, intensely learning about forgiving and, and absolute condition—unconditional loving and keeping those… I’m keeping those two things in my heart, present. And it’s had… Though I’ve written a book on forgiveness there’s still a lot to learn and I’m learning. And… But I’m learning to forgive instantly. Because it has to be forgiven, I’m forgiving immediately. And then purposing to love. And I am absolutely amazed how clean I feel with the Lord and before the Lord. It’s a cleansing of me. It’s a keeping in the will of God. The, the command to forgive is absolute; it’s without exception. The command to love is without exception for the believer. And it’s, it’s just… It’s something I think we’re learning as a church and it’s having great power in every life. And it’s keeping me completely free all the time and there’s nothing really to work through or to anguish through. It’s just forgive and love and go.
So I want… Jennifer has a great insight about it so I want to ask her to share.
When Martha mentioned what she just talked about to me the other day and she was saying how the Lord was taking her ever deeper into forgiveness and how that’s walked out, which He has been doing with all of us. But it kind of sparked in my mind a work He’s been doing in me to establish certain disciplines.
And Martha, you did a message a couple years ago and it’s called For the Sake of the Light. And it is a phenomenal message. In that message you talk about what those disciplines look like in your own life; so what you prayer time, what the Lord brought you to with prayer, how you approached the people in your life in prayer. So the list that you made, the days that you prayed. You begin to show how, how He laid out your, certain parts of your day. And, and you shared that with people so that they would first of all have, you know, a starting place if they had no idea.
But when I heard you talk about it, what it said to me was this is what He’s going to do for me. He’s going to, to establish Himself in my life just as personally as He did with you. And so I don’t know why because I… But I didn’t say it has to look exactly like it does for Martha. What I said was, “These are the priorities.” That’s kind of how I approached it. And said, “What’s she’s telling you here is this is what matters in your life: prayer, time with the Lord, listening, soaking, gazing.” And how He established that in you. And you were very clear that you couldn’t go through your days without that; without that time with Him, without that investment, without the listening, without gazing at Him. You were confirming the scriptures basically, in your own life. Which is really what a testimony is isn’t it. I guess we’re all bound to it.
And so because I was open to that and said, “These are the priorities” I, I didn’t really know what that would look like for me. I knew I would have a morning time but what’s my morning time, you know. What’s involved with that? I don’t know (laugh), you know! And so I had a little more grace for myself than usual. People who know me know that I’m not always so open and just like, “Go ahead, Lord. Do what You want to do in me.” I’m real happy to be locked down actually! Be a little more in control that way and that’s not a sinful rut that I go back to like a dog to its vomit.
But that, that leads me to the mind and my insatiable desire to know; my stronghold of knowing. And the Lord’s broken. He has done such a work through Martha, through John, through my mom. Through anybody in my life, you know, at one point or another. I have been loved enough to be confronted and, and prayed for. And I don’t know what’s left but I have absolute belief in His, in His work and the work that’s He’s done. And it, it has been an obsession, it has been an addiction, like a stronghold. That has, that’s a little bit of church jargon. And so there’s a little bit of distancing with it, I think. You know, “Oh, I have a stronghold of this,” you know. Well, let’s not be medieval. Let’s be honest about what it was. It took my time. It’s where I spent my time, ok? That insatiable lust to know! What that looks like for me anyway, was hours, upon hours reading books – sometimes fiction, lots of time non-fiction. Trying to figure things out. News, going from blog sites to newspapers to magazines to new channels. This is where my time was invested. This is where my life was invested. That’s what a stronghold looks like in the practical. It is your life!
And part of the breaking of that stronghold was this year. I fasted from any and all news, random knowledge even, for…what did it end up being? It was like thirty-five days. Cold turkey (laughs). And the first week, the first five days were rough. It was rough! It is no joke when you have built your life around something and then God comes and smashes that altar down, that idol is removed. It is disorienting, it is, it affects you on an almost physical level. But by the second week I, I was sleeping better. I was… I mean I didn’t realize how tied my life was to the elements of fear and control and bitterness and frustration and rage. I mean it’s amazing how many things I had been opening the door to and feeding in my life through that lust for knowledge.
Martha gave me carte blanche to kind of go into that. I think that that gives a clear enough picture. Yes?
So anyway what I told Martha was about one of the places that the Lord is, is establishing a new discipline in my life and that is in my intake of facts and figures from the world around me. I used to do it serve me, to serve my idol, whatever. But it had nothing to do with God. And I don’t have the compulsion to go running around online, to spend hours upon hours. But I do still go and look and see and read. But what’s interesting now is, you know, there are some voices that are just gone from my life. I have no desire to listen to them anymore, to read them anymore. Some newspapers I don’t check in on. I don’t ask. I think it’s fine.
But what the Lord has done is when I’m reading these stories, I’m reading these developments, I’m not reading it just to read it. I’m taking it to Him and saying, “Ok, what do You want to pray over this? What are Your thoughts on this? What… this even matter? Do I even keep this or do I just ask You flush it out my left ear?” You know. It’s become, I don’t know, it’s become relational with Him and it’s become communal from the sense of prayer. Because what I feel He tells me pray, I pray.
And I told Martha what’s amazing about that is no fear gets in that way. I could spend an hour reading some of the worst stories and right now if you’re involved in the news, they are full of the worst stories. Horrors, absolute occult horrors, and I am utterly unaffected. It doesn’t own me. It doesn’t have me. It doesn’t sit on me. I am rolling it over to Him. I’m putting it at His feet saying, “What’s my… What do You want me to pray? What do I pray in this?” And when I do that, when I’ve, when I’ve, when I’ve prayed and it’s, it’s His, I’m done. I’m free. I, it becomes also obedience. It becomes a way of loving Him in that moment. It is the most basic, I think, engagement with the world around me in, in the broader sense.
Your Time Is Your Life – Episode #663 – Shulamite Podcast
Martha once said, “Show me how you spend your time and I’ll tell you what you love.” You live your life according to what you love, so your time and your life are linked. What do you do with your time and where does God fit into it? Does He take part?