By Michael McVey, Trinity Baptist Church, Gunnison, CO
Think about these certainties:
- There are 24 hours in a day
- There are 168 hours in a week
- There are 365 days in a year
Now the uncertainty—we are not guaranteed any of these!
This should drive us to some serious reflection in our lives as the children of God.
We are living in the busiest times in the history of the world. So much to “do” so little time to “do” it in. We are daily stressed to the limits with all the pressures that surround us and we all know what happens when too much pressure is applied to any object—an explosion generally follows.
The same is true of our lives. We live day to day, moment to moment attempting to order our lives in such a way that we keep them from either “imploding” or “exploding” depending on whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.
Because there are only 24 hours in a day we are driven to make grueling decisions every day. Calendars are filled to overflowing. Work schedules, if we work, generally are the top priority on our calendar. Next comes family events, community events, social engagements, yard work, house maintenance, car repair, helping the neighbor with a fix-it project, a meal with close friends and recreation, and don’t forget school and what goes along with it. Somewhere in the busyness of life, if we are fortunate, we find a few hours to sleep.
These are all things we “do.”
Did I miss anything? Sadly, I am sure I did.
Any glaring omissions? Oh, and if there’s leftover time, and I am not too exhausted, I try to find room for God, that is, if I can fit Him in.
Let’s “be” real—God is often the first thing to get “squeezed” from life in order to help us create some margin for breathing.
We squeeze out the very “Breath of Life”, so that we can gasp for another quick, fleeting breath before moving on to our next assignment. After all, that is what our culture demands. So, on it goes, in a vicious, ruthless cycle until we crash—either emotionally, mentally, or physically.
Fitting God in and making room for Him means we have to choose which priorities have eternal value.
FOCUS ON SOULS
It should go without saying that eternal values focus on “souls.” We must focus on “souls.” We must build relationships with “souls.” We must make “souls” our priority. We must get back to the basics and remember that mission is about people not projects! (Please understand projects are not bad—they just should not be your top priority).
Let’s take a glance at what “soul-relationships” should include.
FOCUS ON “YOUR” SOUL
The first “soul-relationship” that you must focus on is yours! Yes, YOUR soul-care, must be at the top of your list.
- It is through time in Scripture and transforming prayer (seeking God’s face before seeking His hand) that our souls are nourished and that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to make it through the day. This is a time to be silent and to listen to God. (By the way 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week is just over 1% of the time in your week).
- Another step in your soul-care is be faithful to your local church! This is often the first thing we let slip—we’re tired, or make other plans, because, after all, God doesn’t mind. God has designed the local church as a means for your spiritual growth and for advancing the kingdom of God in your community. (If you search the scriptures carefully you will see that He didn’t give a plan “b”.) American culture has bought into the concept of church-hopping which has contributed to the decline of the church. Community, with God’s family, is indispensable in assisting with the care for your soul. (Once again 2 hours on Sunday is just over 1% of your weekly time).
FOCUS ON “FAMILY” SOULS
A second “soul-relationship” that you must focus on is family members. First, your spouse and your children, your grandchildren, and other extended family. I have never heard a career person in their retirement say, “I wish I would have spent less time with my family.” Then, you must also care for the “souls” of your church family—orphans, widows, the fatherless; Jeremiah 1:17; James 1:27. This is disciple-making at its peak. Look at your calendars—where does this fit in?
FOCUS ON “LOST” SOULS
A third “soul-relationship” that you must focus on is the lost soul. The soul that needs Jesus. The broken soul. Most of us unfortunately, are more concerned about making the weekly worship a silo rather than a hospital. Making disciples begins with sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ—his life, death, burial and resurrection.
If you are married, care for the soul of your spouse. If you have children, care for the souls of your children. If you are a grandparent, care for the souls of your grandchildren. If you are employed, remember your job is your mission field, your neighbors are your mission. If you love Jesus and His church, invest in the lives of church members and the lost. If you are retired, invest in the souls of young adults. Invest, invest, invest in souls –your soul in the presence of Jesus yields high returns in the souls of others.
Psalm 37:24 says, “The steps of a man are ordered by the Lord.” I believe this accurately means “the days, the weeks and the years” of a man are ordered by the Lord. Is God establishing your steps (days, weeks, years)?
“God should not be molded to fit our lives, instead, we should be molding ourselves to become more like Him. . . When we lose sight of God, everything becomes meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1:2) . . . Some of the most meaningful moments in your life will be when you are in rapturous admiration of the Godhead. . .step out of the world’s parade and step into the loving embrace of the Father.”Rebekah B
How does God fit into your life?