Are you constantly multitasking, feeling stressed and overextended? Are you chronically busy and in a hurry? Has it been a while since you’ve prayed alone? Do you have a sense that there are a lot of things you know you’re supposed to do, but you’re not doing them anymore?
With so many things competing for attention in our lives, sometimes it feels impossible to have balance. Sometimes we just need to stop and call a “time out” to reassess our priorities.
Moses wrote: “The length of (our) days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due You. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:10-12)
Moses was talking about life’s brevity. There’s a coming judgment and each of us is going to give an account for what we do in this life. Therefore, we should be asking God: “Give me wisdom. Show me how to live this life with the time that I have.”
Subconsciously, many of us go about our daily lives thinking: I have to prove to myself, to God, or to someone that I’m significant. I have to prove that my life matters. I have to make a difference!
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God wants us to make a difference. But He wants us to make a difference according to His calling. He wants us to use our time wisely, to discern, and to number our days.
The Apostle Paul says something similar: Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
For most of us who struggle with misplaced priorities, it’s not like we’re doing bad things with our time. We’re most likely filling our days doing lots of good things, but for the wrong reasons. And what we’re doing isn’t always part of God’s unique calling for our life.
When we have misplaced priorities, we’re spending our life instead of investing it. This is foolish. Instead, we need to be wise by discerning what God’s will is for our lives.
When we make seeking God our first priority, He will show us what we need to do and what not to do. He’ll show us where to go and where not to go, what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to – and He’ll give us the courage to say it, too.
So what does it look like to put God first?
It looks like clearing a portion of your day – preferably first thing in the morning – to meet with God, read His word, and pray. It’s coming to God in prayer and saying, “God, I’m here and I want to be with You first. I admit that I can’t do all of these things alone. I can’t make the decisions. I need you to help me.”
When we seek God’s help to order our priorities, He promises that we will not only experience His power, but also His supernatural peace.
To find out more about this topic, check out the series Balancing Life’s Demands.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip