"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be Like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." -Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
This year has passed by so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were ringing in 2014, and now here it is December. For the last couple of months, I have been giving you some tips on time management. I want to finish those suggestions this month. I trust that they will help you to begin 2015 in a more organized fashion.
As a reminder, let us quickly review the first three guidelines.
Step One—Pray About Every Single Thing
I make prayer a continuous focus all through the day. I begin the day by confessing Psalm 118:24 (NKJV), "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Just saying this verse encourages me and helps me set an attitude for the day.
Step Two—Ask the Lord for Wisdom in Making Right Decisions
Every day you are faced with significant decisions. It is important that you allow the Lord to guide you in every one of them. God knows our future, and He will help you make decisions that will benefit you in days to come.
Step Three—God Never Asks, Expects, or Wants Us to Do It All
It is important for us to understand our priorities. Learn to say yes to things that are important and no to those things that others can accomplish.
Now let's look at three more guidelines.
Step Four—Organize and Manage Your Time Each Day
Do you realize that time cannot be stopped, stretched, or stored? We must consume time as we get it. What time we waste is gone forever. If you were to keep a diary of what you accomplished each hour of the day, you might be surprised at how much time you wasted.
To-Do lists are very important. I always make out and prioritize each day's To-Do list the night before. I also have a Project List. These are things that I desire to get done, but I may not complete them in a 24-hour period. I keep that list as a reminder that when time permits, I have pending projects. Don't get frustrated if you are unable to accomplish your entire To-Do list in a day. Sometimes I do, and other times I have to transfer items to the next day.
Step Five—Take Time to Get Away
When we look to Jesus as our example, we know that He had only three years of ministry to complete His mission on this earth. However, never once do we read that He rushed around. We do read that He took time to get away and rest. After feeding the 5,000, Jesus went up into the hills by Himself to pray (Matt. 14:23). When the 12 disciples returned from a preaching and healing mission, Jesus instructed them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31 NKJV).
There are times when we need to forget about all that must be done and take some time simply to rest and relax. This was the most difficult lesson for me. I am one who wants to be doing something productive every moment of the day. However, I began to understand the importance of getting away to rest. And I found that these solitary moments were often when the Lord would answer questions I had been praying about and meditating on for months. I discovered that as I got my mind off the situation and spent time in a relaxed environment, God was able to speak to my heart.
Step Six—Wait on the Lord
Isaiah 40:31 says, "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (NKJV). God's timing is as important as God's plan for our lives.
We live in the age of instant everything. If the microwave takes longer than 30 seconds, we complain. It is important not to get ahead of God's timing. In the natural, if I had a problem that needed to be solved, I wanted to take care of it immediately. However, I learned the value of listening to the voice of God and allowing Him to dictate the right time to solve issues.
Learn to wait on the Lord. He can work out in two seconds a situation that we would completely mess up by trying to handle it prematurely in the natural. As you wait on the Lord and allow Him to direct your every step, you will find that your days will be filled with peace and satisfaction.