Joyce Meyer - Making The Most Of Your Time
I wanna teach people to live their life on purpose for a purpose, to realize that they don't just have to be a victim of circumstances all the time, but they can actually use their free will to choose the will of God so they can have the very best life that God wants them to have. Now, you know, every day that we're given is a gift from God. And I don't think any person listening to me right now would say, "Well, you know, Joyce, I just wanna waste my life". You don't wanna waste your life. You don't even wanna waste a day. But our days will be wasted if we're not pretty firm about what we want to do with them.
So I wanna suggest to you that you have a plan and then that you work your plan. Now, obviously, anybody who has a plan for their day, and that includes me, not everything is going to happen the way I had it planned. But I can tell you if I have no plan, then nothing happens. If I have no plan, if I have no determination, if I've not set any goals, if I've not set my mind to anything, then something will come along that will literally just steal my time and steal my day. And you know what's gonna happen at the end of the day? I'm gonna be pretty frustrated.
Well, you know, I don't wanna get to the end of a day and feel frustrated because once again I wasted another day. Or even yet, don't even really remember what I did with my time. I believe that we need to make a plan, a prayerful plan. I wouldn't do anything any day of my life if I were you without first saying to God, "I wanna be led by the Holy Spirit". The Bible teaches us to think and to make plans but we should always have those plans available for God to change if he feels like he needs to do that. There may be people that come into your path on any given day that have a really desperate need. Well, you may need to change your plan and help them a little bit.
So when I say have a plan I don't mean be so dogmatic about it that you're not gonna change anything but, at the same time, I do think that you need to learn the difference between a holy interruption, a God interruption, and what we might call a demonic interruption. Don't think for one minute that the devil won't try to derail you and get you off your goals and get you distracted because he definitely will. The devil is a master at distraction because he does not want us to bear good fruit. But the Bible says that God is glorified when we bear much fruit.
There's a great scripture in Colossians 3 that says: "Set your mind and keep it set on things that are above". But I think that principle of setting our mind and keeping it set is so important. You know, if you really wanna do something, you can't just make a decision: you have to follow through with that decision. And I think that's really what I want to encourage you about today.
Stop letting all the circumstances around you control you and derail you and get you distracted and so you end up frustrated at the end of the day. Have a schedule, a realistic schedule, have a plan, a realistic plan, not one that is so huge that nobody could accomplish it. And you know, let's just say you have ten things in your plan. At the end of the day you've only gotten four done. Well, be happy about the four that you got done but look at your day and ask yourself, "Now, could I have stayed on track better? Did I do my best? Did I let somebody else steal my time? Did I let the devil distract me and just get me off course and just made an unwise choice"? You know, the great thing about the past is we don't have to feel guilty about it but we can learn from it. And so I encourage you to just get a fresh start.
I think there's people watching today, you have trouble focusing, you have trouble sticking to things and exactly what the devil would like is for you to give up. But I'm encouraging you today, don't give up. Jesus paid the price for you to have an amazing full and fruitful life. And if you feel like that a lot of circumstances or the enemy himself has stolen your life, it's time for you to take it back and a way you do it is by seizing life one day at a time.
Time is something that we all have the exact same amount of. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That's all you're gonna get. Isn't it amazing that some people do so much with their life and other people do so pitifully little with their life? We can't blame it on circumstances. We are the ones who need to rise up and begin to live the life on purpose that God wants us to live and stop just blaming everything that's going on around us from how we were raised to the government to this to that to something else.
Time is too valuable to waste. And if you don't believe that now, you just wait 'til you get somewhere up in the 60s or 70s and see if you don't think that time is valuable. I never even thought much about this until the day I had to go sign up for Medicare. And I'm telling you that I was, like, "Medicare? I am old enough to be on Medicare". I don't know, it was just like this thing, you know? And every year, you get a year older and the older you get the faster those years go by.
Now I know if you're 20, you're, like, "Well, this just doesn't relate to me at all". Well, honey, please listen to me. You are not gonna be 20 forever. And you will be 40 before you know it. And those of you that are 40 will be 50 before you know it. And the thing is, if you live your life smart now, you can have a great future. But if you waste your time now, you know what you're gonna end up with? Nothing but regrets. And I think regret is a terrible, terrible thing. It's like you're sad and you regret something that now you can't go back and fix. You can't go back and do anything about it. That's why we need to do the right thing when we have the opportunity to do the right thing.
Time is just too valuable to waste. I wonder how many people at the end of their life feel that they have truly lived the life that they were meant to live or wanted to live. I was talking to somebody the other day and he said, "Do you know, the biggest majority of people go off to work every day at a job they can't stand"? And you know, you know why most of 'em do it? Money. Just money.
You know what? We need a little more courage. We need to find what God wants us to do and we need to not be satisfied just to live our life doing something we hate but let God help you find a way to do what you really love. I love what I'm doing. And I did a lot of things before I got here but I love what I'm doing. And when you love your work, I mean, yes, you know you're working but it's like sometimes I can't tell the difference between when I'm working and when I'm not because I don't really feel like this is my work. It's my life.
And you say, "Well, I wish I had a job that I love". Well, you're not gonna get it wishing. C'mon, we've gotta go back to that same gate all the time. I wish, I wish, I wish. That's what we have to stop. We can't wish. We gotta take action. We gotta start praying and start believing God and start stepping out and start making plans. If there's something that you really wanna do that you're not qualified to do now then while you're doing what you're doing, start getting some education to do what you really wanna do later on.
God can do so many great things through us if we'll take steps of faith. If you don't like the way your life is going and I'm sure some of you don't and certainly many people watching TV right now, maybe you just think you accidentally turned this program on and you just stopped to see what I think I'm doing. If you don't like your life, you're the only one that can change it. Now, obviously, we trust God to change our life but God does things through us. He doesn't just do things in spite of us. We're not gonna sit around and be lazy while God does everything for us.
You know, there's a scripture that I think we don't really see the fullness of and it's Ephesians 3:20: "For God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond all that we could ever dare to hope, ask, or think," and, boy, people love that scripture. But the rest of it says, "According to his power that worketh in us". C'mon, "According to his power that worketh in us". And so God is able to do great things but only as we let his power work through us. It's not about God just doing everything for you. He wants to do things through you. I keep saying all the time, we are participators with God. We can't just sit around and spectate. We have to start participating and let God do some great things in our life, amen?
Now, one of the things that has a lot to do with what's gonna happen in your future is your words. So while we're talking about waste, let me just stop a minute and say, "Stop wasting your words. Stop just saying dumb stuff that is not helping you or anybody else. Matter of fact, could be really hurting you". I talked to you last night a little bit about the seven things and it says in the first five verses of Proverbs chapter 1 some of the main ways that we learn how to hear from God: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, discipline, discernment.
Discernment is so important when it comes to being led by the Spirit and hearing from God. You can't live off of what you think. You've gotta go down deeper. But there's another word there that we didn't get around to too much and it's the word "Prudence". Prudence. Prudence means careful judgment that allows one to avoid danger. The ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. Shrewdness in the management of affairs and good judgment in the use of your resources. Good judgment. That means a prudent person will not waste money, they won't waste time, they won't waste energy, they won't waste their talents, they won't waste their words.
Proverbs 18:21 says: "The power of life and death is in the tongue". And then when it comes to talking about prudence, proverbs 10:19 says: "In a multitude of words transgression is not lacking but he who restrains his lips is prudent". He who restrains his lips is a prudent person, a good manager. Proverbs 12:16 says: "A fool's wrath is quickly and openly known, but a prudent man ignores an insult". How much time do we waste in our life being angry about something that somebody said to us and so now we're letting them steal our time and control our joy when really we could have made the choice to just turn away from their dumbness and stay smart in our own life, amen? Don't waste any more time being angry. Do not waste another day of your life being angry about something that you cannot do anything about.
And I love this one. Proverbs 31:16. Now proverbs 31 is about this awesome woman, you know, that does everything right. I used to really not like her. I mean, I just couldn't hardly read proverbs 31 'cause I was so far from that that every verse just put me under condemnation. I get along a lot better with her now after 40 years in the word.
Proverbs 31:16. This smart woman, "She considers a new field before she buys or accepts it expanding prudently," in other words, that means she doesn't just take on something new without seriously considering if she really can fit it into her life and still have peace. C'mon, what have you said yes to lately on the spur of the moment that you've been wishing ever since you would have not said yes to? Anybody here done that recently? Yeah, well, be more prudent. "She considers a new field before she buys or accepts it expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties" I love that.
Some people are so stinking busy they don't even have time to talk to their kids. They're so busy. Some people are so busy out making money that by the time they are ready to die all they're gonna have is a bank account. Can I tell you when you're on your deathbed, you're not gonna ask to see your bank balance. You're gonna want your family. And so now is the time to be spending time with them and not be doing so many foolish things that you don't even have time to do the things that are really important. Thank you for your excitement.
And then I love the rest of this. "With her savings of time and strength she plants fruitful vineyards in her vineyard". Here's a lady who had some wisdom. Why? Because she used prudence. She didn't waste time. She used time to her benefit. How many of you need a little message tonight about not wasting your time? How about not wasting your energy? Do you know that every time you get good and angry and have a good temper tantrum, that you waste so much energy, it is unbelievable. Somebody said, "One day of worry takes as much out of you as a whole week of work". It's hard to do those things because we're not built for that. That's not what God has built us for.
Now, if you're not living a productive life, you need to look at the fruit of your life. What am I accomplishing in my life? Have a meeting with yourself. I tell people all the time, "Set an appointment and have a regular meeting with yourself". C'mon, to just say to yourself, "Okay, am I really doing what God wants me to do? Am I getting enough rest? Am I bearing good fruit"? You know, today, everybody's busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, but God has not called us to be busy. He has called us to bear good fruit, amen? And so let me ask you, are you busy or fruitful? What have you accomplished so far this year?
"I dunno". "You know, get up, go to work, come home, gripe, complain, get up, go to work, come home, go to the grocery store, clean the house". I know, I lived like that for years. If you're not living a productive life, don't blame it on your circumstances, other people, the way the world is today or anything else. We have been given a free will by God and that means we can make choices in literally every single area of our lives. You don't have to be a victim to anything. You can make choices. If you don't like the way things are going in your life, right now is the time to make a change.
Can anybody here think of anything that they need to make a change about in their life? Anybody at all? Let's see. You're too tired to lift your hand up? Okay. Boy, we got some good stuff coming tonight. If we don't make our own choices, guided by the spirit of God, we will end up with regrets. Now, our scriptures that we've been sharing in each one of these messages and I don't apologize for sharing 'em again, we need to hear the same stuff over and over and over and over with.
Ephesians 5:14 through 17: "Therefore he says, awake, o sleeper, and arise from the dead". I love that. So many walking dead in the world today. "And Christ shall shine and make day dawn upon you and give you light. Look carefully," you know, we said what carefully means. It means to walk circumspectly, which means to walk as if you're in a dangerous place, looking all around you to make sure you don't get hurt. "Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and the witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of your time". Just what we're talking about tonight. "Making the very most of your time buying up each opportunity, because the days in which we are living are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understand and firmly grasp," or you might say seize, "What the will of the Lord is".
Be decisive. Some of you have been between two places for so long it's pitiful. Make a decision, make up your mind to something and start going in some direction. "Well, what if I'm wrong"? Well, the only way you're gonna find out is to head someplace. And if you are wrong, then you can turn around and go in the other direction which probably will be right. In these four verses, Paul tells us seven important things: be careful about our time and choices. Be an on-purpose person. That means that you don't have to wait to feel like doing what's right. You just do what's right because it's right and because you believe that if you do what's right now, you're gonna get a wonderful reward later on.
Many of you are living now in the rewards of right choices you made later. I believe you made a right choice being here tonight. You're gonna learn so much being here tonight. I'm telling you what, you could go and pay big bucks for a time management class and I'm giving it to you here tonight just because you came and parked in the chair. We didn't even charge you anything to get in the building. We ask you to give an offering. That's it. When we receive the word of God we're not just receiving words, we're receiving anointed words that go down on the inside of us and effect changes in us. They're renewing your mind. So you are not wasting your time tonight.
Now, when you used to go out and hang out in the bar all night, you were wasting your time. But tonight you're not wasting your time. You're investing your time. And you will reap the benefits of it tomorrow, next week, next year, and on and on and on. I benefit when I preach because I have to study to do what I'm doing and then I have to listen to myself and before I come up and preach I sit in my room sometime for hours and go over and over and over and over these notes. And it helps me be an on-purpose person.
Number three, he said, "Live a life worth living". You know, I was thinking this week. Something came up and when that guy said to me that most people don't like what they're doing and so I just said to him, I said, "If you could do anything you wanted to, what would you do? If you could know what you know now and go back to the beginning of your life, what would you do"? Well, this guy happens to be my trainer. He's the one that helps me exercise and he said, "Well, I would probably do something big in the music business and I would have a ranch and be a cowboy".
So I thought, later on, I'm gonna do that little project myself so I said, "Okay, if I could do anything that I wanted to do, anything in the world that I wanted to do, what would I do"? And you know what I came up with? I would do exactly what I'm doing right now. And I think that's kind of what you need to ask yourself. What is it that I really want to do? And even if you can't do it right now, that doesn't mean that you can't start praying toward it and working toward it and planning toward it. Don't just stay stuck in something that you despise while you do absolutely nothing to make any changes about it. Number four, really think about what we're choosing to do and make wise decisions. Number five, he says, "Don't let any opportunity pass you by". Number six, don't be vague, thoughtless, and foolish. And number seven, know the will of God and firmly take hold of it.
Psalm 90, verse 12. I love this scripture. It has some depth to it. "So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom". Life goes by so fast. I mean, I can't believe that Dave and I talk about we've been married 49½ years. My gosh. Forty-nine and a half years. David talked about this a lot in the Psalms. In Psalm 39, verses 4 and 5, he says, "Lord, make me to know my end and to appreciate the measure of my days. Let me know and realize how frail I am and how transient is my stay here" Wow. "Behold, you have made my days as short as hand-breadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight. Truly every man at his best is merely a breath! pause, and calmly think about that"!
Now, I want you to just imagine right now we're going to the graveyard for a minute. You go to the graveyard and you see on the tombstone the person's name, when they were born, a dash, and when they died. We're gonna use my life for an example and I've decided to live 100 years so there we go. All right, now, "Joyce Meyer 1943 — 2043". Well, don't you think it's interesting that your whole life from the time you're born 'til you die comes down to a dash? So here's what I wanna ask you. What are you doing with your dash? Because that's about how fast you're gonna feel like it went by when you get to be about 75 or 80. You're gonna go, "I can't believe that it's all gone". Don't get to that point in life and have nothing but regrets.