“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;” I Peter 5:2 (NIV)
Since approximately 2013, God has been working on our family concerning finances. He has been teaching me that all that we have comes from Him: meaning I don’t work for people, God alone is my CEO. Whatever paycheck I get, He gave to me. He wanted me to completely trust Him in this area and I can honestly say that money and finances and paychecks don’t have the same hold on my life as they did previously.
We’ve learned to live quite frugally and mindful and we have also learned the joy of splurging within a budget and enjoying life. I have learned to lesson my iron fist concerning money and we, as a family, have learned the blessings that come when we obey God with what He has entrusted to us. And we have seen blessings in certain areas of our lives as a result.
This year, God has taken the same principles I learned through the area of finances and is teaching them to me in the area of time. My time is as limited or free flowing as my finances. There will be seasons where I can give more freely of my time and seasons when I will need to save what limited time I have. Most importantly, I am to listen to God as closely with how I manage my time as I did with how He wants us to manage our money.
Two years ago, I felt in my spirit God calling me to a specific position He wanted me to fill. I inquired about the qualifications, explained my restrictions and was welcomed in fully. I knew that I knew that I was supposed to walk in this direction and it was a wonderful experience. The following year when the opportunity arose again, I didn’t ask God about whether or not it was my responsibility. I assumed it was still mine. I quickly realized that while God might have invited others to that position, He never asked me to join them.
That reinforced to me the importance of always asking God’s permission before attempting to fill my schedule with anything. All of the activities that I wanted to do were good, wholesome activities. However, if God isn’t calling me to fill those roles, or use my time in that way, then I’m hindering someone else from being blessed and I’m choosing not to be blessed in that area in my life.
While I feel I made a mistake and repented for moving full speed ahead without waiting for or receiving God’s green light, for this particular instance, I am choosing to finish well, with excellence, because that is what God expects of me. He used this experience to teach me a lesson that I needed to learn.
In a few months I will find myself with quite a bit of extra time as positions end and responsibilities finish. It seems as though God is releasing quite a bit of time, all at the same time. However, this time I’m going to ask what He wants to replace that extra time with instead of running full speed ahead without His blessing. I’m glad I learned the lesson that “my” time is really God’s quicker than learning “my” finances were always His to begin with too.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017