If the enemy can’t take you out by sin, then he will just try to bury you with activity and busyness so that you burn out quickly and will be less of a threat to him. This is something I heard John Eldredge teach on years ago and I never forgot it. It resonated with me so deeply, and I’ve watched that dynamic play out multiple times over the years in my own life and in others’ lives as well.
Because if the enemy can’t stop me from pursuing my destiny or calling or solving the problems that God has called me to solve, He will just try to get me to solve a bunch of smaller problems that have a way lesser return on investment (ROI). So that I do LESS damage to darkness and am LESS effective for the Kingdom of God.
“The danger of a good but untrained heart is to be taken out by opportunity”—another John Eldredge-ism.
And I’ve watched myself time and again start to get some serious spiritual traction in varying areas, only to have the enemy partner with people in throwing me different opportunities to be life-giving that are good but that aren’t the best use of my time. And weeks pass by before I realized I’ve whittled my time away on piddly things, while leaving my passionate areas of design and calling on my back burner.
It’s so true that “Good is the eternal enemy of the best.”
When I was younger and less mature in my spiritual walk, I thought every opportunity to be life-giving to another individual or community was God. So I’d over-commit myself to a bunch of people, places, volunteering, and activities. I’d usually burn out. Juggling so many different plates all at the same time basically meant I wasn’t much effective at any of them.
And there came a time when I had to let all those plates crash down, so that I could reassess my life and re-prioritize what I wanted to pick back up.
Because I don’t want to get to Heaven one day, expecting the Father to be proud of me that I influenced—let’s say 5,000 people, and instead have Him tell me—“Nova, you were actually created to influence 5 million. You settled for a lesser number because you weren’t strategic with your time and stewardship.”
Talk about an anti-climactic sucker-punch to the gut.
And I’ve made some hard decisions even within this previous year, to disengage from certain communities and people that I’ve loved because I’ve had to get more strategic with my time. My spirit resonates so strongly to the frequency of needing to be wise and make the most of my time on this earth.
Plus I’ve also learned that prior to the birthing of each new season—an old season has to die.
So I’ve learned to prune my life with each new season. BecauseI only have a limited amount of hours in each day. And I can’t keep adding new things to my life, while still holding onto everything from past years—relationships included.
And when God has told me to step down from a community or a particular relationship because my season with it is over, I’ve learned to do it. Not that it is ever easy or that I haven’t dragged my feet sometimes. ButI’ve learned to trust His timing and His sequences for my life. I’ve watched the ways that He’s contracted me out to different communities, relationships, or streams of the faith for times of learning and growth. And then He pulls me out and puts me somewhere else.
And I’ve discovered that I’m always in a season of learning something new about God or His ways. I’m always in training in some area of my life. And if I’m ALL IN for God’s plan for my life, if I’m submitted to His agenda, I need to be okay with that.
Because I literally can’t be all things to all people. It’s not physically possible. To think that I can is either the place of a savior mentality or severe denial. I’ve visited both of these towns in the past. But I can’t be life-giving everywhere there’s an opportunity. I can’t say yes to each person or place that wants my time.
I have to be strategic.
Lately, I’ve really meditated on and become passionate about the God of Time. The Timekeeper. And I’ve begun to walk with a greater awareness that time is a resource that I need to steward well and with great intention. Because if I AM called to influence 5 million, I want to steward my time and resources in accordance with that.
I heard a statistic once that even the most shy person influences about 4,000 people in their lifetime. It got me thinking…
And so I’ll bump the questions onto you:
What’s YOUR number of spiritual influence? Have you ever really thought about it? How big did God design you to be? What has He called you to steward well?
Definitely something to think about.
The God of Time. The Timekeeper.
Every one of our days was written in His book before one of them came to be. The question is: Will we steward them well?
“…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).
“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).