By Dr. Mike Ayers
Times have changed. In 4000 BC the fastest way to travel on land was by camel at a whopping 4 miles per hour. Today, if you’re wealthy enough, you can buy and drive a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport that travels at 267 MPH.
This dramatic increase in land travel illustrates something deeper about life in general. The truth is, life is moving faster today than at any other time in history. The stress and the pressure to get more done is accelerating at an unbelievable rate. As the RPM’s of life creep higher and higher, believers must ask themselves: Is this how God wants me to live?
Read Thomas Kelly’s words and consider if what he says is true for you… “Over the margins of life comes a whisper; a faint call, a premonition of richer living which we know is passing by. Strained by the very mad pace of our daily burdens, we are further strained by an inward uneasiness, because we have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence; a life of unhurried serenity, peace and power.”
Psalm 90 is the oldest Psalm in the Bible and is originally attributed to Moses himself. The words are likely some 3,500 years old, but they are more relevant today than ever.
There are 4 main points in this passage.
1. God is infinite
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2
God is eternal and stands above space and time. His economy is vastly different than ours. Since this is so, His values and priorities are also different.
2. Man is finite.
“You turn men back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.” For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning— though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.” Psalm 90:3-6
We are given only a limited amount of time. The imagery of the new grass that sprouts in the morning and withers by the evening illustrates how our lives pass by so quickly.
Most of us live without this awareness. We under-appreciate the beauty of life and the people we have. Suddenly, we are older, loved ones are gone, and we regret not having spent our lives differently.
3. Make the most of your days.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
There is a different way to do life if we heed God’s Word. If we number of days, i.e. count each one as special and unique, the Bible says that this kind of life is associated with great wisdom.
This is not the only time in Scripture that wisdom is related to the management of our time. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Here Paul correlates wisdom with making the most of every opportunity.
There are 2 words in the New Testament translated “time”. However, they have different meanings. “Kronos” is the Greek word meaning literal time; chronological time; liner, physical time. You might even say “the minute”. “Kairos” is the other word. It means more than simply time, but rather could be understood as “the right time”, “the opportune time”, or “the moment”.
We all must live by the kronos. Time is marching on and there are time limitations in each and every day. However, wisdom (according to Ephesians 5) is where we make the most of our time. The word here in verse 15 is kairos. So, when the kairos (the moment) intersects the kronos (the minute) this is when we display wisdom.
It means that life is not lived best simply with activity. Being busy and getting things done is not necessarily a life well lived– activity does not necessarily equal productivity in God’s eyes. Rather, a life of meaning and wisdom is filled with doing the right things.
Which leads to the last point…
4. Bottom line effectiveness in life is doing God’s Will.
“Let Your work appear to Your servants. And Your majesty to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:16-17
The Psalmist’s plea is that God would reveal His will and that the work of our hands would be confirmed by Him. What a prayer! If we could undestand God’s will and then commit to do it, this would be a life with “the favor of the Lord our God upon us.”
Paul, in a similar fashion, says in the Ephesians passage, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:17
The way to wisdom is in understanding God’s Will. This is the safest way to guarantee a life not lived in vain; a life free from foolish pursuits and regrets; a life of power in the appreciation of each day that God grants and for the people with whom He has blessed us.
Last week I went to one of my best friend’s 60th birthday party. This person was the best man in my wedding and is like my big brother in love and companionship. I was there in awe of how quickly it seems that my life has passed by, and of the many good times I’ve shared with my friend. It made me only want more of them in my remaining years.
Maybe you’ve made plans for the new year—goals, resolutions, determinations in your heart. These might include decisions about your health, financial plans, or career advancements you hope to achieve. But in the midst of all these thoughts and plans have you stopped and asked this question, “God, what do YOU want me to do in 2013?”
When you value the things that are important to God; when you stop to see the beauty in what you have and appreciate it; and when you work harder at loving people in your life than you do at “getting things done”; then you have truly gained a heart of wisdom.
“God, give me the power to live 2013 numbering my days.”