PUBLISHER’S NOTE: We need to change our thinking. We don't really "give our time to God". God has given each of us a limited amount of time here on earth. It is a precious resource that can be effective or squandered. Our moment-by-moment use of time is continually becoming a part of eternity and shapes it. Pastor David Pritchard talks about time as a shared resource, the benefit our use of time has for others and how it is an ever-present asset for growth. This “cloud technology” perspective creates an awareness that everything we do with time now is saved and impacting the future.
Working day in and day out at a familiar but off-mission job to simply help pay the bills is no way to live. You probably wonder if there is more to life. Perhaps you still have some distant hope that at some time, hopefully soon, you’ll get to really do something worthwhile - like maybe being more active and having fun with your family, a legendary weekend outdoors with your best friends or travel to some distant place to help others. Whatever your thoughts the one thing that we most often think regularly is, “there has to be more to life than this”. There is, and it’s found in a relationship with God.
We can’t make the mistake that we can compartmentalize what we believe and then separate that faith perspective from our daily activities. That is like having a computer and a mobile phone that don’t get backed up on the cloud and thus don’t share contacts, emails, pictures, data and more. To “know God” means that God is now your reality and present in both your spiritual and daily physical life.
Picture this - When I went to college I got into lifting weights and saw the change that happened with my muscles. I worked out to bring about even more change, grow my body and shape it in the way I wanted.
Did you know that God has the same things in mind for us? God wants us to grow, to expand ourselves in positive ways and to take the time to do that. But God doesn’t intend for you to have just an hour with Him to accomplish this task. God wants ALL of you, all of the time.
That may sound pretty extreme but when you think about the relationship He has created for us to have with Him it makes perfect sense. As humans we become what we worship. When we go about our day-to-day tasks striving to pay the bills, do the job, have the reputation, own all the things and “live the life” then we become worshipful toward those things. Let me put it another way; when we spend most of our time working toward a goal we are shaping our lives around that goal. So if we give an hour or so a day to God (or more realistically just a portion of Sunday and Wednesday for church and Bible study), are we shaping our lives around God or are we shaping God around our lives?
We need to change our thinking. God has purposed us into existence to worship Him. Now you don’t need to worship God in the church building 24/7 (although if you did that you may come out a different person). But when we believe in God and desire a change from within, then our everyday work can become part of a worshipful life centered around God. We’re continually backing up to the cloud.
Work suddenly becomes more purposeful in that we are not just trying to pay the bills, but we are working toward getting out of debt because we realize that debt keeps us from a fulfilled life as God’s stewards. When we work out in the gym we are no longer working out for vanity sake. We exercise because we know that God has designed us to be healthy so He can use us for good.
Spiritually speaking, when our lives are centered around God then we’ll desire for others to know and experience God. Suddenly, all areas of our life become missional. We want to be the very life and presence of Jesus Christ to others. I don’t expect you to stand up on the bench in the gym and start preaching (in fact you’d better only do that when you know God clearly wants you to do that). But while working out I like to talk to people between sets that I see regularly and get to know them. You can do that too. After awhile conversations often turn to God and I can discuss how God has reshaped my life and is shaping me to be a vital part of His church – that group of people on earth with purpose to serve Him and bring His life to others.
When we take the time to get to know someone, we are shaping our life and their life both now and for Eternity. This reality is the most essential understanding of there being more to life. Life is more than our time here on earth, which is basically like a blink of an eye. We are in fact in eternity now. God wants us to realize that He is all around us. When we keep mindful of His continual presence we will open ourselves to be used of Him more often. You may have heard people ask, “Where is God? Why is there only hope for ‘some day in heaven’ when I need Him now?” We are His dwelling place. He is present in us now the PRESENT part of eternity that can impact lives for the FUTURE part of eternity. When we begin to live worshipfully, and give our whole self and all of our time to God we then participate in the already realized Eternal reality of God. THAT is God’s cloud technology.
Earlier I said that we become what we worship. I’d like to offer you some ways where you can become more worshipful in your living so that you can grow and be shaped by God into a strong and healthy person in God’s present and future eternity. First, realize that God wants more of you than hard work simply to sustain yourself. We live because God gives us life and life abundantly! Even while we might be in the factory working at a monotonous task we can turn that into a worshipful experience through praying for our friends and family, or even singing a song in our head or muttering the lyrics we know. Transform your daydreams into a worshipful reality with God.
Second, know that you are part of a cloud of witnesses. When you tell God that you want Him in your life and that you desire Jesus to save you from yourself you become part of a community of believers - a priesthood in fact. You will notice a change: a change in your behavior, your desires, your hopes, and fears will even dissipate. You are now a witness for God, and while you ask someone not to curl in the squat rack, it could become an opportunity to start a friendly conversation that can lead to someone becoming part of this great cloud of witnesses. Be aware that you are a witness for Jesus. That is worship.
Third, be aware that when you go about your day-to-day activities thinking that someday when you get to heaven in eternity then you’ll serve Him you are essentially worshipping nothing now. That might either sound strange, obvious, or maybe a little surprising. Understand that if you are living your life now essentially apart from God you are preparing yourself for an eternal emptiness apart from God. Hell is much more than fire, it is eternal separation from God. We are eternally unmade when apart from Him.
God’s great desire for you is to exercise your faith much more than your body so that your spirit can grow strong now in this first part of your eternity and on into the rest of eternity. Why wait for heaven when you can already start living now in the fullness of God. We exercise our faith by loving Him and loving others. We accomplish this through faithful, worshipful abiding with God in our everyday life.
David Pritchard is a Certified Ministerial Candidate in the Free Methodist Church and serves as Senior Pastor in a growing congregation. He is also an online representative for Ergogenix, a supplement company recently nominated for Breakout Brand of the Year.