Proverbs 31:13-18 “She seeks out the wool and flax and works with willing hands to develop it. She is like the merchant ships loaded with food stuffs, she brings her household’s food from a far country.”
Our “Joyful Woman” recognises that life is too valuable to be just for wasting time. “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last”. She does her jobs with joy, and takes full responsibility for them, working diligently even if there is no immediate and visible reward. She is not ‘stressed out’ as she has a plan, put together with the Holy Spirit’s help. She makes full use of every moment and even if things do not go according to plan, she has back-up tactics to deal with ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
Help in planning our time is available to us through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as it is He who helps us to discipline ourselves. Planning gives us control over our time, rather than being controlled by it. We can then be more available to God for His use. We need to look at our time and what we are doing with it. Are we spending time doing things of no eternal value like:- mindless hours in front of the T.V. or reading magazines, or running around in circles doing things that other people demand, but that God hasn’t asked us to do? We can’t afford ‘sloppy flesh days’, even if we feel justified. The only fruit that this will produce, is guilt at the end of the day, and we will not have time to fulfil God’s plan for our lives. You do have self-control as this is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit so we ‘can do all things through Christ who strengthens us’ even things we do not want to do!
God is a God of order and shows us the priorities in our lives. We need to ask Him for wisdom, because He wants to teach us to manage our time. If we need further help we could ask a friend who knows our situation well, how to make our lives more orderly. But often it’s a matter of choices – learning to say “NO”. ‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.’ 2 Timothy 1:7
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.”
- Recognise that there are only 24 hours in a day!
- Be realistic, do not try and over schedule your time.
- Do not compare your lifestyle with that of anyone else.
- Stress is of the world don’t receive it or speak it.
- Know whether you are a person who likes to get up early or late, and fit in with this.
- Look at your destiny and long-term projects; marriage; baby; study; new job; fellowship groups; children leaving home; full time ministry; what your gifts are, and how you think God is going to use them.
- Look at monthly goals, both personal and with your family.
- Look at weekly goals, always plan ahead.
- Look at daily goals, divide each day into realistic, manageable and achievable parts.
Now having looked at these points, why are you doing what you are doing?
- Is there a purpose for everything that takes your time?
- Can some things be finished?
- Can some be delegated?
- Do you need help with some jobs? From partner or children?
- Are there some jobs you have to accept at the moment?
Ask God how HE wants things ordered in your life.
He sets the priorities, so He always gives you the strength to do the job. Often we do God’s jobs, and then add a whole list of jobs we feel we ought to do !!! Are we people pleasers??
The best way to tackle time management is to get a notebook/diary then make plans.
Write these down, Habakkuk 2:2. Writing down is the first step to getting something done and seeing a direction in your life.
Start at the long term plan and move through to the daily plan. One plan should build on the previous plan.
Monthly goals to be planned are such things as a Bible Study course; holidays; weekend breaks; job hunting; evenings out; visiting a sick relative; weight loss; evening class etc.
Weekly plans are usually a mixture of compulsory things and hopeful opportunities. These all need to be listed and then divided into each day, numbered by priority.
Our first priority must be our time with God. It is helpful if this is the first thing we do in a day, we then have our mind stayed on Him. Colossians 3:2 advises, “And set your minds and keep them set on what is above”, then nothing can steal our opportunities. Without this time, our relationship with our dear Father will not be so close throughout the day. We need to pray over our plans for the day, either first thing in the morning or last thing the previous evening. Proverbs 16:3 tells us you CAN “Roll your works upon the Lord–commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
Then work through the jobs in sequence. Do not be too ambitious, you are not Superwoman even if you would like to be! You are a child of The King, so you always have to be available to show Jesus to anyone in need in your family, or to a stranger. This will always fit into your plan, simply because that’s God’s plan for you.
Don’t give up the first time that a day doesn’t go quite the way you expect. Just get satisfaction from striking off the jobs you have done from your list, and write what you haven’t done onto the following day. Just relax and learn from your mistakes.
Always remember time for your marriage relationship
time for rest.
time for fun.
time for family.
time for friendship.
time for yourself.
time for work.
Now pray and fill out your timetable. If you use your time wisely, you will accomplish bigger visions and challenges for Him. You will learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit more easily, and keep up with what He is doing at this time in the earth.
Home Challenges for Joyful Woman 05
Read the notes ‘Time for Everything’
- What really jumped out of the notes for you? Was that helpful for you?
- Share any improvements you have noticed in your time management since the last module.
- What area of self-control do you find easiest and which area do you find most challenging?
- Consider how you can tackle this problem area. Do you need to share with a friend?
Read Proverbs 31:20, “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy”
- What do you think is the ‘Joyful Woman’s’ attitude to the poor?
- Who do you feel are the poor?
- Why are they poor in your opinion?
- When Jesus was interrupted by a multitude of need, (Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 6:38-44) He faced the problem, and sought a solution at great personal cost to Himself. What needs do you know about? Is God asking you to do something in a practical way to meet those needs?
- Deuteronomy 15:4,5,7; Isaiah 58:7-12; Proverbs 21:13. Reading these verses, what does the Old Testament say about the poor? What do you think we should do about them?
- Have you been using any excuses for not helping the poor? If so what?
- What did Jesus say about the poor? Matthew 26:11; Matthew 19:21.
- Could western Christians be seen as spiritually poor by Christians who have very little materially? Read Matthew 5:3; Revelation 3:17.
- Look at the Jerusalem model in Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:34-35. How did the early Church provide for each other? Say what you feel God would like you to do in your Church or area, or who could you help/support.
- Do you want to be informed about the hungry millions? Do you know any missionary organisation, that feeds the hungry, that you would like the group to know about?
- Memory Verse – “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich”. 2 Corinthians 8:9.
- Answer True or False to the following questions. If you can give verses from the Bible to back up your answer that will help you.