Psalm 90:12 (ESV) says: “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
In Win the Day by Mark Batterson hesays, “If you want every day to count, you have to count the days!” We tend to focus on New Year’s resolutions, three-year goals or five-year strategies, but each day must be stewarded well to reach any of those commitments. Batterson challenges us to think about the power of 24 hours. Adrian Rodgers said it this way, “If we are focused on worshiping the past, or wishing for the future, it is very easy to waste the present.” How will you make today count to ensure a better tomorrow?
Psalm 118:24 reminds us that, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” This day, and every day, is not to be wasted; but we must approach every day asking how can we invest it for the honor and glory of the Lord. Seize the God-given opportunity you have before you to live for Him, be like Him and be an ambassador for Him.
First things first, begin every day submitted to Him. Before your feet ever hit the floor, it is good to recommit yourself to being totally surrendered to His plan and purpose. The day belongs to Him, not you. Will you remain spiritually sensitive to His leadership and guidance?
When every God-given day is a God-governed day it will become a God-gladdened day. Are you spending time alone with Him before you ever go out into the “real” world? Joshua 1:8 (HCSB) reminds us of the importance of quiet time: “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.” The commitment is not to just get into God’s Word, but to make sure it is getting into you. Nothing can substitute for the strength or weakness of your daily relationship with Christ.
You must live with a commitment to remain focused on the day. The Scriptures show us that the biblical time approach to life is one word — daily. Think about it; what was the normal shelf life of manna given in the wilderness? One day! What is the biblical deadline given to deal with your anger? Sundown! When does Lamentations say that God’s new mercies are made available? Every morning! How often are we commanded to take up our crosses and follow Jesus? Daily! When are we told to rejoice and be glad? Always, but also, today! The power of 24 hours begins when we seize the opportunity of today.
What can you get done in a day? You cannot get back into shape in a day but you can begin the journey today by making healthy decisions. Financial soundness and security are not developed in a day, but you can begin making wise financial decisions today. You will not achieve your educational goals in a day, but you must begin that journey somewhere and no better time than today. You will not become the mature disciple, and a disciple who makes disciples, overnight; but you can begin today by following Jesus and taking steps in the right direction. Eugene Peterson describes discipleship as “Long obedience in the same direction.”
In Win the Day, Batterson reminds us that the centerpiece of the model prayer says that we should pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” — not, give us this week our weekly bread. Nor are we told to pray for monthly or yearly provision. Wouldn’t that be a lot easier? But then we would not have to depend on God every day for His provision. James 4:15 tells us to focus on today and that this is how you should pray, “…If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” Do not allow what you cannot change (the past) to paralyze, nor the things you cannot control (the future) to cripple you. Live each day to its fullest.
Batterson describes three dimensions and tenses of the Model Prayer — (past, present, future:
• You first ask the Lord to nullify your past mistakes by praying, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
• Then you ask the Lord to negotiate your future challenges when you ask Him to not lead you into temptation. No, you cannot control the future, but you can make decisions today that impact tomorrow.
• Then you ask the Lord to help you navigate present circumstances by praying, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Maybe we are tempted to ask the Lord to provide us with more than we need so that we can trust Him less?
You cannot have a better tomorrow if you do not steward today well. We are called to live the way God intended — daily, by listening to Him, following Him and trusting Him. God only explains what you are ready and able to handle today. God calls for you to trust and obey Him today. You are required to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit daily. What are you going to do today that will make a difference tomorrow? Remember, do not focus on goals, but instead focus on developing the habits that will make your goals for tomorrow become a reality. Commit to a spiritual habit and then do it daily.
Here are the steps to making every day count:
• Begin it with the Lord.
• Accept your responsibility to steward every day.
• Focus on habits not goals.
• Examine your limiting beliefs.
• Recognize and embrace what you are passionate about.
• Get off your “but”.
• Remain sensitive and flexible to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
• Start today.