We all have the same amount of time - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That's why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose.
The truth is if you make wise decisions now, you will have a better future. But if you waste your time now, you will have regrets. And regrets are terrible because you can't go back and do anything about them.
That's why we need to do the right thing when we have the opportunity to do it instead of blaming our circumstances or how we were raised or how the world is for the way that we live. We can learn how to co-operate with God and make changes that will make something good happen in our lives.
ARE YOU A PARTICIPATOR OR SPECTATOR?
Ephesians 3:20 is an exciting verse people like because it says God "is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams]"(AMP). But if we stop there, we don't fully see what this scripture is saying. It goes on to say "according to His power that is at work within us."
God is able to do great things as His power works in us and through us! So it's not just about God doing things for you - He wants to do things through you. We are meant to be partners with God who participate in His plans, not merely spectators.
We have to stop wishing life would change and start taking action! We need to pray, spend time with God and study His Word, and as He speaks to our hearts, we need to step out in faith. I want to encourage you not to let fear keep you from moving forward. If you are afraid of making the wrong choice, then make a determined decision to take a step of faith - do it afraid! - and trust God to show you if you're going in the wrong direction. Because sometimes we can't find out what the right direction is until we step out and find out.
PARTICIPATE WITH PRUDENCE.
In Proverbs 1:1-5, we learn some of the main ways we hear God's voice as we seek Him. Verse 4 says, "That prudence (good judgment, astute common sense) may be given..." (AMP).
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines prudence as: "the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason; shrewdness in the management of affairs; skill and good judgment in the use of resources.1 A prudent person is disciplined and a good manager. He won't waste his money, time, energy, talents or his words." We see this in the following scriptures:
Proverbs 10:19 says the prudent person "controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence."
Proverbs 12:16 teaches that "the [arrogant] fool's anger is quickly known [because he lacks self-control and common sense], but a prudent man ignores an insult."
And Proverbs 31:16 describes the prudent woman as one who carefully considers new opportunities before making a decision and uses her time in ways that benefit her.
These are just a few verses that reveal ways you can be prudent. I want to encourage you to study them and look up others that will help you get more revelation of how you can be prudent.
ARE YOU BUSY OR FRUITFUL?
God created you to live on purpose, for a purpose! He has not called you to be busy - He has called you to bear good fruit! He's given you free will so you can make good choices in every single area of your life.
It's easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life in the world we live in today. We all need to take time on a regular basis to think about how we're spending our time so we can evaluate whether we're being fruitful and making progress in the things we should be doing.
I like to do this before I go to bed at night. I think through the things I did that day to see what I accomplished. Doing this helps me discover anything that caused me to waste time and lose my focus on the things I needed to do.
Take time to honestly examine the way you're spending your time. Pray and ask God to reveal things that need to change, ways you can make better choices that line up with His wisdom, and then lean on Him for the strength to make changes. You'll find that as you make choices guided by the Spirit of God, you won't end up with regrets—you'll be fulfilled, peaceful and excited about how He is working in your life!
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prudence, accessed September 8, 2016.
For more on this topic, order Joyce's three-CD seriesLiving on Purpose, For a Purpose.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Seize the Day: Living on Purpose and Making Every Day Count (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.