Ephesians 5:16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Every day I feel like I have to squeeze 100 hours of good things into a 24 hour day. It is just not possible. You have to SAY NO to some good things. You cannot do everything. Recently I was discussing this issue with one of our Elders at GRBC. He sent me a helpful article he wrote several years ago while he was a busy pastor in New York. Perhaps you will find it helpful as well. If so please pass it on.
Just Say No!
(First Baptist Church Johnson City, NY Sunday School Newsletter)
Dr. Andrew T. Alexson
When my friend Esther approached me, I knew I should say no to whatever her request would be. But when she asked me to write an article on "How To Say No", how could I refuse?
There are two surefire biblical ways to get everything done that is in your Day planner. You can pray like Joshua in Joshua 10:12-14. Or while you are waiting for the sun to stop, you can say, "Yes"… "Yes" to God.
God's sovereignty means that He has both the power to stop the sun and the right to call us to serve Him. Saying no to the manifold demands of this world means saying yes to God's plan for our lives. It follows then that knowing God's plan is important. We have by our phone a list of prayerfully derived family goals (immediate, short-term and long-term) and a calendar. We use our posted goals to filter the good requests from the great. We use the calendar to schedule (guarantee) our priorities and activities. It is much easier to say "No" when the time has already been committed. By the way, this system of prioritization works with the checkbook, too!
For example, I have recently said "No" to a certain ministry activity request and a missionary support request. Both opportunities were very good, but they didn't align with how I believed God would want me to spend my time and money. I could easily say "No", because in essence I was saying "Yes" to God's plan for my life. It is vital to say, "Yes" to the GREAT things and "No" to the GOOD things. At the ripe old age of 44, I don't have much discretionary time left to spend on good things. The rest of my days should be spent serving God in great things.
Like Paul in Philippians 3:10-14 and Hebrews 12:1-2, we should know God's plan for our lives, drop all the excess baggage, and serve Him wholeheartedly.
This can only be accomplished by saying, "Yes" to God's demands, thereby letting good things pass on by choosing the best.