Picture yourself driving down the road and a warning light comes on your dashboard. What do you do? Some panic and fret about what the cause may be, others look up the meaning and make plans to have it checked out, while others ignore the problem and hope it will go away. In which category are you?
God in His grace is so concerned about your staying close to Him in your sanctification that He provides a warning light system for life; the warning light being shortage. Often the shortage we are experiencing in life is due to our avoiding the clear principles or commands of God in the word of God. Granted there are times when God allows unforeseen shortages to come our way so we might be drawn closer to Him and rely solely upon Him, but most often the shortages we experience are due to our pushing away the clear teaching of the word of God. Let’s examine a few:
Are you tired? Have you ever notice how tired people are today, particularly on Mondays? Well, back up the train and let’s look at what took place over the weekend. Usually the crammed weekend of activities begins on Friday evening and goes through Sunday evening. Maybe an hour or two is given to God for worship but the Lord’s Day is not what the Sabbath was designed as a day of rest, rejuvenation, and refocus. No wonder people are worn out and that excessive fatigue only multiplies during the week. Maybe we should stop and question whether it is worth neglecting one of the ten commandments from God.
Exodus 20:8–11 (ESV) — 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Time management is an area that almost everyone claims to need help. In other words, people are finding a time shortage. It’s not a time shortage but a misplace of priority. We all have 24 hours in a day or 168 hours in a week to accomplish all that we need to do. God has created us for a specific purpose and He gives us the specific time in which to carry out what He has for us to do which is why we are told in His word to make the most use of or “redeem” the time.
Ephesians 5:15–17 (ESV) — 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) — 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
When you stop and look at your shortage of time, step back and look at how many distractions you followed through the day. Our lack of focus is promoted by the bombardments we receive from various media and our lack of planning due to a refusal to set and follow priorities. Can you find anywhere in Scripture that Jesus was in a hurry? He came to do the Father’s will and that was His priority. Whenever we experience a shortage it is God’s warning light to come back to Him, get the most important thing back to be the focus. For instance, have you ever noticed how the first thing that goes or is cut short is time with God in reading His word and prayer? That is the very thing you need to set your internal priority compass on the right track for the day. Get the priority right and watch how your time gets managed well.
What do you do when money comes up short? Most people begin to cut back on giving to God but that is the very area where we shouldn’t if we are living by faith. I’m not saying we obligate God by our giving. It’s important to live by faith, meaning we trust God to take care of our needs and in trusting Him, we follow His word in giving our tithes and offerings to Him. Along with giving, we demonstrate our faith in His ability to take care of our needs by adhering to biblical principles in handling our money. Granted there are times when we are tested as you see in the life of Job, but the test still should be a warning light to make sure we are on the right track of our following God’s principles.
Proverbs 3:5–10 (ESV) — 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
We could follow through on other shortages, but I believe you get my drift. Wherever you are experiencing a shortage today, let it be a warning light to first check whether you are passing right over God’s commandments and/or biblical principles. If you have a clear conscience before God, know that the shortage could very well be a test to help you rely upon Him and cling to Him in desperation.
2 Corinthians 12:7–9 (ESV) — 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Above all, if you are experiencing a shortfall warning today, don’t ignore it. God is calling for your attention. Turn to Him in prayer, be ready to confess and forsake your sin, and cling to His mercy for help in your time of need.
Proverbs 28:13 (ESV) — 13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Hebrews 4:15–16 (ESV) — 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.