485 PABL – The Year of Providence Begins

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 3, 2011

in Pursuing A Balanced Life, The Old Pursing A Balanced Life Podcast

This is my very first podcast of the new year! Recently, I shared on Twitter that, I've concluded that 2011 will be “The Year of Providence!” Eager for the direction & resources that God will provide in this new year! In this episode of Pursuing A Balanced Life, I give a little more background as to what I meant behind this statement.

When I looked up the definition of the word “Providence” I found the following statements to be in line with what God has been laying on my heart.

– God foresees the future and He is providing care and direction for the people of the earth.
– God, who is everywhere, is directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with His great wisdom.

I share in the first few days of this new year, God has clearly given me some direction for which to build the foundation of how I am to move forward in this new year. The following is a list of seven things that I know that God is calling “ME” to do.

1. Do not worry or be anxious about anything, but seek God first in everything!

2. Allow my body rest by getting a good night’s sleep. 6 to 7 hours on average.

3. Wake early in the morning. (This means going to bed at a decent hour).

4. Devote myself to reading God’s Word daily.

5. Keep a private journal to record the works that God is doing in my life.

6. Pray each morning for God to guide my goals, priorities and decisions for each new day.

7. Stop trying to please everyone! Understand that I can’t make everyone happy with who I am, the decisions I make, and the things that I say.

The following is a direct quote from George Muller’s auto-biography:

George Mulller’s thoughts on Sleep:
Children of God should be careful not to allow themselves too little sleep since few men can do with less than six hours of sleep and still be well in body and mind. As a young man, before I went to the university, I went to be regularly at ten and rose at four, studied hard, and was in good health. Since, I have allowed myself only about seven hours, I have been much better in body and in nerves when I spent eight or eight and a half hours in bed.

Someone may ask, “But why should I rise early?” To remain too long in bed is a waste of time. Wasting time is unbecoming a saint who is bought by the precious blood of Jesus. His time and all he has is to be used for the Lord. If we sleep more than is necessary for the refreshment of the body, it is wasting the time the Lord has entrusted us to be used for His glory, for our own benefit, and for the benefit of the saints and unbelievers around us.

Just as too much food injures the body, the same is true regarding sleep. Medical persons would readily agree that lying longer in bed than is necessary to strengthen the body actually weakens it.

It also injures the soul. Lying too long in bed not merely keeps us from giving the most precious part of the day to prayer and meditation, but this sloth leads also to many other evils. Anyone who spends one, two, or three hours in prayer and meditation before breakfast will soon discover the beneficial effect early rising has on the outward and inward man.

It may be said, “But how shall I set about rising early?” My advice is: Do not delay. Begin tomorrow. But do not depend on your own strength. You may have begun to rise early in the past but have given it up. If you depend on your own strength in this matter, it will come to nothing. In every good work, we must depend on the Lord. If anyone rises so that he may give the time which he takes from sleep to prayer and meditation, let him be sure that Satan will try to put obstacles in the way.

Trust in the Lord for help. You will honor Him if you expect help from Him in this matter. Pray for help, expect help, and you will have it. In addition to this, go to bed early. If you stay up late, you cannot rise early. Let no pressure of engagements keep you from going habitually early to bed. If you fail in this, you neither can nor should get up early because your body requires rest.

Rise at once when you are awake. Remain not a minute longer in bed or else you are likely to fall asleep again. Do not be discouraged by feeling drowsy and tired from rising early. This will soon wear off. After a few days, you will feel stronger and fresher than when you used to lie an hour or two longer than you needed. Always allow yourself the same hours for sleep. Make no change except on account of sickness.

The following is another quote from George Muller that I shared in this episode:

From George Muller’s Journal:
May 26, 1851: The Christian should never worry about tomorrow or give sparingly because of a possible future need. Only the present moment is ours to serve the Lord and tomorrow may never come. Money is really worth no more than as it can be used to accomplish the Lord’s work. Life is worth as much as it is spent for the Lord’s service.

Any occupation can be used to serve the Lord, but certain principles must be followed in secular work. The Christian must guard against any attitudes or practices that will keep him from experiencing God’s abundant prosperity. God is not likely to bless anything that leads a believer to depend more on himself or his circumstances than on the living God..

To wrap of the show notes of this episode, here are link to resources mentioned:

– Deuteronomy Chapter 8. http://goo.gl/5KSMF
– Auto-biography of George Muller. http://amzn.to/erMCbT
– The Rudder of the Day – Dan Miller: http://amzn.to/dEyadw

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