Passion Defined

My Story For His Glory

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are You Checking Your Watch?

“If God gives you a watch, are you honoring Him more by asking Him what time it is, or by simply consulting the watch?” ~ A.W. Tozer

Someone shared this quote with me awhile back, but it wasn’t until recently that I looked at it and really began to ponder its beautiful truth. We all have times in life when we come up with great ideas, or see wonderful opportunities, or find new possibilities to somehow bring something better to life (our lives, or others’). God often uses these times, ideas and opportunities to build us stronger, draw us closer, and even to greatly encourage others. But many times there are things in life that we may want that may simply not be God’s will or that might be His will, but simply might not be the right time. This quote was very timely for me because it seems I’m always struggling to wait upon the Lord and rest in what I know to be His will for me in life. I go back and forth between contentment and impatience, knowing what God says in His Word, but still wrestling for some opportunity to get what I want now; still asking about the time instead of looking at the watch.

We all have those “watch” moments. God has us in a place in life, He’s given us a watch, but we don’t use it for its intended purpose. Are we using it for the reason it was given to us, or are we always asking Him what time it is? God gives us exactly what we need for the time that it is now, but we somehow still seem to forget that what we’ve been given is enough. For me, my biggest struggle always seems to boil down to the fact that I might be given a vision and a hope for something down the road and truly feel that it’s good and right, but still want more than what I can have. It’s like I’m trying to see beyond the perfect amount of light the lamp sheds on the path, instead of trusting that the lamp’s glow illuminates only what I need to see for just the next steps. God’s given us a watch to tell us what time it is now. He’s given us a lamp that shows us where to step for now. Trying to see beyond that light or asking God what time it is when we’ve been given what we need to know for now is trying to step beyond His plan and know more than what God in His sovereignty and love has shown us for this moment.

When God has given you the watch and provided what you need to know what time it is, do you consult the watch in faith, or do you ask God what time it is? It brings me pain to admit that there are times when I might know in my spirit exactly what time it is, but I still ask God what the clock reads, as if there were some way He would make my will His will instead of making His will my own. Some moments are almost as if I angrily demand the time, just as the clock is striking with the answer. Ultimately, it all comes back to faith. Do we really trust that what God has given us is best? Do we really believe that His grace is sufficient? Are we fully convinced that He is honored most when we trust Him completely and do what He has told us? Or do we question what we know and what we’ve already been told in His Word?

Consult the watch; don’t ask God what time it is, but rather ask Him how you can better serve and please Him in the time and place that He has you. Ask Him for the courage to do whatever the clock tells you it is time to do. Your clock might be changing times right now and it might be saying it’s time for something unfamiliar, unpopular, or daunting, but God’s grace is sufficient! Another quote by A.W. Tozer says this: “To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with man.” Sometimes God’s clock may show a time that requires choices and changes that might go against what has become the norm, but that is nothing more than a basic guarantee of Christianity! It is part of the all-sanctifying work promised to those whom God has called to Himself. Being conformed to the image of Christ means that the more we look like Christ, the less we will look like what has become commonly expected and/or accepted. If God’s clock gives you a time that requires radical life change, don’t let uncertainty or fear of man keep you from doing what God has shown you to be His best for you. There have been many life-changing times the Lord has done work in my heart that has resulted in decisions that are anything but popular or “normal,” but each one in some way has further fortified my faith and further shown me that His ways and time are best. I pray that this would be an encouragement to you and that maybe if you’re struggling with the time your clock might be showing that this might be an encouragement for you to follow through with what the Lord is doing in your heart. I know He’s working on my heart in so many ways right now!

May God richly bless you with the courage, the grace and the faith to follow His leading, wherever it takes you, and remember that what God does is for your good and for His glory!

To an Audience of One,


Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105


Anonymous said...

Hey Joshua,
Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It has blessed me greatly. I really like the second quote by A. W. Tozer. It struck home. Praise the Lord for His abundant grace to do His will!
Blessings in Christ,
~A friend~

Mrs P said...

Today I've been thinking again about contentment, too. Ps 131 says, "I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me." When I was a young momma that used to perplex me, because surely a NURSING child is the picture of fulfillment and contentment? Why would David draw an example from a WEANED child? And then I experienced this first-hand...

A nursing child in his mother's lap is seeking, demanding, hungry, grasping, anticipating. By contrast, a weaned child is at peace. Even though he may be every bit as hungry as the nursling, he has learned to trust his parents to feed him at the right time. He has learned to be content.

Today I've been reminded that contentment doesn't mean just being satisfied to leave things as they are. In fact, the choice to be content with God's will (rather than demanding or questioning) can lead to major life changes, exactly as you wrote. Just sayin'...

Amber said...

Hi Joshua,
This has definitely been such an encouragement. It makes total sense. It applies to me in so many ways. You won't believe the things I've been thinking about today, and dwelling on, and praying about that go hand in hand with what you've written. The Lord is for sure working on my heart right now.
Your sister in Christ,

Anna said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart. It is a comfort to myself to know I'm not the only person with such questions, ponderings and thoughts. Continue to seek the Lord in all.
In Christ,

Excelsior said...

Your post was very encouraging! Thanks so much for sharing what the Lord has laid on your heart. It really affected me as I have a hard time practicing patience and I am always thinking ahead about the future as opposed to living in the present. Thanks for the encouraging words!!!

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