Carl Sandburg says “time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you”.
Truly time is the one of the most valuable components of The Richer Life. If your time is up, all the money you may have is worthless. The moment you are born, your time clock starts clicking. I like to think of this like an hour glass jar. As soon as you are born the hour glass jar is turned over and the sand begins to disperse. We all don’t know how much sand is in each persons jar. Some have more sand than others. I also believe the amount of sand in each jar is inconsequential though. I believe that God has the right amount of sand for each person. For example, Jesus only lived for 30 years but He fulfilled Gods purpose for Him. There is no point of Him living up to age 70 if He had already fulfilled God purpose for Him.
This also doesn’t mean that everyone who dies young has fulfilled their purpose. No. Some people’s lives are cut short prematurely.
So what is time. According to Wikipedia, time is defined as
In terms of measurement of time the two distinct forms of measurement of time are the clock and the calendar- you use the clock to measure periods less than a day while the calendar is used for periods longer than a day.
God does not exist in time but He controls time. When He says something will happen, it has already happened in eternity however on earth we wait for the right time and season for it to become a reality. When He gives a word or promise, He is not saying He will do it. It is already done.
For us hear on earth, you are only useful on earth if you have time. The key thing is to use your time wisely and not waste your time on earth. You need to value the time you have and apportion it properly. Time is such an expensive commodity. Once wasted or lost you cannot get it back. The only way you can get back what you’ve lost is if God intervenes. On the other hand if you lose money, you can always get it back. On the other hand, time well spent produces eternal results. If you spend time raising your children well, they will also pass on the values to their children and it would pass on to many generations.
The enemy knows that if you have time you will raise your children well. If you have time you would spend more time with God. If you have time you and your spouse will grow in your relationship. Therefore he would do all he can to ensure you don’t have time for important things or you waste your time. His preferred option would be to kill you because once he achieves this you would not be able to fulfil Gods purpose for you. When you are a child of God, he can’t kill you unless he has legal permission to do so and so the next best thing is to waste your time. When you are busy you won’t have time for your children, your spouse or Gods purpose for you. He is also aware of the fact that his time is limited as we come close to the end of age and so he in this digital age there is so much competing for our time. On our phones alone we have so many apps competing for our time such as Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Spotify, Whatsapp, Telegram etc.
One major way to ensure that people waste time is to make them spend their lives chasing money. I listened to a sermon by Apostle Joshua Selman and He said, “every time money shows up, people are willing to keep time. People will waste time when it comes to their children, family etc but when it comes to money men will keep to time to chase money and so the enemy has created schemes that will make people spend all their time searching for money.” For example people wake up early to rush to work, spend most of their time at work and then spend hours in traffic on their way home and then get home late, go to bed quickly so that they can wake up early again. Essentially we use all the time we are giving to chase money. The remining time is used to be busy on social media.
Apostle Joshua Selman said “the unit of destiny is time. Satan does not need your money. It is your time He needs. The disciple left what they were doing with their time and they followed Jesus. “
There are seasons in life and in terms of spiritual seasons in life these can be categorised into winter ( a time of death to self), spring ( a time to embrace the call), summer (a time of revelation) and autumn ( time of harvest and fulfilment). I wrote about this in my book “Birthing Purpose”. On important season to note in your spiritual life is known as the “Kairos Season”. In the book “Hannah’s Anointing” by ……. . She says” within the chronos time (general season of time) there are life altering moments that catapult you into the center of your destiny. This is Kairos time. Kairos is a strategic time… These moments are likened to the suddenlies of God. They force you to leap, to respond quickly, and though in some cases you’ve waited and prayed for them, they do not wait for you to get comfortable with the sudden change or opportunities they present. Though it is the right time, the season is open for a limited period. You must be ready to respond….. Kairos is a window of opportunity in which we are to respond to the thing God is brining into our lives. Sometimes Kairos can appear as breakthrough, where the floodgates of blessings burst forth -blessings such as financial increase, job promotions, miraculous healings, an open door that was previously closed, approval for land or property when denial was expected, or a positive pregnancy test after years of being told bearing children was not possible.”
A kairos moment in my life was when God asked me to write my life’s story in my book The Richer Woman. It launched me into the global world with a book tour in 14 cities such as New York, Pairs etc. If I didn’t obey God I would have missed out on that opportunity, which would have affected subsequent seasons in my life. Nigeria is at a Kairos moment now with everything that is going on at the moment with the protests. It is time for the birthing of the New Nigeria. It is not a coincidence that this I happening at the start of the new decade.
Even when time is wasted God has the ability to restore all you have lost. There are times when it takes a woman many years to conceive a child and then God will bless her with multiple births. I remember my sister in law didn’t get married till she was 40. That same year she gave birth to twins. This could only have been God because she is a twin and usually twins skip a generation and so God restored the lost time by giving her two children at once. There are situations I’ve heard of people taking time out of their career to spend time nurturing their kids and when they go back into the work place they get a position that is at the same level or way above their peers. When you give up your time for God, He will restore you. Peter allowed Jesus on His boat and because of this He caught so much fish that He had to call his partners to support. Due to this, he and his partners gave up their fishing business an followed Jesus thereby giving Him all their time.
When I started working in investment banking especially when I moved to my dream company, I was happy because my salary was great but you see a month after I started working, the 2008 financial crisis happened and so everything increased in prices and even our family grew from one child to two children. I was in debt and now all I wanted to do was to increase my salary and so in order to do this I had to work hard which meant longer hours. In my office the earlier you left for home it seemed like you were not productive. Sadly this is the culture of most companies. This way I spent all my time trying to make money which reduced the time I spent with my husband and my children. You reap where you sow. You can only expect returns on investment where you have invested. I didn’t invest in time in my relationship with my husband and so therefore it makes sense that my marriage was affected.
I feel like God stopped time for me with the Covid19 lockdown so that He could restore certain things in my life and lay the right foundations for other areas. One of the blessings of the Covid19 lock down was that I had quality time with my husband and children. What was even more amazing was that the Lord asked me to go off social media and Whatsapp groups that I was active in. This meant my family had my full attention. We grew and I know that I will reap a mighty harvest in the time that I invested in my family. I was also able to invest time in my relationship with God. I spent time a lot of time with God and I look forward to reaping the benefits. I also invested time on my health and time resting. With everything going on in Nigeria now, I’m so glad that I did this because now I feel healthy and well rested for the long journey ahead to building a New Nigeria. Imagine if I didn’t obey God I would not have the good health and energy for this new season of my life.
Tips to investing in time
- Give God first fruit of your time: Monday is the beginning of the week for most people and also the time when most people hustle. The Lord led me to give Him my Mondays. Mondays are my sabbath where the intention is to do nothing but spend time with God. I’m not allowed to work on Mondays. When I first got this instruction from God, it didn’t make any sense at all. When people are geared up and ready to go full steam, I am resting. This reminds me of the Jews. The beginning of a day in the Jewish culture is at 6pm in the evening. Therefore their day begins with them resting and going to bed. This is also when their sabbath starts. You see man’s first full day on earth was a day of rest. That rest is supposed to be a time when you rest with God. In Genesis, God came down from Heaven in the evening to spend time with Adam and Eve. We can say He came down to spend time with them at the beginning of the day. God intended man to give Him first fruit of His time. I also give God the first month of my year by spending January with Him. When you give God the first fruit of your time, He will bless the rest of your time. He will collapse time on your behalf and make you achieve much more than you will have ever achieved in such a short time. When He asked me to take time out to spend with Him during the lock down, I achieved so much in my family, health and even my business. Jesus spent 30 years of his life with God preparing for His ministry and He achieved so much in three years.
- Purpose: I love the quote that says “ where the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitable”. If you do not know Gods purpose for your life, you will waste the time you have been given doing and chasing things you have no business with. I am very aware of what Gods purpose is for my life. I don’t know the full picture but I am aware of what He is doing and so I am aware of what I am to be doing with my time per season. I can’t waste time watching certain news channels and all the sad news that comes from there because it does not profit me in anyway or add to the purpose God has for me. The same reason why I can’t spend my time watching certain shows or reality shows. I know there is a time for everything. When I’m on vacation or resting, I can watch certain shows. When I’m spending time with my husband, during our movie night is a good time to catch up on some movies. When I’m spending time with my children on family movie night, is another time I watch tv however it would be foolish for me to spend all the other time allocated to me on watching Tv. Now this is the same principle for social media. I may not watch television often but my weakness is social media. I need to be careful of the social media accounts I follow . I need to ensure that even when I am there I am using my time to invest in God purpose for me. I can’t just follow anyone that would not align with Gods vision for me.
- Time management: Time management is a skill that is required to be able to succeed in life. I have used a time management tool from the Masterlife discipleship course called Master time. I have also worked with weekly to-do lists, which I break further into daily to-do lists. I find that setting reminders is also helpful. I have also used a yearly planner, A good way to apportion your time is to list all your roles. Under each role, list out your activities or responsibilities and then apportion how much time you need to accomplish each one. Then, you can schedule the time you intend to achieve this. A good book to get is “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy. It helps with procrastination and time management.
- Value your time: How do you value your time? Let me give you a scenario. You may decide to save money by not getting a driver which may cost you say N50,000 for his salary. However, if you value your own time in hourly segments and realise that without a driver you spend three hours driving in traffic. If your time is valued at $100 per hour i.e. people or your employers would pay you $100 for your time. This means when driving you are loosing $300 which is about N150,000. Those three hours you spend driving can be used to write a book, prepare for a meeting, take an online course in the car while the driver is driving etc. We are not even talking about the effects of driving for three hours on your body. At the end of the day you are not saving N50,000 but you are loosing N150,000 plus other intrinsic benefits that you cannot see. I remember my life coach saying to me once when I was trying to “save money” hire someone to do what everyone can do so that you can do what only you can do. Many people can drive cars but not many people have the skills you have. You may feel that you are efficient by washing your car yourself or cleaning your house yourself but have you thought about the opportunity cost of that. Why not hire someone to do that so you can use your time to be more productive. It is so important to know the value of your time so you don’t waste it by being penny wise but pound foolish.
- Discipline: You need to be disciplined to be able to manage your time effectively. You need to understand that you are in a war and the battle is about time and everything will come against you to ensure you waste your time so you have to be very intentional about managing your time. I remember talking with Olakunle Soriyan and He said to me that He is only on social media for 30 minutes in the morning and in the evening before bed, He doesn’t go through comments and He only responds to direct messages. His team goes through his comments for him. He said even Whatsapp is a distraction. Ask yourself what is the purpose of these apps and stick to the purpose and set a time when you are to be there and stick to the time.
We must be good stewards of our time here on earth. When we die we would have to account for the time we have been given on earth, Time is one of our most valuable assets. We must manage our time effectively and live productive lives.
One thing to note is that as much as you try to manage your time effectively, God still owns and controls time and so you must be flexible enough to allow God to lead and disrupt our time schedule.
Understanding the Time Value of Money
According to Investopedia.com The time value of money (TVM) is the concept that money you have now is worth more than the identical sum in the future due to its potential earning capacity. This core principle of finance holds that provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received.
Essentially the principle is that investors would rather receive money today than the same money amount of money in the future because of opportunity to grow in value. For example, when you put your money in a savings account you would earn interest that is said to be compounding in value.
Albert Einstein said “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.”
In simple terms compound interest is the interest you earn on your interest. This is how it works. When you put money in a bank to keep for you in a savings account, the bank pays an interest. You have the option of spending your interest and re-investing your principal amount (initial amount). If you decide to reinvest your interest by adding it to your principal, you will gain more money. Let us look at a practical example:
Let us assume you save N1,000 into an account that earns a 10% interest per annum (per year). At the end of the year you will have N1,100. This means you have gained N100. You can decide to either spend the N100 interest earned or reinvest it.
If you spend the N100 at the end of the second year you will have N1,100 again.
If you reinvest it then you will have N1,210 at the end of the second year.
Assuming you keep investing for 10 years, your initial N1000 will grow to N2,593. So, your money is growing. Let me explain this using the analogy of a tree. When you plant a seed, it becomes a tree that bears fruit for example an orange tree. You can decide to eat all your fruits and retain that single tree. On the other hand, you can decide to take some of the seeds from the orange fruit and plant more trees. In this case you will have many more trees as opposed to just one tree bearing fruit.
Essentially this is why investors would rather receive money now than in the future due to the time value of money.