Living in Overtime

Elwin Ahu

"Go and say to Hezekiah, "Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen more years to your life." (Isa. 38:5)
It seemed as if the final buzzer was about to sound in Hezekiah's life. God had given him the order through the prophet Isaiah to 'set your house in order, for you shall die and not live,' a warning that would have sent chills down any person's spine. The last few seconds were ticking off the clock; the countdown had begun ... "10 ... 9 ... 8," but Hezekiah cried out to the Lord and, "swish," as if he had scored at the buzzer, Hezekiah is heard by God and his life is sent into overtime.

Life can be compared in many respects to the game of basketball. There's the first half where we will try to score as many points as we can following a game plan that had been laid out for us; then, a half-time where we get to reassess our priorities and establish a game plan for the second half, and many games are won or lost by what is accomplished in the second half.

But, there are also games that are sent into overtime, which although is but a fraction of the time allotted for play in regulation, what happens in overtime is what determines the difference between victory or defeat.

In many respects, my life is being lived out in overtime. If "the wages of sin is death," then my game should have been over a long time ago. My life should be nothing more than a statistic tallied in the "lost" column. But, by the grace of God, I have been given the gift of one more run overtime. And what I choose to do in this final period of my life will spell the difference between victory or defeat.
So, how will I live out my life in overtime? What are priorities that I will need to give attention to in order to "score" as the game clock continues to tick down to the final buzzer? Notice that although God extended Hezekiah's life, I don't believe His instructions to "set your house in order" ever changed. The time in which Hezekiah was allowed to set it in order may have been extended, but never withdrawn. And the same is true with me. In overtime, my priorities must focus upon setting my house, my spiritual temple, in order.
How are my relationships with my wife and family;
What about my relationships with those God has placed around me; what is my level of love, trust and respect for my brothers and sisters;
How do I deal with issues of pride, patience and selfishness;
Are there any unresolved issues that I've allowed to go "underground" that need to be resolved;
Are there patterns of thoughts and behaviors that still remain in the "flesh" and that I need the Holy Spirit to flush out of my system;

I still have so much more to learn, and regardless of how much time I think I have left in overtime, only God really knows for sure. What I do with that time just might spell the difference between my victory in the Lord, or my defeat.
Father, thank You for Your grace and Your gift of adding an overtime period to my life. May I make the best use of that time, discerning where to best apply myself and making the most of the time that is slowly ticking away. May every second of my life count for You in all that I do.

Devotions for July 23

2 Kings 20
Isaiah 38,39
Psalms 75
1 Peter 2

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