Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 22

Following After God's Heart

Psalm 63:8 ~ My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

When you and I take seriously our assignments from God, He blesses our obedience, and the resulting growth is astounding.

Let's consider what we can do to nurture, prune, and train our hearts so that we can enjoy the lovely fruit God intends His people to know when they honor Him.

Plan Your Day

  • Making God's plan for our lives a reality calls for planning on our part.
  • The first challenge we face is gaining control of one day-- today.
  • The night before, when you climb into bed, take your planner with you.
    • list in chronological order the concrete events of the next day
      • any appointments
      • meetings
      • classes
      • school or work schedules
      • breakfast, lunch, dinner
    • whisper a prayer to God asking Him to guide and bless the next day and then turn off the light
  • these few minutes can reduce the number of surprises in the morning
  • In the morning, welcome the day with the psalmist's words of praise -- "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24)
  • Then take out a sheet of paper and get ready to create a plan for practicing God's priorities throughout the day (you can use an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper folded in half lengthwise.)
    • Begin by praying
Pray Over Your Plans and Priorities
  • Lord, what can I do today to live out the fact that You are the Ultimate Priority of my life?
    • pray
    • read His Word
    • memorize scripture
    • walk with Him
  • God, what can I do today to let my husband know he is my most important human priority?
    • Children are a priority only after your husband.
    • sweet speech
    • kindness
    • a servant spirit
    • no nagging
  • What can I do today regarding my home?  What can I do today to make our own home sweet home?
    • be faithful in daily cleaning tasks
    • finish fully
    • special projects
  • Lord, what can I do today to grow spiritually?  In what specific ways can I prepare for future ministry?
    • read
    • exercise
  • What can I do today to serve and minister to Your people?
    • people to call
    • friends and missionaries to write
    • lessons to plan
    • organizing
    • researching
    • writing
    • preparing food for church events or someone sick or pregnant
    • visiting the hospital
    • opportunities for ministry are always all around us!
    • ask God to help you prioritize these labors of love
Schedule Your Plans and Priorities
Items on the list only represent dreams and desires and convictions until we put them into practice...scheduling helps us do that
  • So at this point I put the other side of my paper to use.
  • It becomes my schedule for practicing my priorities for the day.
  • This is Round 2 in praying over and planning my day - a day I desire to live after God's heart.
    • Begin praying again - God, when will I have my devotions? 
    • Then write "devotions" in a specific time slot on my schedule
    • and continue on praying... When will I ... and write it in the time slot.
  • When my time of prayer and scheduling is over, I hold in my hand a master plan for the day -- a plan that reflects my priorities, a plan that enables me to be the woman after God's own heart that I desire to be.
  • Wisdom always has a plan (Proverbs 21:5)
  • If you follow these steps of planning, praying and scheduling, you'll soon discover how comforting it is to get up from your time of prayer with a clear plan for your day.
Practice Your Priorities ~ Each day represents many opportunities and challenges to practice our priorities.

Acquire God's Perspective on Your Day ~ Treat each day as if it and it alone is our golden day is the how of practicing priorities, and it's also the why -- the motivation and the perspective we need-- for practicing them.

Practice, Practice, Practice
  • I want my life to be like a string of pearls, strung with day after day of precious days.
    • If you desire a good life, focus on having one good day, one quality day--today.
    • "Every day is a little life, and our whole life is a single day repeated."
  • But what if yours was a day of failures?  We all have those days.
    • Thanks be to God who enables us to forget the day that is done, to reach forward the next morning, and to press on toward the goal--the pearl-- again and again and again. (Philippians 3:13-14)
    • In His power and by His grace, we keep following after God's heart--no matter what.
    • God's mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness is great (Lamentations 3:22-23)

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