January 4, 2012

What is your plan?

In January of 2007 I remember being challenged by God in a church service to make a plan. I had been drifting aimlessly with my walk and never put any strategy together. I needed goals.

I viewed a Bible reading plan as legalism but found it was far from that. It was structure and discipline, and I needed that.

The Lord pressed on me that since the human heart is prone to wander from God, to keep a regularly scheduled time with Him is in our best interest. Our love for God should compel us to meet with Him regularly but let’s face it, we are human. It is easy to forget or simply be tired. And our love for the world can overtake our love for God and our time with Him.

I had a friend that used the One Year Bible. I undermined it because of the particular translation and because it was broken out into days. I viewed, with a certain self righteousness, that reading the ‘real’ Bible was better. The only problem, I didn’t follow through on my conviction with any regularity.

Strangely enough, one day I was driving with another friend and he had a copy of the same One Year Bible on the dashboard. I picked it up and could sense God saying something. He offered it to me so I took it home. I knew deep inside that God was calling me to a regular time with Him and I was failing to do so on my own initiative. I needed a plan.

The One Year Bible was what I needed, so I began reading.

There were days when I didn’t want to read (as there still are today) and there are days that I miss, but I pick back up and keep reading. Without fail the days I don’t want to read are the days where the Lord speaks to me the loudest.

Since then I have read through the Bible every year and every year the Lord speaks to me in new ways and reveals new things through His Word. Every time I am confronted with a Holy God and His light shines into my heart revealing my true self and areas which need to be surrendered over to Him. 

Whether it is laziness or fear of failure we often put off setting goals. It takes time and we can miss the mark that we set. This works to our detriment though. The unfortunate irony is that God is the one we need yet He is the one we do not want to spend time with.

What is your plan this year?

If we give into our flesh, laziness and apathy will overcome our will to seek after and follow God. The only one that can help us and love us with the fullness of our need is God. Why would you not start the day off with the one who plans out your day?

Here are some things I recommend for your year. These are practical plans for whatever level you feel you are at. I break them out by level just for organization, not as a mark of maturity or righteousness.

Level 1 – Daily Proverb, Listen to a Sermon: Proverbs conveniently has 31 chapters which makes for a great monthly read. Read one chapter a day. In addition to this listen to a sermon either through Podcast or on the radio on the way to work.

Level 2 – Walk through the Bible in a Year (One Year Bible): This Bible, along with other walk through the bible in a year reading plans, will mark out a road map to read the Bible in 365 days. It will be a combination of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm and Proverb passages.

Level 3 – Walk through Bible in a Year with Commentary: If you regularly read through the Bible in a year and want to dig deeper, read the scripture with a commentary. It will give more insight into the context in which the scripture was written. You will also be able to do word studies into the original languages. All provide deeper understanding and illumination.

In addition to these practical steps, prayer comes first. Prayer was essential in your salvation and is essential in keeping communication with God. Pray without ceasing and pray specific prayers. Journal or write down your prayers so that you can go back and see how God answers them. It will prove to you that He is faithful.

When Jesus spent time with the Father He woke up early in the morning to do so.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” [Mark 1:35]

Following His example, the morning is a time of clarity and peace. The morning is the time to commit your day to Him.

I hope you find this helpful as you set plans and make goals for 2012. My prayer for you is that this year is a year of spiritual growth like you have never experienced before. If the Master’s Men staff can help you in anyway email us at info@mastersmen.com.

– Article contributed by Matt Cote, Director of Marketing and Operations of the Master’s Men ministry.