Tuesday, August 9, 2011

22 - Following After God's Heart

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me; – Psalm 63:8

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

As we come to the end of this study committed to following hard and close after God (Psalm 63:8) and doing His will (Acts 13:22), 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.

What can we do to place ourselves before God so that we can know His beauty and serenity in our hearts and under our roofs?

Plan Your Day

The first challenge we face is gaining control of our day. To do this we must begin the night before.

Before you turn the lights off to enter dream land, sit there relaxing and planning your day in chronological order.

Pray to God and ask Him to guide and bless the next day.

You’ll find that these few minutes can reduce the number of surprises in the morning.

In the morning, welcome the day with words of praise (Psalm 118:24). Begin by praying!

Pray Over Your Plans and Priorities

What should we pray about? How do we create a plan for practicing God’s priorities?

God – Write down what God has led you in prayer to do today to live out the fact that He is the Ultimate Priority in your life.

Husband – Ask God what you can do today to let your husband know he is the most important human priority. (If you aren’t married…move on down the list.)

Children – Ask God what you can do to let your children know they are more important than all the other people in your life, to show them how special each one of them are to you, to show your love. Jot down some ideas and answers.

Home – Praying about homemaking lifts it out of the physical realm and transports it into the spiritual. Ask God what you can do today regarding your home. What can you do to make your home a little bit of heaven?

     Be faithful in daily cleaning tasks.

     Finish fully is a character quality and discipline that we can all work on.

Self – lay your life before God. Ask him what you can do today to grow spiritually.

Ministry – Ask God what you can do to serve and minister to His people.

Other Activities – these are the other facets of your life. We must follow all the rules and guidelines as set forth by God in the Bible so that our lives will contain all the elements necessary for beauty.

Schedule Your Plans and Priorities

Now write down when you are scheduling these items for certain times during the day.

Once you have your list, you can carry it with you all day, put it on the refrigerator door, or lay it on the kitchen counter.

If you follow these steps of planning, praying, and scheduling, you soon discover how comforting it is to get up from your time of prayer with a clear plan for your day.

Now that you have made this commitment and have done this seeking, determine to stick to your plan – God’s plan.

Practice Your Priorities

Each day presents many opportunities and challenges to practice our priorities. One way to simplify your moment-by-moment decision-making might be to assign your priorities numbers:

#1 – God
#2 – Husband
#3 – Children
#4 – Home
#5 – Spiritual Growth
#6 – Ministry Activities
#7 – Other activities

Making choices to live your priorities enables God to make your life a work of beauty.

Our goal is to be discreet (Titus 2:5) – meaning women who are thinking things through and showing good judgment.

A woman of discretion thinks through her choices and the messages they deliver to her husband, children, and neighbors.

She thinks a situation through and considers all possible consequences, both good and bad.

Acquire God’s Perspective on Your Day

Treat each day as if it and it alone is your golden day. Treating 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

Every day is God’s gift of fresh, unspoiled opportunity to live according to His priorities.

Focus on having one good day, one quality day – Today.

“Every day is a little life, and our whole life is but a single day repeated.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

In His power and by His grace, we keep following after God’s heart no matter what.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Every morning remember that your goal is simple. You want to have just one good day of living your priorities.

Psalm 107:9

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