Have you made any resolutions for 2016? Is one to be more consistent in your “daily quiet time”?
New Year! Resolutions!
We make them and break them. So let’s change our perspective of resolving to have “daily quiet time”. I’m anything but quiet, and when reading Song of Solomon (blush) the Lord is pictured as robust in His love towards us. So I started thinking of my time with the Lord, not as quiet time, but a date! Now here’s the thing, the Lord will never stand me up! If I make a date with Him, I am 100% guaranteed He will be there. That’s pretty exciting!
Now what if I called you on the phone and asked if you wanted to get together tomorrow? You, of course, say yes. And I reply, “Great!” and hang up the phone. Problem? Yes! Where? What time? Now, of course, we would never do that to a friend! So make a date with your Best Friend! Tell Him where and when. He will not let you down. And when you are dating Him regularly, get ready for passion!
I don’t remember exactly when it began, but come each December I begin looking for a plan to help me read through the Scriptures. I need help with structure, but I like variety, so over the years I have undertaken a plethora of reading plans. This year I am finishing a two-year plan that also included a Psalm or Proverb every day. I loved it!
Besides the plan, I also ask for a theme for the coming year to assist me in purposefully seeking His work in my life. (Intentional Moments, Tenacious Thanks, Desperate Dependence are a few). Because I am very easily distracted, I find journaling my thoughts and prayers each day from what I read invaluable in reinforcing the theme and keeping me focused.
After you make your date, make a plan. I would like to invite you to join my three-year plan. I so loved the two-year plan, but wanted to go a bit slower and still include a Psalm or Proverb every day. You will find the Three Year Bible Reading Plan @theplantingplacewordpress.org on the Menu. It includes a Daily Reading as well as Psalm or Proverb. This plan has three parts:
Part 1: The Daily Reading
If you only have time to commit to one part, follow the Daily Reading. Our theme for this reading plan is from John 3:30 “He must increase but I must decrease.” In my daily blog we will seek to witness, experience, and extol the Lord magnified. I sense a need to be less concerned with myself, so I am praying as He increases, self will disappear (Okay, that’s asking a lot, but prayerfully self will decrease!).
Part 2: Psalm or Proverb
We need to be honest before the Lord and accept rebuke and correction as needed, as well as His promises of faithful lovingkindness and blessings to those who love Him. Psalms and Proverbs often focus on our needs, circumstances and relationships. This can be a tremendous impetus to pray to the Lord of Hosts!
Part 3: Journal
If journaling sounds daunting to you, here are some ideas that may encourage you. I journal like I talk- I’m all over the place. I don’t try to be rigid, because I would get frustrated and quit. I write what’s on my heart. Some days I start with thanks; some days I’m overwhelmed. Often I recount what happened the day before. I journal answers to prayer. I journal prayers. Just journal! Begin with writing one or two sentences about something you don’t want to forget from your time in the Word.
The year 2014 was the culmination of three of the most trying years of my life. I felt led to read my 2014 journal through the month of December. It was completely astounding! I read about things I had prayed for only a few months before and now they were answered! It strengthened me to keep praying for the answers I’m still waiting for. I could remember how I felt at the time I penned my groanings, but in the midst I sensed His presence and comfort. I was reminded of so many prayers and answers to prayers I had already forgotten! So I am reading 2015’s journal during this month, and it was there the Lord confirmed The Planting Place!
I’m praying for you.