Did you know before banks loan businesses money, they have to present a business plan that demonstrates their strategy for success? Businesses also have their leadership teams come together annually or semiannually to review the plan, see if they’re on schedule and tweak the plan wherever it is needed.
Schools also have plans. The staff and faculty come together and create a strategic plan for the next year and even five years out so everyone is moving the same direction after the same things.
Sports teams have plays they have to learn and run for success. They don’t just run out onto the court or field and just wing it if they are successful.
So why do we jump into our quiet time with the Lord without a plan or idea of how we’ll spend our time and then wonder why it falls apart? My daddy used to always tell me “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you set some rigid formula and stick to it no matter what, but there are some simple steps you can take to create a level of intimacy with the Lord. After all, if you desire to have a romantic date with your husband, you set the stage for the evening. You may not know exactly how the date will go, but you create an atmosphere for romance. If our desire is intimacy with the Lord it should generate some proactive planning on your part as well.
First and foremost, we need to unplug. Find a quiet, private place where we won’t be disturbed by the things of this world so we can give the Lord our undivided attention. Even before computers, cell phones and televisions, the Lord stressed the importance of solitary time with God. Mark 1:35 tells us “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.” If Jesus, the Son of God, needed to remove Himself from the world to commune with God, then why shouldn’t we think we need to do the same?
We need to remember that communication is key in a relationship. One sided conversations do not a relationship make. We need to learn to listen to the Lord as well as talk to Him. He always has something to say to us. Sometimes He talks to our spirits and we recognize His words welling up inside of us. He may even choose to speak in an audible voice, although very few people testify to that happening to them. He always speaks to us through His Word. It is His love note to us. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” His Word will help shape us more into His likeness.
You know, they say the longer you’ve been married to someone the more you begin to look like them. I pray it is true of my relationship with Jesus. I pray I grow to reflect Him more and more as time passes; however, it will never happen without a plan. I have to be intentional about my time with the Lord and not just wing it.
Do you have a plan in place? If you’ve found something that helps you enter into His presence and encounter Him, please comment and let us all learn. We are all teachers and we are all students. Whatever your plan is, it will not serve you well if you don’t put it into action. Why not start today? Ready, set, go!