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Often we begin a new year by designing goals, ideas, and perhaps resolutions. In our blog posts this January, we’re focusing instead on what the Lord is inviting us to do.
The more I thought about this topic, the more I realized how much the Lord initiates our faith-life, and how He is constantly calling us to, “Come, follow Me” (Matthew 4:19). While following Jesus begins with an invitation to a personal relationship with Him, I also realized that God invites us to continue growing in our trust and love for Him (“Come, follow Me” is the Scripture the Lord gave me for this year.)
Business Meetings with God
An important invitation came earlier this year to dialogue more deeply with the Lord about my writing. The Psalmist wrote, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming’” (Psalm 27:8 NLT).
I began to practice Shelley Hitz's “Business Meetings with God”. She recommends that once a week we schedule a chunk of time to meet with God. While she focuses mainly on marketing, I’ve found her strategies to be beneficial for each stage of writing. I’m also integrating other life issues—family and household concerns, for example—to make these meetings more holistic. (My apologies--the link didn't work).
The key is to hear God’s voice. This requires intentionally spending time in quietness with Him through two-way journalling (listening prayer), asking God for clarity, strategies, and confirmation. As we journal, we listen for His whispers of direction.
Before this time, I had occasionally journalled questions and God answered with specific ideas. But now I scheduled regular meetings on Thursday or Friday. I chose my sunny upstairs spare room where the late afternoon sunlight streams in—especially important in our short winter days.
During the week, I collect questions and items to discuss—an agenda of sorts. My journal entries begin with praise and thankfulness. Then after rereading my previous week’s meeting, I begin with questions: “How do I best…?” “How would you like me to approach…?” “How can I best glorify you…?” If God doesn’t seem to answer right then, He’ll sometimes bring ideas later as I write or become busy with other tasks.
As 2022 dawns...
One outcome of these business meetings is that God is inviting me to answer this question: “What would I attempt if I were sure the Lord is infusing me with wisdom, love, courage, and strength?” Here are some of my answers:
· To maintain momentum in drafting and revising devotionals, working towards completion and into publishing. God has reminded me that to be a co-creator with Him in a new way, I’m to keep faithful in writing, and He will open doors at the right time.
· To be more daring: at the same time as I revise my devotionals, I’m exploring other avenues for writing and submitting (including to FellowScript)
· To experiment with fitting writing into cracks of time—afternoons or evenings—when I have other life responsibilities. (Often writing takes up my quality energy in the mornings, leaving other errands or tasks untended.)
Intentionality matters. He's inviting me to be hopeful, believing, and engaged in writing that will have an eternal impact and will bring honour to Him.
And now over to you…
How and in what way is God inviting you to share your days and year with Him, particularly in writing, but also in your daily responsibilities and spiritual development?
My prayer for us all: Thank You, Lord, for inviting us into what You have already planned, prepared and arranged in advance for us in 2022 and beyond. May we respond with “Yes,” to You.