For my daily journal, I use an inexpensive spiral notebook (my current one is 70-page, wide-ruled). Each day, my goal is to (a) talk to God and (b) hear from God. Pretty simple.
I have used all types of personal plans over the years. But every successful plan I had shared the same 3 characteristics: consistent time, consistent place, and consistent plan. What’s my current plan?
- Consistent Time — Right now, I try to finish showering, dressing, eating, travel, etc. to start meeting with God at 7 am. Same time every day. Same time, every day. Same time, every day. (It’s MUCH easier that way for me to make it a lifestyle.)
- Consistent Place — Right now, it’s at the small, round conference table across the room from my desk. My desk is for work. My daily task list, email, and duties are like the Greek Sirens. Like Odysseus, I lash myself to the table and not travel to my desk, no matter how much my soul begs to check an item off my list. 🙂
- Consistent Plan — Same plan, every day, for 6 days/week. I "rest" on Sunday, if you can call it rest. 🙂
- Opening Prayer — I ask God to quiet my spirit, open my eyes and ears, and speak to me about today, this week, my life, my character, situations around me, etc., through our prayer time and Bible reading.
- Bible Reading & Journaling — I read through my Bible (i.e. front to back; 9 pages per day) and journal about what spoke to my heart. I literally count out 9 pages from the chapter I ended yesterday, and find the closest chapter to 9 pages. (For example, today I read Numbers 11-18 and was struck by how much whining, moaning, and complaining Moses had to deal with from everybody around him. I thanked God I wasn’t him! It gives a little context –not justification– to him blowing his stack during "the rock incident" in Numbers 20.) I’ll write down questions I have, words to look up, comments, things I need to change, prayers to God…whatever!
- Talking to God — I might talk out loud to God. I might write a letter to God that starts, "Dear God…" I might list the major requests I have. But I try to make sure I (a) thank God for some stuff and (b) pray for some stuff.
So that’s it. That’s my current plan. Ask me in a few months, I will have totally revamped my plan again to keep it fresh. But I always need a plan or I never meet with God.
If you don’t have a plan for meeting with God, at a consistent time, in a consistent place, with a consistent plan every day, you probably don’t meet with God consistently. (P.S. If you want to adapt my plan, just make it 1-3 chapters/day, set your time and place, and get started today!)
So, post a comment & let me know your plan! I’ll probably steal it "in Jesus’ name" when I make my next change. 🙂