“One day, a man walking through the forest came upon a logger (lumberjack) who was sawing away at a large tree and not getting very far at all. The man approached the logger as he stopped for a moment to rest and observed that the logger would get further if he sharpened his saw. The logger replied that he just didn’t have the time to sharpen the saw because he was busy cutting down the tree, and went back to his work.”
If we don’t make room to sharpen our spiritual lives we become dull. We work relentlessly and only to achieve less and less. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? We must take decisive action and war against what one writer called The Tyranny of the Urgent, where the greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.
Keeping the “spiritual blade” sharp is what Jesus did consistently. Right in the middle of two of the greatest miracles He performed, the feeding of the 5,000 and walking on water is an obscure verse which gives us an answer to His amazing life.
Mark 6:46 “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.”
The two miracles are the direct result of this one verse. We tend to focus more on the miracles themselves rather then the verse that provided the substance for them. Jesus not only lived from a place of communion but went away to commune. He was deliberate and intentional, leaving behind distractions and disruptions to get fuel to change history.
We can do the same. It’s not that hard. Here is my daily action plan. I hope this helps in developing yours.
Here are five things that are working for me:
1. Schedule Intentionally. I have a set time to meet with the Lord daily. Yes, it’s actually in my calendar. If I don’t make the time I will loose it. I’ve created a morning workflow with significant time built-in for Bible reading, prayer and journaling. It’s working well for me.
2. Read Initially. Reading the Bible first creates a focus and a launching pad for me. Part of my reading is a systematic study through God’s Word. I know exactly where to begin each day. Then I go to select scriptures I feel like the Lord is leading me to meditate on.
3. Wait Patiently. I don’t rush off to prayer. I close my eyes, focus on Jesus and begin to offer up thanksgiving and praise. I remind myself that He delights in me and is enjoying our time together. Here I experience His presence and discover His heart. I have worship music playing and a notepad to jot down things that come to me. These are tasks, prayer points, things I sense the Lord is leading me into.
4. Share Honestly. I begin to pray back what I sense is on the Lords heart. I have discovered that I do better when I do this out loud. I talk out loud about what is concerning me. I ask questions out loud. I go over situations out load. I process out loud. I talk to him about ministry, calling, people, money, family etc. What to write and how to order my day. I pray over my calendar and gatherings. You name it. The Holy Spirit is my Pastor. I pray, I praise, I write in response to what I sense He is telling me.
5. Journal Consistently. I have a journal that I keep in DayOne. I open it up and begin writing whatever comes to mind. I copy and paste verses from my Bible reading and write on those verses, I add testimonies, prophetic words, events, pictures, ideas and things I am sensing the Lord telling me. This is working great for me. Use whatever tool works for you.
I guarantee if you do something like this daily, you will be more confident, secure, bold and discerning. Stress will fall off and tension will decrease as His peace begins to rule your heart. You will be able to give more freely, love more deeply and live from a place of rest in the middle of a hectic day. You will be more assured about direction and decisions that need to be made. More importantly, you will sense the closeness of God and a growing dialogue and friendship with Jesus. You can’t beat that.
YOUR TURN: What has been your experience in committing daily time with the Lord in keeping that spiritual blade sharp? What tips can you offer the M1P community? Add your comment below.