I’ve always heard the phrase “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail!” And, while I ascribed to its warning, I cannot fully say that I believed it wholeheartedly. Perhaps, I should say that I did not apply the belief to every area of my life. Namely, I compartmentalized my spiritual life from the focus that I had in other areas.
I don’t think it is a surprise that month after month I fell for the okie doke of I’m going to get closer to God without actually planning to do it. I believe I thought that just by saying it, and desiring his closeness that things would somehow shift in my life with little to no effort. Unfortunately, it does not work this way.
If you truly want to get closer to God you have to have a plan. Now this may seem extreme, but what areas in your life have you haphazardly decided to just do something and excelled without little to no thought? That would be an unwise novice decision. Therefore, you should approach your spiritual life with an end goal in mind and pursue it passionately.
For me, this required a planner and lots of prayer. I bought a separate planner than the one in which I catalogue my daily routines. In my spiritual planner, I sit down with God in prayer and I write out my month. This means days leading up to the end of the current month I’m thinking of ways that I can improve in my private life. However, I noticed that I can’t do it without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I’ve learned that I had to pray for specific areas to focus on because sometimes I think that I’m good in certain areas that I’m slacking in.
As a result of planning my time with God and planning to succeed in intentional areas of my life, I’ve been able to easily pinpoint places of growth and stagnation. I’ve been able to easily identify my shortcomings and push myself harder to step outside of my comfort zone into a space of constant change. In essence, I had to study to become better, and it started with becoming a student of my life.