Personal revival isn’t once and done, but a continuing commitment to compare progress, habits, and priorities with what you’ve accomplished in the past and the way God’s word tells you to run your race.
I love my life, my husband, my work, and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But last week the progress and lightness of spirit I usually enjoy was weighed down by distractions and a growing volume of to-do items that more resembled an army of marauding octopi than a list.
Too many plans. Too many meetings. Too much hurry. It was time for truth-telling and revision.
Which inspires me to share 5 critical elements of personal revival.
Develop Organizational Habits That Serve You
I knew it was time to hit the brakes when several of my to-do items slipped through the cracks.
For 40 years I’ve kept my to-do list and random notes in one 6×9 spiral notebook at a time. My system never let me down until two weeks ago. Okay, I confess. The system didn’t fail, I quit using the system. Instead of sticking to Ol’ Reliable, I got “organized” and started tracking projects and clients separately.
That’s the sound of something falling through the cracks in my newer, better, system. I added synced note-keeping systems to my computers and devices. The ideas sounded great but they didn’t live up to the expectations of this flawed user.
Today, I’m back to my better habit and scratching items off my list with a vengeance. With the sting of failure still fresh in my spirit I decided to add a back up. Apparently, I’m as vulnerable to distraction as everyone else.
Can I get an Amen?
Effective Time and Project Management
Riding shotgun to my spiral notebook is a sleek new 9×12 white board. Before turning my office light off at night I review my calendar and spiral notebook to see where I need to show up the next day, what I’ve promised, or what is needful. Putting that list on my white board at night programs my brain for the next morning.
When did you last feel tuned-up and revived? It feels great to replace the sting of failure with a softly whispered, “Well done.”
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—”
A Repentant Juggler
There are two ways to respond when you drop the ball; repentance or excuse. Mistakes aren’t sins, so don’t measure yourself for that hair shirt. However, considering repeated mistakes normal or acceptable may indicate a lack of awareness or a lack of commitment.
I’m a repentant juggler who recognized my flaw and determined to change the path ahead.
Begin to change stress to satisfaction and paralysis to power with these 5 disciplines of revival.
5 Disciplines of Personal Revival
1. Review your mission. What race has God set before you? Where’s the finish line? Are you moving toward it or away from it? Clarity is king, building confidence and providing protection against the temptation of the next shiny object.
2. Practice the presence of God. Spend 15-30 minutes each day in silence, preferably outdoors. No technology. No digital leash. No beeper. No exceptions. Just you and the Holy Spirit. Rediscover the power of intimate, private communion with Him. Drink deeply of Living Water and enjoy soul rest.
3. Develop habits that serve you. What’s the one place you manage to-do items and notes? What’s your non-digital back-up? Expending precious energy worrying about missing a deadline or failing to live up to a commitment is poor stewardship and limits your return on investment of God-given resources.
4. Know your why. You know your mission, but why do you pour yourself into accomplishing it? Who or what do you serve? What prize do you anticipate for finishing the race well?
5. Humbly ask for feedback from those you trust and love. Listen. Pray over what you hear. No one can be objective about themselves. Sanctification isn’t a game of Solitaire. We’re in this together, so take advantage of the relationships God gave you. You can’t preach what you don’t live.
Breathing is an unnoticed, repetitive activity until something goes wrong. It’s difficult to revive something that isn’t breathing, but it is possible. Be mindful of how you feel; your breathing, the status of relationships, and what you hear in your quiet time with the Lord. Don’t wait until revival takes a miracle.
Unless you know what you’re working for and why you’re willing to invest your energy, time, and passion, you’ll keep chasing your tail and dropping juggled balls.
Once you’re solid on your what and why, you need simple doable steps to jumpstart personal revival. Begin by testing out these 5 disciplines.
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The vision God gave you of the top of a mountain is yours to claim. It’s not a case of maybe—God intends for you to get there, but many fail to do what it takes to succeed. Many believe that God is in the business of doing things for them, when God’s plan is doing things through them.
Dreams and visions are one way God accomplishes His plans and purposes in the world. But dreams without doing are only daydreams, their power and potential evaporating with the morning dew.