Day 7 – You and God: Vision Planning
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
Our First Relationship Is With God
T he purpose of this domain is to monitor and maintain the quality of your relationship with God and your spiritual health. As a Christian, your relationship with God is the most important one in your life. After all, it is the first relationship you ever have since God knew you before you were even born (Jeremiah 1:5)!
God is love (1 John 4:8) and we are commanded to show love to others (Matthew 22:39). For us to know true love and experience it with others, we need to go back to the source of love and learn to love God and be loved by Him. When you have the right relationship with God it forms the healthiest foundation for all other relationships: parents, children, spouse, friends, work colleagues, church members – the list goes on. This is why this area needs to be addressed before all others.
A Prayer To Get You Started
Switching it up from previous days, before you spend time seeking God’s vision for you and Him, first, spend some time in prayer so you can continue to be right with God.
Father, thank you for being a God that wants to be in an intimate relationship with me. Thank you for having a purpose for my life which has you at its core. Forgive me for when I have sinned against you by keeping idols or indulging in immorality. As Psalm 51 says, create in me a clean heart and renew in me a steadfast spirit.
I pray that you will speak to me today about our relationship and how I can be closer to you. Open my heart to you even more. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear your vision for me. Give me revelation of your will for my life so I may understand it better, and wisdom to make it a reality.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Food For Thought
When it comes to a vision of our relationship with God, the most common and consistent vision is to have a close relationship with Him. A popular vision plan to facilitate this is spending more time with Him. This can be achieved through a number of ways:
- Reading the Word: The Bible is our source of truth of God’s character and His will. Through its teachings, the Bible also convicts us of where we are going wrong and inspires us to live right.
- Prayer: This is the means for us to have a two way conversation with God. It doesn’t always mean that you will hear God in your head clearly. His voice could come as thoughts or images or a referral back to the Word. It could even come as signs in the world or a literal message from someone. But He will give you messages, responses and instructions when you pray to Him.
- Fasting: By sacrificing something you enjoy, you are making space and time for something else to enter your life. This should be God, as you use a period of fasting to focus on Him, be in the Word and in prayer.
- Church: This could include increasing your attendance and contribution to a local/home/house church, or finding a church to attend if you don’t already. It can also include setting aside time to connect with fellow Christians.
- Praise and Worship: Psalm 95 beautifully encourages us to praise the Lord. But to do this, it requires you recognising what you need to praise God for (which we explored on Day 3). With this knowledge we can then join in with praise and worship at home or at church, or even be inspired to make some Gospel music ourselves. The Hebrew word for worship translates to ‘bow down in reverence’. So feel free to get low with God. He deserves it!
- Bible study and formal ministry training: You could take reading the Word to the next level and then some in the case of formal ministry training. Having so much of your time spent in the Word means you have more time with God. You should have more opportunities to have conversations about God and learn more of His character and will.
- Quiet time: By being still and listening, we create space for God to dwell with us, and become receptive to what He has to say to us. It is wise to have regular quiet time to hear God and take note of His words, so quiet time is well paired with keeping a journal. You don’t have to lock yourself in a dark room for quiet time. Going to your favourite calm and private place outdoors, like a nice park or going for a walk, is also a nice way to spend quality time with God.
- Follow devotionals: You obviously already know this is a good idea since you are on Day 7 of this devotional! But seriously, devotionals are a great way to schedule time with God.
Our relationship with God is core to all our other relationships and forms the foundation of our lives. Therefore seeking clear vision from God about our relationship with Him is central to us truly living our best lives.
Questions to ask yourself
- What is your relationship with God like at the moment?
- What do you understand your purpose with God to be?
- When you think about how you want God to know you and connect with you, what do you see?
- What is God saying or showing you at the moment?
SMART Goal Setting
Write one or more SMART goals that will help you realise God’s vision for this domain. Remember, a SMART goal is one that is:
S pecific: so you have something to focus on. Therefore, consider what you want to accomplish, why this goal is important, who is involved, where it is located and which resources or limits are involved.
M easurable: that way you can track progress and success, so mention success as a measure of “how much” “how many” or “when” a goal is reached
A chievable: you can only reach a goal if it is realistic and success is possible. And achieving success once, will likely lead to success again
R elevant: the goal needs to be worth pursuing so you feel encouraged to accomplish it.
T ime bound: you can’t measure or achieve success if there is no end point
Psalm 127:1-2 talks about the futility of planning without God
Matthew 6:33 reminds us of our priority to seek God first
Tomorrow we review You and God: Sustainable Success
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