Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Teach us to make the most of our time,
so that we may grow in wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

I received a book in the mail the other day. Now that’s nothing unusual, but this book came from a new source. I’ve found a website (booksneeze) that provides books free to authors of blogs in exchange for reviewing the book on their site. If you’re a reader and a blogger that’s pretty exciting stuff.

The title draws me in, it’s got a great cover and it’s by an author I will enjoy reading – just like lots and lots of other books on my bookshelf which I haven’t yet read. The difference between this book and all those others is that I’ve made a promise to someone that I will read this one – I’ve given myself the assignment and I’ve made a commitment that someone else will check up on.

Some people have that built-in motivation that causes or enables them to do the things that are good for them. Most of us do not. Yet with all my heart, I want to pursue Christ every day with more zeal than the day before. I want to apprehend the grace He has for me, and apprehending something – seizing it, takes focused effort. I lose that focus too easily to be totally happy with my efforts. I’m guessing you do to. Life gets in the way of pursuing the things that are truly important. The urgent always wreaks havoc on the important.

To avoid becoming captive to the tyranny of the urgent, we can take actions that align our lives in a way that moves us in the direction of our dreams. We can establish patterns of behavior and relationships that help us to accomplish those things God is calling us to.

Here are ten activities that can help you apprehend all that God has for you:

  • Follow a reading schedule to systematically read God’s Word daily. Join us in Resting at the River’s Edge or use the schedule from another organization, but try to find a plan that includes interaction with others about what you’re reading – a group of people that will occasionally ask what God is speaking to you as you read and will share what God is speaking to them as they read the same material.
  • Join a church/ministry small group that meets weekly or every other week. They go by different names in different churches – journey groups, home groups, cell groups, small groups, life groups, etc. – but they typically have similar goals: To help the members grow in Christ-likeness and in relationship with one another. This is the group that you’ll share your every day life with. I consider small group participation to be the single-most important element in my spiritual growth over the years!
  • Join (create if necessary) a mastermind group. A mastermind group is a small gathering of people who want to help one another raise the bar – do better – in specific areas of their life. I am a part of three mastermind groups – one for ministry, and two for business. We meet monthly and give each member about fifteen minutes to discuss their challenges during the month and get feedback and ideas about how to overcome those challenges. A key component of each group is that each member set a goal for the coming month. Do I meet the goal each month? No. But I always make more progress than I would have if I wasn’t a part of the group.
  • Have a prayer partner that you meet with regularly. Don’t limit your prayers to health issues, but include current life struggles and especially your desire to grow closer to God.
  • Join (or start) a book club. If you love to read but have become lazy about it (as I tend toward), join a book club. Be sure it’s one that reads the kinds of books you want to read.
  • Take a class. I sometimes miss the study requirements imposed on me when I was working on my MCM. I truly enjoyed most of the required reading and paper writing, but without the requirement, I don’t do nearly as much. I can get the same thing by signing up for a single class (not committing to a full program) at a local college or church.
  • Attend Sunday School regularly if your church has such a program. Be sure to choose a class that stretches you.
  • Identify one to three tasks that you will accomplish each day. You undoubtedly have a very large to do list. Each day select just one to three things from that list which you will focus on. If you have more than three tasks on your shortlist, you’re setting yourself for failure! If you get all three things done and still have a good part of the day left, consider adding another one or two things to your list – after you ask God if this is the time He’s carved out for you to simply kick back and enjoy His presence!
  • Periodically set aside time to ask God what your life priorities should be for the coming season. At the very least do this annually, but quarterly is best. I admit to not doing this often enough, but I am so blessed every time I do. I usually try for three days, but it often turns into an afternoon and God is always faithful during that time to bring three days’ clarity in one afternoon. This time away with God helps me to re-focus and energize for the coming season. (What that really means is that I usually go in really confused and come out much less confused – it’s like God has erased all the background noise and things are clearer.)
  • Be brave! Venture out of your current world to find or create those groups and find those people who will help you achieve your dreams!

Lest we become an overworked, burnout messes, let me remind you to include as a priority that you ask others to hold you accountable for things like being quiet before God, resting, Sabbath keeping, reflection, meditation…and having fun! This is not a blog about becoming accountable for an over-busy life. It’s a blog about becoming the person God wants you to be – and that includes a child who sits in His lap and a bride who gazes into His eyes.

The wonderful thing is that this isn’t something God doesn’t want for our lives – He wants us to live peaceful, fruitful lives in Him. Be confident that He will help you accomplish it!

4 Responses to “Living Your Life on Purpose – 10 Ideas to Help You Get There!”
  1. Yolie says:

    I truly enjoyed reading your blog. People often say we take little things for granted but what I’m starting to realize is sometimes in the busyness of the day we take our time with and for God for granted and that’s no little thing. Your post really open my eyes to putting things in perspective. Thanks and God bless.

  2. Sandy says:

    Thank you, Yolie! Blessings to you as well.

  3. Laurie Webb says:

    Great article. I work best when “under pressure”. A time-frame gets me motivated to accomplish more than I would do otherwise – I’m a procrastinator! I am also on a Bible reading plan – Gen – Rev in 4 months. Very do-able with 30 minutes reading a day. I also, encourage people to write out goals and revisit them on a scheduled basis. goals get things accomplished. Great article – right in line with what I teach!
    I hope all of your readers will start a Bible reading plan that suits them – and get in the Word of God! Nothing provides better wisdom, clarity and direction thnt that!

  4. Glenn Ano says:

    Thank a lot good post!

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter