These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts…Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
By now we hope that you have thought through and chosen the characteristics of someone or something you’d like to emulate and begun your list of words. Continue adding to them as they those traits come to you. Don’t rush through this part of the process! Take your time and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.
Here is Lesson Two:
MY ONE WORD
from My One Word.org
Series Bottom Line: The normal, natural pace of your life will not likely lead you to Spiritual Formation.
WEEK #2: “A Lens- Not a Promise”
Message Bottom Line: My One Word is a LENS through which you will SEE, not a PROMISE which you must keep.
Key Verse: Psalm 90:12 (NAS) So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
REVIEW FROM WEEK #1 Picking One Word provides a tangible way to Arranging your Life. You will do SOMETHING about ONE THING instead of NOTHING about EVERYTHING! MY ONE WORD ONE WORD forces CLARITY!
I am amazed at how clear something can seem while it is in my head, but loses all meaning when I try to explain it to someone else.
Articulation has a way of dissipating fog like nothing else.
ONE WORD focuses EFFORT!
Instead of trying to do everything, your one word is going to help you narrow your focus, so your efforts will be effective.
It will be hard. It is not our nature to embrace struggle, but rather we resist it. In the face of uncertainty and risk, we tend to eliminate the struggle. When it comes to the condition of your heart, we must embrace it. And My One Word will help focus the necessary effort to embrace the struggle required in the formation of our hearts!
ARRANGING YOUR LIFE
Arranging your Life requires you to develop & commit to disciplines.
NUMBERING YOUR DAYS
Numbering Your Days reminds you this is an ongoing process. This verse in Psalm 90 is written in the form of a prayer request. “Lord, teach me to number my days…” The fact that we have to ask God to be taught is an indicator that we don’t instinctively know how to do this. So we should not feel defeated or ashamed by the fact that we need help with this.
Your Word will help you to frame your vision in a way that you can see what you need to do each day and make them count when it comes to the formation of your heart.
Your disciplines should become a part of your life. At some point, you will not have to think about them, you will do them. They become more than habits.
Illustration: Just because you ran last week doesn’t make you a runner. At what point can you call yourself a runner? After your first run without stopping to walk? After your first 5k? Your tenth marathon?
The answer is somewhere in between.
We know you can’t resolve to be a runner in 2012 and then go run a half mile on Saturday and then call yourself a runner. To become a runner you will have to endure not only the first miles and side-cramps but the overwhelming desire to quit before you ever get started.
So you have to force yourself to run. You have to discipline yourself to train. But after a while, you see yourself as a runner and so not running becomes unthinkable. It may still be hard, but that is why you train.
The same is true in your spiritual life. You want to be the kind of person for whom the things you don’t want to do are unthinkable.
Endurance & Intention are necessary while disciplines remain disciplines.
Each day you do something that tends to the formation of your heart. Quiet Time with God or Journaling are examples of such disciplines.
Neither of these disciplines are formation, they simply get you in a position for formation to happen. Your effort is not to change, but to remain in a place where God can change you.
The goal is not for COMMITMENT, but DEPENDENCE!
Make no mistake, this exercise will require tenacity. Commitment is required. But you are not just making promises to yourself that you will be different, your commitment helps you focus on your dependence of Christ.
You discipline yourself to walk with God, not merely keep the rules!
What you have so far:
You have a list of the characteristics of the person you hope to become.
Resist Making Promises:
Don’t allow yourself to make promises about the things you will do. You need to develop a way of seeing your life and God’s work in your life in such a way that you will do them because you are dependent, not committed.
Focus on What you See:
Seeing through the lens of your word will keep you focus on the vision for your future instead of the failure of not keeping promise. It reminds you this is a process and your effort is to get in a position for Christ to work deeply and intimately in your heart!
- From the list of characteristic, what words would you use to describe those characteristics?
- What impact will each ‘word’ have on the way you see your life?
Once you have your list of 10-15 words, begin to narrow the list down to just one!
That’s it for this week! Don’t worry if you’re still finding words! Take your time! This is YOUR process.