Setting Appointments for Success
Over the last month I’ve been more productive than I was in the first half of this year. This is because I’m setting appointments for success. These scheduled times are focused and protected because of their value. I’m following my own advice (and the advice of others) and planning time to do things I know I need to do. These are things of vast importance but somehow they still have slipped away from me in the past. I don’t want to keep letting that happen.
The first and most important appointment is with God. I devote the first thirty minutes to an hour of my morning to Him at a scheduled time. This is something that I have done both faithfully and not-so-faithfully in seasons. When I look back on the times when I’ve consistently devoted time to God at the beginning of my day, they are some of the best times in my life. Not because everything went perfectly for me, but because my focus shifted to Him and He led me.
The other thing I knew I wanted to do was write. Since God told me to write I’ve enjoyed doing it, but I’ve struggled with making the time. I’ve felt more creative at night, but still had trouble focusing and getting productive time in. So after spending time with God each morning, I’ve been working on goals towards the things He has called me to do. Scheduling this time has helped me to get more done.
What do you need to be scheduling?
The Struggle for Success
Despite this productivity, a cold misty cloud of negative thoughts and feelings settled on me a couple days ago. Old familiar wounds tried their best to seep into my soul. This morning as I was praying, I realized I was struggling with thoughts of being unsuccessful, unnoticed, and second-class. I was also struggling with feelings of pride, bitterness, and envy.
This mindset has been familiar to me since childhood. It’s an old path I’ve walked many times. I know it so well, I often walk it without paying attention. I’ve come to realize that it’s an orphan way of thinking, and that path leads to failure. It says I have no father and no home, that I don’t belong, and I’ll always be on the outside looking in. But all of that is a lie.
It is not what God feels, wants, or says about me. He calls me His son and makes His dwelling place in me. I am a joint-heir with Jesus, a child of God, seated with Him in heavenly places, even the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This is who you are as well. What He says about us is true. His way is so different than ours. No matter our earthly circumstances, we are kings and priests.
After I repented and renounced these negative thoughts and feelings, I asked God, “What is success?”
In my spirit, I heard His still small voice say, “Walking with me.”
“Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”
- Psalms 16:5-11 (NLT)
Shift Your Focus to Success
I’ve found that I struggle with my focus shifting from God to my idea of fulfilling His plans for me. If my focus is not on Him, yet I am trying to do the things He has told me to do, is it possible to really succeed? Being successful is not reaching a goal, but communing with God along the way.
What plans has God revealed to you? He has a good purpose for you to fulfill during your time here on Earth. What lies are holding you back? Don’t let old paths slow you down and get you facing the wrong way. As you walk in God’s calling for your life, commune with Him, keep your eyes on His eyes, walk with Him into success. Be sure that you are scheduling the time to do what He has called you to do, and most importantly set up a consistent time of devotion to Him.
In this vein, sometimes it’s hard to know how to have a good devotional time. I’ve found there are at least seven things that help me have a productive time with God. I’ve taken an excerpt from my upcoming book and made a PDF titled Seven Keys to a Successful Time of Devotion to God. Click on the image below to get it!