“Even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:28 (NLT).
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 (NIV)
Did you make some commitments to begin or continue in 2022? I’m sure some of your goals are physical in nature or perhaps for your business or personal aspirations. If you are a follower of Christ, some goals will include spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, devotionals, scripture memorization, and evangelism (oh yeah, don’t forget to include sharing the gospel more often – the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few).
The connecting word AND is the second most important in the verse. The first words of importance are the ability to “hear the word of God”. Hopefully you included God in the conversation when you were setting goals. God doesn’t compartmentalize your life between spiritual and all of the others issues of life. He speaks to you about all spheres in which you “do life.” His plans for all of your life are good to give you hope and a future. Can you sense when God is inspiring you through His leading instead of moving forward with fear and the “ought to’s” in your decision making? You are blessed to “hear the word of the Lord.”
What about the AND? There is not magic key of understanding to make this word the most effective. This connecting word AND captures all of our failure of “putting it into practice” or the joy of experiencing blessing. Why do we struggle with the follow through of our goal making? If I had the definitive answer to that question, I would be making the talk show circuit right now. But I think God has given me some insight to help us make the AND a reality of success.
Author, Jon Acuff addresses this topic in his book – Finish – Give Yourself the Gift of Done. He followed 3000 people who made commintments and followed through with them. The book highlights some common activities of those who went from Start to Finish. You might want to add this one to your reading goals. Here is one of his insights. Cut your goal in half. You choke on too big of a bite, so make them smaller.
AND is a small word and so are the actions needed to complete your goals. Let me add a few more ideas which may be helpful. There is no new revelation here, these ideas live closely to making the AND happen for you.
- Have you written down what the goal is? Crafting the language for your goal helps you own it.
- Have you shared your goal with someone else? Speaking the goal aloud adds a layer of accountability. Your life follows your words.
- Did the start date make it into your calendar? The best calendaring system is the one which works for you and helps you stay on track. However, “remembering” is not a calendaring system. Having a planner or digital is okay, what works for you. You are free to make it your own. What did you choose for your planning system?
- Runners to your mark (day and time to start). Get set (did you put everything you will need together for the start? When you sit down do you have pen, paper, good lighting, quietness?) Go (the anticipation of the start is exciting while the inertia to begin moving is the big part) Just take the first step of the journey and then repeat it.
- Is your goal visible as a reminder? Sticky notes and notes on car dashes are old school with electronic reminders, but they live in your rhythms of life
- Do you remind yourself better by reviewing your actions the night before or fist thing in the morning or both? Looking over your list or what’s next helps you juggle the distractions
- Celebrate the AND. Momentum is captured in the AND. Small wins and adjustments are important on your journey to accomplish your goal.
“Putting it into practice” or “do it” is the next step after the AND. Practice is a great word. It is not perfection but the repetition of an event over and over again. You may not get it right the first time. Keep tweaking your performance. Make the changes necessary to make it work for you. The key is to keep practicing.
This year, I changed my Bible reading plan. Why? I was only faithful through March and then things began to slide downhill. I liked the diversity of reading in the plan, but something needed to change if I was going to be successful. Many people use the YOU version app. I use one called ReadingPlan by James Price. I chose a thematic category and I am hopeful. Why? Because I am putting it into practice. May you make any adjustments necessary to fulfill what God has spoken to you.
On this Monday Mantra may God’s blessing reign over your “hearing”, your AND, and putting it into practice. This is a great year. Why? God is moving and He invites us to participate in what He is doing. May this be a year of harvesting the seeds you have planted for years.
Blessings Love y’all