Reality is doing a summer series on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We're three weeks in (out of 12), and it is already rocking my world. One thing that Britt encouraged everyone to do at the beginning of this series was to make a spiritual plan for the summer. He said, "If you don't have a spiritual plan, you can be sure you will accomplish nothing."
Ouch. But really, he's so right. After last fall's women's retreat, I was so excited about Jesus! I had just started reading Abide in Christ, and I was diligent about reading it (along with my Bible) almost daily until I finished it. I figured I would take a week or so to ruminate on what I'd learned from that book, and then start on another one I had also gotten during the retreat. Fast forward to today (eight months later) -- I never picked up that other book, and I've rarely picked up my Bible except during church or my weekly ladies' Bible study. My lack of a "spiritual plan" this year has definitely been felt.
So I know I need to be a lot more intentional about my walk with Jesus. I'm going to start by reading a book called Hearing God, which I have started and abandoned at least three times in the past several years. It's about time I finish it.
I'm also going to start working on memorizing the book of Philippians. My goal is to have at least the first chapter memorized by the end of this 12-week series at Reality. (My ultimate goal, which is on my Thirty Before 30 list, is to memorize the whole book by April 2015.)
I just really want to get back into a daily rhythm of waking up and giving my first thoughts to God. I want to grow and be fruitful, and I know that won't happen without intentional action on my part.
Another thing I'm really excited about is revamping my ladies' Bible study. Lately it's been kind of scattered and inconsistent, and the other day I felt God urging me to pursue a more structured gathering. So in the fall (probably right around the time that the summer series ends), we'll begin a study called Stuck by Jennie Allen. I'm so looking forward to this new endeavor, and I can't wait to dig into it with a few amazing women of God.
I have this wooden plaque on the wall in my bedroom with 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NLT) on it. It's something I really want to embody - a joyful spirit in Christ. But on its own, this verse sometimes feels like an impossible command. Yet when I read it along with the next three verses (in the HCSB), I get a glimpse at how I can be that joyful person:
16 Rejoice always!
17 Pray constantly.
18 Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Don’t stifle the Spirit.
It takes continual prayer and thanksgiving, and a deliberate choice to allow the Spirit to move in me.
So in a nutshell, my spiritual plan for this summer is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19.
Don't stifle the Spirit.