Three Fool-Proof Steps for a God-Directed Day
by Shauna Wallace
“Ugh! I didn’t get one thing done today, Lord!” I huffed, slumping in my desk chair as my hopes for a productive day leaked away like helium from a pierced balloon. Deflated and defeated, my list stared back at me, not a single item marked off.
Do you ever feel that way at the end of the day, thinking, “Lord, I didn’t even get done today. Again! What’s wrong with me? Will I ever get it together enough to get it all done?” Just fill in the blank: laundry, dishes, chores, errands, meetings, schoolwork, family devotions, cooking, grocery shopping and so on.
Slumped in my chair that evening, the Lord gently corrected me…
“Maybe what’s on your list isn’t what’s on Mine.”
Then, in It’s a Wonderful Life fashion, He walked me back through my day:
You walked with a neighbor and new friend, who admitted feeling so blessed that you reached out to intentionally connect with her.
You took the unexpected call from a friend needing prayer for a personal stronghold.
You laughed with your daughters instead of getting angry as they complained that there’s no food in the house and proceeded to plan a menu together.
You picked up your husband from the mechanic and snuck in a spontaneous side trip to the local fresh pasta lady for a treat for dinner.
You took time to do your Bible study this morning.
And the Lord opened my eyes to see, it had been a great day!
My list was still there, staring back at me, as it does every single morning. In fact, here’s what it looks like today (yes, seriously, this is my brain on paper).
It’s never empty. There’s NEVER a day when everything is marked off and I’m starting or ending with a blank page. For me, that’s called heaven, and realistically, that’s the only time my earthly list will finally be blank: in heaven!
No matter what’s on my list or yours each day, no matter how massive or small, urgent or flexible, here are Three Fool-Proof Steps for a God-Directed Day:
#1-“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
For me, this means backing out a time to sit quietly with the Lord at the beginning of my day so that I can read my Bible, pray and hear from Him. I want Jesus to rule in absolute authority over every aspect of my inside and outside life, that I might live right before Him. As I focus on that, He works out everything else.
What this means on a practical, what-do-I-DO level is every night before I go to bed, I figure out what time I have to be ready for my first obligation the next day, and I back out the time I want with the Lord from that time. So, if I have to be ready to take my kids to class at 7:45 a.m., I back out the time I need to get ready, and then I set on my alarm to allow for my time with the Lord before getting ready. I get up and I get with God. Know this: it’s not the time of day that determines dedication; but the determined dedicate a time every day. It won’t just happen; it must be prioritized and planned into your day.
#2-Make God’s prize your goal.
“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Forget about yesterday. What is the goal for today? Is it slaying your list or doing what makes you feel accomplished, or is it the upward call of God in Christ Jesus? If I prize productivity, then interruptions wreck me. If I prize the upward call of God – keeping my focus upward on Him, knowing Him, loving Him, serving Him and bringing Him glory– interruptions are simply opportunities for Him to work in and through me.
#3-Have your plan for the day, but trust God to order your steps.
Every one of us can know that we know that we know the assurance of Psalms 37:23: “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (NLT). I can’t ditch my list (although some days I’d love to!). Lots of people are relying on me to do what’s on it. I must have a plan for my day, but even when it’s jam-packed with little wiggle room, I want to leave room for God to interrupt my plan for His. His priorities need to supersede mine every time.
Here’s what this looks like when I pray:
“Lord, here’s all I could and should do today. Please show me what You would have me do.”
I don’t live this approach flawlessly, but as the Lord is teaching me, I take personally Paul’s words in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Press on Mama! Prize God’s prize. Make time with Him your highest priority every day. And even on the days when we don’t think we’ve done a very good job, let me leave you with this assurance about our same God who directs our steps and delights in the details of our lives (you know, the details on our to-do lists):
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:24).
Anyone else feeling the urge to throw your hands up in the air and praise the Lord for His goodness to us? Go ahead. Let’s do it! Drop the pencil. Forget the list, if even just for a brief moment. And thank Him, for He is the prize.
An inspirational writer, teacher, and speaker, Shauna Wallace burns with passion to see women experience the fullness of God’s grace, faithfulness, peace, joy, protection, and provision by becoming wholly His. Finding hope and life in God’s word motivates her to help other women discover God’s power to transform lives.
Transparent and real, she opens her life and heart to encourage others. She and her husband, James, serve their church, community, and clients of their custom home building business. As a homeschooling stay-at-home mother of four, Shauna treasures the privilege of being James’ helpmate and training her children in the ways of the Lord. Check Out Shauna’s Blog Here!