I’m excited to start 2020 with a new Priority Time series on my blog, looking at the book of Acts. To my friends, near and far, I hope it’ll keep us connected and be a huge encouragement to your own walk with the Lord.
I’ll post several times in these first few weeks and then they’ll space out to a couple per week. If you want to make sure you receive each post in your Inbox, please subscribe to my blog. With a few posts per week as my norm, you shouldn’t get behind, but the beauty of technology is that you can pace yourself and save the next post until you get to that place in the Scripture. As a heads up, the first few posts will set the foundation both for a Priority Time and for the book of Acts, so we’ll pick up steam as we go.If you’re not familiar with the term Priority Time, it’s what I call a devotional time or what a lot of people call a Quiet Time. I don’t use the term Quiet Time because God’s not quiet and I don’t like being quiet! Obviously, I understand the intent behind the term Quiet Time, but I find that my time with God is full of variety. There are times when it’s quiet, but there are also times when it’s loud and lively.
I’ve chosen to call my devotional time a Priority Time because it’s the one priority that ultimately determines all priorities. Here’s a working definition: A Priority Time is a daily, unhurried time with God to read the Word of God to know the God of the Word.
It’s all about knowing God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit more, not just about knowing more. It’s not about improving your spiritual IQ as much as it’s about spending time with the One who loves you like none other.
We’ll talk more about a Priority Time throughout this year, but let me outline the How part of the equation really quick to get us started. It’s a simple four-step process:
1. Focused Thinking
We’re told to meditate upon the Scriptures. Well, the word meditate means to focus your thinking. By the way, it’s impossible to meditate quickly. When I say a Priority Time is a daily, unhurried time, I don’t mean it’s an unlimited time. I simply mean you should set aside an amount of time for your priority time and be unhurried during that time and focused. The best way to focus your thinking is to ask the journalistic questions as you read through the scriptures: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
2. Interactive Prayer
One of the best definitions of prayer that I know is this: Prayer is listening to God and responding. As you read the Scriptures, listen and give yourself the permission and freedom to respond immediately in prayer. Don’t feel like you have to do all your prayer on the front- or backend. Make it relational and pray as the Spirit prompts. Again, there’s much more to say, but we’ll talk about it throughout these journals.
3. Personal Application
Application is everything. Think about it this way:
Information + Application = Transformation
What’s the best way to know how to apply the Scriptures? Find the one truth that’s jumping out to you the most and ask the same journalistic questions about how you can apply that truth to your life. Keep it short, simple, and straightforward. It’s a lot to obey ten truths a day. Just focus on one specific application.
4. Life Journaling
The faintest of ink or typing is better than the strongest of memory. Basically, I’ll be modeling journaling throughout this process to you, but it’s also important for you to customize the journaling process to your personality. The most important thing is to record your time with God. It’s not a diary, but it includes some of the elements of a diary. It can be everything you want it to be, but my recommendation is to include each aspect of Focused Thinking, Personal Application, and Interactive Prayer in your journaling.
We’ll pause here for today. As you consider these four areas, know that most of us are strong in one or two and avoid the others! I encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to help you see more and experience more of Him than ever before as you walk through Acts with me. It’ll take a couple of posts to get the foundation set, but in the meantime read Acts 1:1-8 a few times. Allow your questions and insights to begin.