If you want to move ahead in your spiritual walk and even gain some momentum then you need to pay attention to five basic disciplines of life as a believer. These can be made into an acrostic using the word DRIVE.
D – Devotion to God
R – Readiness for lifelong learning
I – Investing in key relationships
V – Visioning for the future
E – Eating and exercising for life
Devotion to God is not a matter of priorities. As Paul states “In Him we live, and move and have our being”. So, He is the center of everything we do and not just one small piece of each day or “a priority” – even through it is good to have a time with the Lord and your Bible every day. Thus, for me, devotion to God means He is central to everything I am doing every day everywhere, He is always on my mind and I am looking for all the opportunities He is giving me daily to tell others about Him. I am looking for all the “divine coincidents” that happen daily that allow me to see God’s hand at work in my life and the life of others. So, my whole life is a serious devotion to God – or, at least, is suppose to be.
Readiness for life-long learning ….I am always amazed at the number of believers and even the number of Christian leaders who seldom read a book. Yes, it is good to have the Bible as number one book you are reading but there are many other good books on the market – new and classics – that would help us to be better Christians and better leaders should we invest some time in reading and learning from them.
A mentor taught me many years ago that “leaders are readers” and that if we “stop learning we stop leading“. I have observed this to be very true. Many who call themselves leaders are really not as they are not moving forward or going anywhere and no one is really following them.
So, Christians should have a reading plan – and a budget to buy good quality books across many gendres – classics, Christian literature, leadership books, books on topics where you are weak and need to improve … and we need to be intentional about this and design a reading plan – a book a week, a chapter a day, a half day a week to snuggle up in a chair and read… And we need to find ways to collect and use what we are discovering so that our information and knowledge base continues to grow.
Investing in key relationships … this is another area where I am seriously amazed; amazed at how few men and women take the time to intentionally build relationships with others who know more, are more anointed, are experts in some area of ministry or spiritual life…. and thus are not benefiting from the experience of others and often are reinventing the wheel needlessly.
I have always taken the opportunity (and sometimes made the opportunity) to build relationships with others who can be my mentors and help me to grow and learn and develop new skills. I recently just lost a mentor who has walked with me for 30 years and who recently died and went to be with the Lord. I have other mentors and they are a great encouragement to me and a tremendous help in my growth and learning curve.
In my life today there are many young men and women who are connected to me and learning from me – information, life-skills, ministry skills, sharing life experiences – but the majority of them are in Eastern Europe. Here in North America this does not seem to be something people want. Even after prophetic words link them to me directly they never contact me and do not pursue what their prophetic words state they should do. A sad state of affairs but one that I can do nothing about and so I have stopped chasing them and must leave the fulfillment of their prophetic words in their hands – it was their word and thus their responsibility.
Visioning for the future – again many believers have not thought about the future – what they hope to accomplish, where they want to be in 10 years, what they would like to accomplish, the legacy they might be leaving behind upon their death. Most believers live day-to-day without any plans for what they are want to accomplish or even what the Lord’s plans and purpose is for their life. Some have even been told prophetically what it is the Lord wants them to do – and somehow it seems that they are expecting God to do it all without their involvement because they are not taking steps of faith and thus moving towards their divine destiny in the Lord.
This is not designing a five year plan or a ten year plan. This is simply envisioning your divine destiny and the things God has called you to be and then to do and taking steps towards seeing this come to pass. Sadly lacking in the life of most Christians and a lot of Christian leaders’ lives and ministry.
Eating and exercising for life… I need to be careful what I say here as many – too many – Christians and Christian leaders are seriously overweight and even obese. This, of course, is never a good witness as it shows a lack of respect for your own body, that you are not a good steward of the gift that God has given to you (your body and finances), that you are living in some “never-never” land thinking that this situation will not lead to future complications – heart conditions, strokes, diabeties – and an early death. And, of course, it is simply a seriously poor witness to the non-believing world who, at this point, are in better shape than most believers and take greater care of themselves than most followers of the Lord.
Time to take a gym membership out and get there 3 to 5 times a week. No more excuses – cut back on the calories and all that junk food, lose the pounds, tone up and tighten that body and exercise for life -your life. You are not too busy and it is not too late. I am in my mid-sixties and busier than I have ever been in my life and I go to the gym daily when in the city and book hotels with exercise rooms where you will find me after or before a busy day of meetings and ministry … where there is a will there is always a way. For fun, take a reading of your BMI and see if you are in trouble or not.
Body Mass Index … Multiply your weight, in pounds, by 703; divide the results by your height in inches; divide the results by your height in inches, again, to find your BMI number.
Under 18.5 = underweight
18.5 to 24.9 = healthy
25 to 29.9 = overweight
30 to 39.9 = obese
Over 40 = morbidly obese
My BMI is 19.1 and I feel great! Join me in this needed change in lifestyle and stop making excuses.
D.R.I.V.E. …. where are you heading in your life and walk with the Lord? Only you can change things and only you are to blame if you don’t. This is totally your responibility and believers need to stop justifying a life-style that lacks passion and is passive and apathetic and going no where. It is time to step up to the plate and take action – take control of your God-given life and do something. Start your DRIVE….