Friday, March 15, 2013

Possible Action Plans?...{Finding Sanctuary - 16}

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
  Proverbs 16:21 ESV
Studio JRU friends, the rest of this post is part of a series of an art therapy exercise we are doing for Lent...I invite you to read on, or you may just enjoy the picture...
As  promised, here is a list of possible items the Lord might use in your new plan of action - 
based on a general overview from scripture of how He leads us into wholeness and holiness (or perhaps you will feel more comfortable with the word "sanctification").  And as the above scripture says, it is His purpose that will stand - so we come into His courts with our requests, and engage our hearts to understand His plans for our situation...and then we can move forward in confidence... writing the vision and running with it...

Possible Plans that the Lord could speak to you:
1.  More time at His feet, a) listening (and He will get specific - 5, 10, 15 minutes?)
          Martin Luther once spoke that "I am so busy now that if I did not spend three hours each 
                                                                  day in prayer, I could not get through the day."
                                          b) enjoying His presence - spending that extra time doing something you 
           especially enjoy with your spiritual ears open to His voice (after all, He wove you together to
           enjoy the things you do...some people may take a walk, some may create art, some may just 
            rest quietly - )
                                           c) write His words of love over you ( personalize them)...and write some
            response words back!  For an idea (or to start off some of your time with Him, read these 
2.  Practice "New Creation" thinking - there are so many resources for this ("I am (in Him)" lists:
          Joyce Meyers, Niel T. Anderson (Victory Over the Darkness), John Piper,
          but perhaps you already have scriptures marked in your Bible, and He would have you write 
          them down and post around your house, reading them repeatedly till they get worked down
          deep to the bottom of your soul..or make one collage with all those scriptures/"I am" 
          statements; or do an art journal entry - 1 each day, working through those  
          scriptures/statements...simply anything that makes your mind, your hands, and your memory
          work at the same time, for a time {smiling} 

3.  Practice Forgiveness.  Has the work revealed anyone you still need to forgive?  Do you still need
     to accept His forgiveness to you over an issue in a more deep way (frequently referred to as 
     "forgiving yourself")?   In regards to other people, forgiveness is a separate issue from trust and
       reconciliation...some believe you haven't truly forgiven if you haven't achieved reconciliation
       but this idea comes from a misunderstanding of what the scripture really teaches.  Simply think 
       about this:  Jesus forgave us all from the cross, but only those who accept His free gift of eternal
      life are reconciled to Him and can enjoy a daily relationship with Him...

4.  Put on/Put off:  Colossians 3:1-17 contains a list of practices to "put off" and another to "put on" -
     as if we can change character like we change clothes!  But the metaphor is right on target!  To
     keep that RAS focuses on God's plan, He may have inspired this passage to help us develop new 
     habits...for instance, everytime we put on a coat, or our clothes for the day, if we use that 
     opportunity to review His plan for this topic, we would be actively working with Him in the 
     change process...

5.  Invest in yourself:  Has there been a book you have been considering buying?  An online course
     you think might benefit you?  A conference nearby that has been tugging on your heart?  Getting 
     some targeted coaching?  Taking a day away from normal responsibilities to refill your own 
     creative + emotional tanks?

6.  Encourage educating yourself on one or more of the subtopics relating to the issue you are
     exploring.   Read articles, listen to teaching tapes, take someone to lunch and discuss the topic: a 
     friend, your pastor, a small group leader, a Bible Study leader, etc.

7.  Go to Scripture and do a "topic" search for the issue under consideration and do a survey about
      ways the biblical characters faced similar challenges.  Is there any ideas you can adopt into your 
     own situation?

8.  Is there a habit you must resist?  He may give a replacement activity for the one you must 
     resist...perhaps He will ask you to get help to get free from something that has its "hook" in 
     you...pray for someone you trust to hear God's heart and come to you to help you in this area.
     Otherwise, again I refer to Neil Anderson's site for much insight and help in this area.   
There are as many more possibilities as there are situations, but this can help you jumpstart your own process.  Many of the plans may take days to fully implement, but that too is part of the plan, as change begins immediately and gets firmer as time and information accumulates.  You may find (as you search the internet) that many people/sites have jumped on the "21-day to develop a new habit" train of thought...scientific research shows a much different time frame.  For we Christians, tho', we know it is a daily process that will continue till the day we are with Him in eternity...and we are willing to put the effort that the research underscores for our lives to become conformed to His...

Remember:  as you formulate your plan, be as specific as possible {with God's help}!

Till tomorrow -

And since the list below is becoming quite long, I believe I am going to make a button and a special page to hold this list!  Thanks for your patience!

Older posts in this series: 
The Journey begins  
A new tool, part 2
A new tool, part 3 

A new tool, part 4 
A Soft Answer, part 5  
How do We Step Into and Out of Anger? part 6
A Time for Reflection, part 7 

Building a Personal Art Piece - Stage II, part 11
Building a Personal Art Piece - Stage III, part 12 
Getting Specific with a Plan of Action, part 13
Sharing My Work, part 14 

My Discovery through Reflection - Orange, part 15