Day Prep for Leaders

How to Have Good Days Through Proper Spiritual Preparation


Have you ever rushed into a day in a wrong state of mind and wished later that you could have a “do-over?” The Bible has a something to say about the wisdom of proper preparation before the day begins.


What The Bible Says About Having A Good Day

Everywhere that we go, we may encounter people who wish for us to have a “good day.” Have you ever asked yourself what a good day really is–especially from God’s point of view? I Peter 3:10-11 teaches us that it has a lot to do with how we relate to other people with our words, our actions, and attitudes. Wouldn’t it be great to go through a day in which we speak only right words to others and experience “the peace of God” (Philippians 4:7) guarding our hearts and keeping us unruffled at all times?

This kind of an “error-free” day doesn’t come naturally to most people, because we all have a tendency to sin with our tongues. James 3:8 (Amplified) declares, “The human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison.” Proverbs 10:19 (KJV) speaks a great truth when it says, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” The more that we give our tongues free rein, the more we are apt to say something that violates the some of Bible’s many wise teachings about speech.

For example, Ephesians 4:29 (NASB) says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Philippians 2:14 (KJV) tells us to “Do all things without murmurings and disputings,” or, as the ISV puts it, “without complaining or arguing.” Try that for a day!

Similarly, it’s very hard to get through a day without losing one’s peace of mind at some point. Though we would all like to live in “love, joy, peace” (Galatians 5:22) and other heavenly attitudes throughout the day, life is often like a minefield filled with with difficult spiritual tests strewn across our paths. It is all too easy to become annoyed by another imperfect human being, to have our patience and self-control tested by circumstances or to end up harboring a less than charitable attitude toward someone else with whom we are not pleased.

What to do?

Isaiah 50:4 (ISV) gives us some excellent tips on how to avoid and rise above these problems through the right kind of spiritual preparation. Before examining this verse in depth, try answering this question. Which best describes the way in which you walk into the average day and the kinds of days that you most often experience?

Poorly prepared – Discombobulated day: You launch into the day without spending necessary time with God or preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for the day ahead. You race off to work to only to realize that you forgot something that you were supposed to bring with you. You also discover that you weren’t adequately prepared for some of your responsibilities and end up finding yourself at odds with others, with life, with God, and even yourself. What little love, joy, peace and patience you started off with leaks out during the day, leaving you in not the greatest of moods. Lesson: Often a day that starts off wrong stays wrong all day. Not a “good day!”

Partially prepared – “So-so” Day: You take a bit of time to pray, meditate, and prepare for your day and receive a few benefits from this. But at various points during the day, you wish that you had been better prepared. You forget some things, have some interactions with other people where you are definitely not at your best, and your “Joy-o-Meter” hovers around 5 on a scale of 10. A few good things happen and you end the day feeling that it wasn’t a bad day, but it wasn’t great either!

Proverbs 8 teaches that God is constantly trying to impart wisdom to people who will pay attention to Him,

Well-prepared – Awesome Day: You have a good time of fellowship with God and enjoy being in His presence. You hand all your burdens over to Him and, in return, experience the peace of God fortifying your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7). You turn to God’s Word to receive comfort and inspiration to face the day and ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 8:18; Luke 11:13). You pray specifically about the problems, people and situations you are going to be meeting and ask God to grant you the grace, strength and wisdom which you will need to handle them successfully. While being quiet before God, you remember a couple of things on your to-do list that you otherwise would have forgotten and make plans to attend to them. While pondering over a few difficult situations, some “Heaven-birthed” ideas come to you about how to resolve them. You walk out the door onto “Battlefield Earth” equipped with “the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10 KJV) and “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

As the day unfolds, you have an abiding sense of God’s presence guiding you and keeping you under His control. Though stresses and pressures come upon you during the day, they don’t really get to you, spoil your fellowship with God, or cause you to react poorly. At several moments during the day, you marvel that God has given you just the right words to say to someone, allowed you to show His special love to another person, or helped you to make a difficult decision. When some unexpected blessings come your way, you rejoice to see how God has answered some of your prayers in a wonderful way. You go home at the end of the day glad that you were able to accomplish some good things, that you stayed away from evil, and—most of all—that you and God had a “good day” walking together! Awesome day!

Would You Like To Have “Good Days” More Often?

Would you like to have “good days” more often? If so, take a look at what Isaiah 50:4 has to say. The speaker in this Psalm (believed by some scholars to be Jesus) describes how an intimate, personal relationship with God supernaturally prepares him for his daily service to God. Let’s examine how this happened:

(1) Each day would begin when God wakes him up in time to make his necessary preparations. The Scripture indicates that this was a daily and regular thing (“morning after morning”), not just a special one-time occurrence. And God’s purpose in doing this was to communicate with him.

(2) This servant of God describes this as a listening relationship in which God speaks to him as a teacher does to a student: “He wakens my ear to listen like those who are being taught.” The New English Translation says, “He makes me alert so I can listen attentively as disciples do.” There are only two basic reactions that one can have to this: (a) You can be annoyed to have God wake you up; or (b) you can count it a phenomenal blessing that God cares enough to communicate with you and is offering to be your divine Mentor.

There are many Christians in the world, but not all of them are disciples – serious followers of Christ who have a desire to be taught by Him. God tries to communicate with all of them, but the disciples are those who listen. If you make the decision to become one of His true disciples, Jesus will use you to accomplish more good than you ever thought possible, for He “is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 Holman).

(3) Proverbs 8 teaches that God is constantly trying to impart wisdom to people who will pay attention to Him, and that almost endless benefits accrue to those who will take the time to do this. “Hear,” He says, “for I will speak excellent and princely things; and the opening of my lips shall be for right things” (Proverbs 8:6 Amplified). Interestingly, the Hebrew word translated as “excellent and princely” (“nagad”) means “leader,” “ruler” or “official,” and indicates that God raises up leaders by speaking words of wisdom to them. This wisdom can come both through His Spirit speaking to one’s heart and from the Bible, which is the written Word of God.

(4) The specific type of wisdom on which God focuses in Isaiah 50:4 is how to communicate in an edifying manner with people who are being beaten down by life’s pressures. His servant tells us that this type of wisdom allows him to “sustain the weary with words.” One Bible scholar commented on this reference to “the weary” by saying, “That would be all of us!”

(5) The key idea in this verse is that, since we are all called to be servants, God desires to train us how to lift the spirits of others with our words. The power of right words is so great that one translation reads, “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of those who are instructed to know how to sustain the weary with a word (Holman)! It doesn’t take a Shakespearean soliloquy to encourage a weary or discouraged person. A few well-chosen words will do, and if we let Him, God will put those words in our mouths. As God told Moses, “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say” (Exodus 4:12 NASB).

(6) This may seem like a somewhat limited ministry, but it is essentially who Jesus was and is! He is “the Word” (John 1:1), and His mission while on earth was to speak the words that God the Father gave Him. In His last prayer before returning to Heaven, Jesus told His Father, “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them” John 17:8 (ESV). Jesus Christ changed the world through the words that He spoke!

(7) In a sense, much of life is a process of learning how to speak the right words at the right time to the right people. We get lots of daily training in how to how to do this. If we allow the Lord become our Personal Trainer, we can acquire what Isaiah 50:4 (ISV) calls “a learned tongue” and what the NIV translates as “a well-instructed tongue.”

(8) In the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, we have been given the greatest message ever given and the greatest words ever spoken to deliver to a weary human race. The amount of good that we can accomplish just by sharing these life-changing truths is incalculable. And it is through Christians sharing their God-given hope and faith with others that the Kingdom of God—the most important construction project in the world—is being built on the Earth today.

(9) Letting God prepare us for the day ahead is one of the wisest things we can ever do. Like many Christians, you may not feel that God ever speaks to you, but make sure that you are not expecting an audible voice or a Mission Impossible-style announcement saying “Good morning! This is your mission, should you choose to accept it. This recording will self-destruct in five seconds.” But, if you take the time to quiet yourself before God and give Him a chance, you will be surprised how much He is able to speak to your heart about: (a) answers to important questions; (b) strategies about how to solve difficult problems; (c) ways that you can serve Him and bless other people; (d) specific job assignments that He has for your day ahead; (e) people with whom He would like you to share His love; and (e) things you need to watch out for so that you don’t self-destruct!

(10) Just as no football team ever runs onto the playing field without specific instructions and encouragement from their coach, God does not want you to walk onto life’s playing field unprepared. God has the Game Plan for our lives and, when we listen to His instructions, we never need to lose a battle. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have to huddle with Him and face each day’s challenges with the wonderful assurance that, in Christ, we are already on the winning team.

(11) If you need specific instructions, ask God. James 1:5 (NIV) promises, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” With God’s divine resources at our disposal, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be the best-prepared people in the world to live life successfully—whatever challenges it may bring.

(12) Lastly, if you will ask Him how and follow His directions, God will help you to have a “good day” every day, for every day lived rightly for God and through God is a good day!

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