God calls us through his Word to grow as disciples. You will encounter three basics calls to action in scripture: principles, tasks, and changes. Recognizing these three ways God calls us is the bridge between bible study and application.
Why? Because when you read scripture daily and actively look for these three calls, you will more often hear and apply God’s Word to your life. Here are the three types of calls:
PRINCIPLES to implement
“Love you neighbor as yourself” is an example of a principle for Godly living. Scripture is filled with basic commands and guidelines for how we are to live faithfully. Principles tend to be timeless maxims that you strive to live by indefinitely.
TASKS to accomplish
Tasks are specific accomplishments that God calls you to complete. These are sometimes commitments that you feel led to make such as, teach sunday school, mend a broken relationship, go on a mission trip, call or visit someone, etc. These are specific finite items God calls you to commit to. Tasks and principles may overlap. For example, recognizing the principle of loving your neighbor as yourself may lead you to the task of making a meal for someone who is sick.
CHANGES to make
Changes are shifts in your character or behavior that are necessary for you to be a faithful servant of God. For example, you may need to shift from an attitude and behavior of negativity and complaining to gratitude and encouragement. A change may be as simple as eliminating an attitude to breaking an addiction.
HOW TO RESPOND TO GOD’S CALL
The 3 calls that you may encounter require the same basic response.
- IDENTIFY a principle, task or change you need to work on
- SPECIFY a goal
- PLAN the actions you need to take
- FOLLOW your action plan
- CELEBRATE and give God the glory
For now, when reading scripture ask yourself, “In this text is there a principle, task, or change that I am being called to obey? ” Underline or highlight principles with a unique color in your Bible so you can readily see them. For each principle you mark ask yourself, “What is one way I can live this principle out today?” Answer that question and you are basically setting a spiritual goal.
This simple process is deceptively powerful. It can deepen your relationship with God rapidly and sky-rocket your spiritual growth. I hope you will make this a routine part of how to study the bible in your own life.
FREE SPIRITUAL GOALS WORKSHEET
If you want to take this goal setting process a step further, download The Practical Disciple Spiritual Goal Setting Template. This simple worksheet is designed to help you more effectively set small spiritual goals and achieve them rapidly. Click the button below to get your copy now.
(Today’s post, originally published Sept. 10, 2015, has revised and improved for you)