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Aug7TueWhat are you doing this August? August 7, 2018 by Commissioner Susan McMillan
For me, the worst part of August is that it’s on the downhill side of summer. Autumn is closer than it was two months ago, and that means winter isn’t far behind. I’m really not good at winter. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the season—I just don’t embrace it very well. Some of my friends and colleagues are already looking forward to skiing, tobogganing and snowmobiling. I just want August to last as long as possible. I know it can’t be any more than 31 days, but I like to savour every one.
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- Opinion & Critical Thought
Many people take vacations in August. That’s not a bad thing to do, although it does seem to make the month go even faster. I like to use at least the last couple of weeks in August to make plans for the fall and winter. I need to get my head around the demands of the next season in the territory; to think about how I’m going to prepare for each activity and what I need to do to be ready.
Planning is a good thing, but we have to make sure that we’re not planning against the Spirit of Christ. The first step in any plan must be to consult God, seek his will and plan toward his purposes. Easier said than done, perhaps—but much more effective in the long run. August, therefore, needs to be a time for prayer and meditation on God’s Word; it needs to be a time for seeking the will of the Father so that I can be the best me possible when I need to step up and do what he wants. August needs to be a time for trusting in his plan for me.
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).
What are you doing this August? Have you pondered God’s purpose for your life? Have you pondered his plan for the next few months? For August, my intention is to plan my spiritual development over the next months, by asking God to help me map out a direction and methodology for Bible study, prayer and, yes, even sermon preparation. I know that for me that’s part of my work, but it needs to come from my relationship with God.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us could, by God’s help, map out a plan to deepen our experience in him, and allow that experience to run over into our everyday lives of work, family and fun? I challenge Salvationists all over the territory: let’s seek out the plan God has for our lives and, in particular, for our spiritual development over the next months. Remember that God is a God of planning, and his plans for us are good and hopeful. At times, we may not understand them, but we learn by experience to trust him.
“But God has opened the eyes of those called to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, to see that Christ is the mighty power of God to save them; Christ himself is the centre of God’s wise plan for their salvation. This so-called ‘foolish’ plan of God is far wiser than the wisest plan of the wisest man, and God in his weakness—Christ dying on the cross—is far stronger than any man” (1 Corinthians 1:24-25 TLB).
Commissioner Susan McMillan is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Follow her at facebook.com/ susanmcmillantc and twitter.com/ salvationarmytc.