A Defining Moment

I find the transition one year to the next to be a defining moment — and opportunity to grow spiritually.

But there can be other spiritually defining moments — a newborn, and illness, a loved one passing away, moving to a new life in a new environment, and many more.

We have the opportunity to mark these points in time — and think about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

I like to take some time to think about what God is doing and hold to the promise of Psalm 37:23 “The Lord directs the steps of the godly and delights in every detail of their lives.”

So here is my spiritual checklist that will help all of us grow closer to the Lord in these defining moments.

Where am I in my journey with the Lord right now?

Write the answer to this question in one sentence by thinking about your time alone with the Lord, your trust in Him, the difficulties and victories you’ve experienced this past year, and your love for Him right now. This is something for you and the Lord, so you can be absolutely honest. And I want to say this – you are writing out your own perceived thoughts about your walk with the Lord. The Lord’s ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are greater than ours. He knows more than we know. And in fact, you may be so much closer to Him than you know right now. But asking this question will help you to even write out your desire to know the Lord more. For me, I am learning to walk by faith. And I have experienced a lot of loss in the past few years. So I have been on a journey of learning to trust God and I am definitely still learning it. I am learning more and more to trust God and His Word. Sometimes I feel like Peter with little faith and sinking under the water at times.

What’s my word and verse for the year?

This is something that I love to do every year. As I ask God to give me the word and the verse, I think through the greatest areas where I need to grow in my relationship with Him. I pray about my word and verse for the year. For example, I think through words like faith (Hebrews 11:1), believe (Hebrews 11:6), peace (Philippians 4:6-7), and new (Isaiah 43:19). As I shared before, I want to believe God and His Word more, and walk by faith in His Word.

How am I to grow deeper in my quiet time with the Lord?

I heard someone say that if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. I am passionate to learn and grow deeper in my own quiet time with the Lord. Think about where you are in your own quiet time with the Lord. I encourage you use this defining moment as an incentive where you are determined to go deeper in your quiet time. I intentionally wrote six books on different aspects of devotional life in the A 30-Day Journey Series so that if someone wanted to grow in that particular area, they could learn and grow deeper in just thirty days. Choose from Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time (grow deeper in quiet time), Knowing & Loving the Bible (grow deeper in the Word), Walking with the God Who Cares (grow deeper in faith in God’s promises), Set My Heart on Fire (grow deeper in living in the power of the Holy Spirit), Trusting in the Names of God (grow deeper in knowing God), and Passionate Prayer (grow deeper in talking with God). Just think — if you read and study all six of these A 30-Day Journeys, in only six months, you will have completed an in-depth course in spiritual formation. You will have gone deeper with God in the most important areas of your relationship with Him.

How will I live in God’s Word?

We can use a defining moment to think through how we will live in God’s Word. God says to “let the word of Christ richly dwell in you” (Colossians 3:16). How will that happen going forward? There are so many different opportunities for us to live in God’s Word. We could plan to study the character of Christ by using a book of quiet time such as, A Heart On Fire, as one of our Bible reading plans. We could decide to use a devotional like Daily Light on the Daily Path, as a plan to be in God’s Word, focusing on Scripture each day. We could decide to do our own personal study of verses and passages throughout the Bible on a topic like faith and enter them into various studies in The Devotional Bible Study Notebook.

How will I dedicate my time for the Lord?

We can step back at defining moments and assess how we are equipped to handle our quiet time? We might take time to go through all our quiet time resources and put them in a basket in a quiet place in our home. We might be intentional to find a quiet place in our home to draw near to the Lord. And we might choose the best time when we will be still and spend quiet time with God. I like the mornings the best and I am up early with my Lord to draw near to Him.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream, And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought, Nor cease to yield fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NASB

I hope these five suggestions will help you in your defining moments. Life is a journey of growing in grace with our Lord. And so, I give you the words of Peter as my encouragement to you: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18).

♥ God bless you in the great adventure of knowing Him!


Journaling pours out your soul to the Lord. When you journal, you become receptive to the voice of God. … Pouring out your soul to the Lord means to lift up every desire, need, joy, sorrow, and thought that is on your heart and in your mind to your Father who loves you more than you can imagine. It is done in the presence of God, directed to God, and intended for the glory of God.
Catherine Martin, Day Nine, Your Journal, Six Secrets To A Powerful Quiet Time

The Quiet Time Notebook

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The PRAYER Quiet Time Plan

The Quiet Time Journal

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Pouring Out Your Soul to the Lord

The Devotional Bible Study Notebook

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The Passionate Prayer Notebook

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