What is PiVAT Monthly? - (Part of Insert #3 for your PiVAT Journal) PiVAT Monthly is PiVAT from a Monthly Perspective – 4 Principles of Faithfulness applied to this Month PiVAT Monthly helps you obey with Time Decisions. It lets God plan your month. PiVAT is an acronym for Prayer, Vision, Accountability, and Testimony - 4 Biblical Principles of Faithfulness PiVAT can be done in 10 minutes – Do PiVAT Monthly before the 1st - to get God’s plan for you for this month. PiVAT is a change of direction - from man's way to God's way. Isaiah 55:8 - There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12 - For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. God has a plan for your month, do you know what it is? It will prosper you!
PiVAT Monthly is a 2-step process: Do PiVAT Monthly before the 1st of the month, Do PiVAT before dinner every day Step 1: Do PiVAT Monthly (before the month begins)
Before this month ends, set aside 10-15 minutes to Ask God for HIS PLAN for youfor this coming month. Don't wait until the 1st or the 2nd. If the month has already begun, it is harder to step back and seek God with a blank page when you are already in the thick of things. However, if you haven't done PiVAT for the month - do it today - no matter how much of the month has already passed. God can give you grace to make up for lost time, so you are faithful to do what He is telling you to do this month. (I've found most of God's To Do's for me each month, pertain more to my becoming... than my accomplishing). This tool helps you to share and pray with your spouse – to discover what you (both) need most from God, and what He is telling you to do in the next 30 days. Ask God to give you counsel in the night season. (Psalms 16:7) By morning, God will either confirm His plan in your spirit, or He may clarify your understanding of what He wants you to do this month. Remember, God is not obligated to reveal everything that will occur in the next 30 days, but if we ask for His plan, He will tell us, specifically, and show us things to come. Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go - I will guide you with my eye upon you."
John 16:13 - But when he the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Step 2: Do PiVAT before dinner (To get God’s Plan for you for tomorrow) Do PiVATbefore dinner to get God’s plan for you for tomorrow - He will also lead you in what steps you must take tomorrow in order to fulfill what He told you to do this week and this month. Screen all interruptions or change of plans this month through Him. Emergencies do arise; obligations and opportunities present themselves, but is this really what God wants you to divert your attention to - or is it the devil's distraction to keep you from what God told you to do today for this month? Update your PiVAT MaybeTo Do List! Each month holds opportunities to deviate from the original plan and focus on something different. Anything that would change or alter your course this month FIRST goes on your PiVAT Maybe To Do List - for God to confirm, delay, or delete. Every new opportunity - even for good things, is not necessarily God's plan for you this month. What is God telling you to say “NO” to? Be sure you hear and obey. Walk in the Spirit in time decisions. PiVAT, PiVAT Weekly, and PiVAT Monthly will train you to hear His voice, walk in the Spirit, and respond to people and situations as He directs. How to Fill Out PiVAT Monthly STEP 1 PRAYER - What do I need most from God this Month? You won't know, ask Him, He’ll tell you - James 1:5 Before you fill in time slots - First Ask God what you need most from Him. This may or may not be related to His V: Vision for you this month. He knows what you will face in the next thirty days, He’s already been there. He will reveal during your PiVAT Monthly time as much as He chooses. But He will likely leave some things unmentioned so you will grow in walking daily by His Holy Spirit. Remember His ways and thoughts are very different from ours (Isaiah 55:7-9) and he knows what you need before you ask (Matthew 6:8). Asking Him what you need most - also prevents you from asking amiss. God's plan for you is to be a different person before the month is over. Whether a month of blessing, or of trial (which is still a blessing), God wants you to be more mature, more complete, and more conformed to His image by the 31st than you were on the 1st. When asking God what you need most from Him this month - think in terms of what God gives. (See Relationship Topic – What God Gives). The fruit of the Spirit is a great start (Galatians 5:22) but the list of what God gives is extensive. And don't think because things are going "OK" in your life, that you don't need anything from Him. To fulfill the purpose He has for you this month - you will need things - beyond yourself. If you only knew what He can give - you'd be asking Him for more - and more often!
As you read God's Word - take note of the "things He gives." Grace, Healing, Favor, an Answer, Wisdom, Patience, an Instructed tongue, Love, Access, Assurance, Blessing, Counsel, Direction, Fruit. Ask Him what you need most from Him this month - He'll tell you - and then you can pray in agreement with His perfect will. He'll tell you what He's getting ready to do - so you can agree with him in prayer.
STEP 2VISION: What is God telling you to do this month? The Top 3 Things (Habakkuk 2:2) Ask God for His #1 priority for you for this month (beyond just going to work, or going to school). Then ask Him for the #2 and #3 Priority He has for you. It may be "print a new PRISM Topic to meditate on," or ask someone to do the 3-Day Challenge. It may be to change your eating habits, begin an exercise program, plan a weekend getaway with your spouse, clean the basement or garage, sell some things you no longer use, or give them away to someone who needs them. Maybe spend concentrated time in prayer each week this month, cut a neighbor's lawn, or call someone who needs encouragement." Ask God, He will tell you.
STEP 3ACCOUNTABILITY: When is He telling me to do it? (The Specific Day and time) (I Chronicles 14:14-16) Accountability is always the specific day and time God is telling you to it. On your PiVAT Monthly – Monday, 8:00 am, or Wednesday 3 p.m., or Tues & Thurs 7-9 p.m. If God tells you to do something He will also tell you when he wants you to do it. Whatever God has for you to do, He also has a time for you to do it. Just ask Him.
STEP 4TESTIMONY: (a) What did God DO this month? (as I’m learning to obey) and (b) What did God REVEAL this month? (during my PRISM time in His Word) Write the Top 10 things God did this month, and the Top 10 things He revealed through His Word (PRISM). Just go back and pick the highlights from your PiVAT Weekly Testimonies for the last 4 weeks. Take the best of the best. Re-writing the high points reminds you of God's faithfulness, gives you another opportunity to Praise Him, and reminds you to keep applying what He taught you this month. You'll be amazed at how God answers prayer and what He accomplishes in and through you within 30 days! The power of your testimony cannot be overstated. It's how God has designed for you to overcome the adversary! - Revelation 12:11
STEP 5TIME FRAMES – Ask God How He Wants You To Fill In The Time Blocks Remember - PiVAT MONTHLY- is God's Calendar for you this month- not your own. Ask God what Time commitments He wants you to keep and fill in the time blocks He tells you. (Morning, Afternoon, or Evening slots)
Don't just assume what you did last month, or what you usually do each month is automatically what He wants for you this month. Every activity this month should be at His direction. Don’t try to fill in every morning, afternoon and evening slot. If God tells you to do something at a certain day and time, enter it in the time block. But He isn't obligated to reveal everything that will happen to you in the next 30 days - right now. He wants to lead you day by day in your PiVAT before dinner time with Him, and also moment by moment throughout the day as you get better at hearing and obeying, truly walking in the Spirit. When you complete your PiVAT for this Month - you can reference your PiVAT Maybe after the fact. Just double check with Him if anything from PiVAT Maybe is for this month. But it's always best to start with a blank PiVAT Monthly - and fill in as the Holy Spirit prompts you. As God reveals His perfect will and plan for you this month; He will reveal some of it through PiVAT Monthly at the beginning of the month, He will reveal a little more of His plan for you during your PiVAT Weekly Time before the week begins. He will reveal more during your PiVAT before dinner, and finally moment by moment - as you check in with him throughout the day. He will surely lead you, and instruct you in the way you should go - in the moment you need it. Remember, God isn't calling you to be a better time manager - He's calling you to be a better time obeyer so you can walk in step with His will throughout the day, throughout the week and throughout the month and year. Great joy awaits, you'll be amazed at the Journey He has for you! This practice of hearing and obeying is an acquired skill - definitely what followers of Christ do. Jesus was the perfect example; He did only what His Heavenly Father told him. Much fruit, true success and great joy await you as you learn to hear and obey monthly, weekly, & daily. No life you could imagine can possibly compare with the plans He has to prosper you! If you have a Daily Call (huge blessing) - the first Monday of the month - instead of sharing PiVAT for today, share PiVAT for this month. The testimony you share will be for last month (as this month's testimonies have yet to occur). Sharing last Month's testimony will have profound impact. The more you obey - the more He blesses - not only in what He does, but through what He reveals from His Word! You both will remember several of these, testimonies from what you shared daily, but aggregating them together at the end of the month is a powerful review. You will be amazed at what God does in your life and family - and your Daily Call Partner's life and family in just 30 days. You will not only be encouraged, but motivated to continue surrendering your lives fully to Christ. No life compares to the life He leads you in. Hear. Obey. Tell Somebody – it’s how you live your best life! Be faithful in time, thought and money decisions. Keep walking together! God will establish you in victory. Get good at the Testimony! It’s your key to overcoming!
Frequently Asked Questions about PiVAT Monthly?
PiVAT Monthly seems a little redundant. If I’m faithful with PiVAT, and PiVAT Weekly, isn’t that enough? PiVAT Monthly is a wonderful protection against the tyranny of the urgent. It forces you to seek God for His longer term perspective. In fact, you may wish to get away each quarter, and Every December to seek God's plan for the year (PiVAT Yearly). Double entry is so minimal that it pales in comparison to the perspective God wants you to have through your PiVAT Monthly conversations with Him. Remember, He's trying to lift your eyes to eternal priorities - not temporal. As we learn to follow him Daily, Weekly and Monthly - Yearly also... the URGENT things - that seem like mountains in our life - take their proper perspective. He promised that His Word (Logos & Rhema) (what He tells us - both through The Holy Bible, and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit) is a Lamp to our Feet (PiVAT) and a Light to our Path (PiVAT Weekly & PiVAT Monthly). God's longer term plan ensures that we are not so narrowly focused on the urgent daily tasks - that we neglect the daily steady plodding required for His greater purpose for our character this month. He truly wants us to be conformed to His image. Salvation comes the moment we believe, but it's effects are worked out over time through our surrender to His perfect will. Both short term daily tasks, and longer term character results come from steady plodding at His direction.
What if the month is almost over, and I just didn't do one of the things He told me? (and it required steady plodding - so I can't just do it today). FIRST ask God again - was this one you or was this me? Sometimes, especially at first, we may confuse some of our own monthly plans with God's will for us this month. Maybe God didn't say "build a new house," "lose 100 pounds," "raise $100k for the homeless," and "learn a second language" in 30 days. Sometimes in our desire to accomplish things - even to please God, we confuse His will with our own. But God will lovingly reveal this too, and the more PiVAT Monthly's we do, the better we will discern His voice versus our own. SECOND ask for forgiveness. If God said to do something 3 days a week this month, and it's already the 3rd week, Ask God to forgive you for not fully obeying in this area. Then, know for sure that you are forgiven. I John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Wait a minute. That sounds a little religious and legalistic. You’re saying I need to ask forgiveness for this? It’s not like I robbed a bank, or cussed somebody out. That depends if God told you to do it or not. But that’s not like sinning… bad sinning…
Hmm… what is sin? (Greek: hamartano) to miss the mark (and so not to share in the prize) - to fall short. If God told us to do something, and we fell short – missed the mark, the target He wanted for us - that’s what the definition of sin is. We typically ask forgiveness only for things God told us not to do - but we did them anyway (the 10 commandments kind of stuff). These are sins of commission; things we did wrong, sins we committed that we knew were not pleasing to God. But God’s desire for obedience, is not a list of do’s and don’ts – it’s a path. Walking in Spirit always takes us somewhere – the path He has for us. God's love always takes us from where we are to the first step forward from here. James 1:5 - If anyone of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives liberally, without finding fault, and it will be given him. Great news! If you're still breathing, you can be faithful from this point forward, from this day forward! As we grow in our understanding of His loving Lordship over our lives, sometimes we need to ask His forgiveness for things He told usto do, but we just didn't fully obey. Not 10 commandments, but rather Jesus specific “commands to us” - by the Holy Spirit. These are sins of omission, things we omitted or failed to do that He told us to. His Word is still his Word, whether Genesis through Revelation - revealed by His Holy Spirit, or His specific will and direction for us - revealed by His Holy Spirit. Sin- means falling short. Just confess where you have fallen short, and ask Him to forgive you. He will. (Done Deal). Now, He wants you to Move Forward! Just start obeying from here! His GRACE is there to help you! All Praise to God! THIRD ask God, NOW WHAT? Don't just double up the activities for the remaining days this month. Ask Him, "Now What?" Maybe this TO DO was God's to do for you - but you got carried away and tried to do it your way instead of His way. God is realistic, we aren’t.
Even good things - He wants us to do at His pace - not ours. So Ask Him - from this day forward for the rest of the month - what would you have me do in this area? Then ask Him Daily for His Grace and DO IT! Share on your Daily Call. God's two by two principle is a powerful thing - because prayer is a powerful weapon. Loving accountability alone sometimes helps us be faithful where we wouldn't otherwise - even when God told us to. I'm embarrassed and ashamed to say this, but there have been times I did what God told me to do this month - not because I love him so much, but because my Daily Call is coming at 7:30 a.m. and I will have to share with my brother... "Did I fully obey this month?" Be encouraged dear friend, God knows we are but dust. He will always "dust us off," and set us on the right track again. He loves you so much that He gave us the principle of Two by Two: Walking with another to help us learn to obey him fully so we can walk in the joy of the LORD. (See the 3-Day-Challenge)
Final Thoughts on PiVAT Monthly - Guard against fear, and guard against selfish ambition. Remember PiVAT is a change of direction: From man's way to God's Way.
Guard against FEAR: Fear can cloud God's voice for your PiVAT Monthly. Just because you fear something doesn't mean God is giving you a To Do for the month. Just because everyone at the office is convinced layoffs are coming - doesn't mean God is telling you look for another job, sell the house, sell the car, sell the dog and sell the kids. That job-looking could keep you from doing your best on the job you have. Guard against Selfish Ambition:
PiVAT Monthly is most susceptible to Goal Driven Christianity. Financial Goals, Career Goals, Ministry Goals: are not always God. In fact, it's surprising how often our goals can become more us than God, or not even God at all. Christians these days are big on setting goals. We are driven to accomplish things that we want- or things we think that God wants for us. But consider this: How many goals did Jesus set? Did Jesus give the disciples a seminar on Goal Setting? "Plan your work and work your plan." "If you do what you've always done - you'll get what you've always got." These are not Jesus' words, they are man-made wisdom. Not that there is no element of truth to them, but the most dangerous lies are always part truth. God's ways are different than man's ways - especially man's ways of "doing church" or doing Christianity. John 6:38 - Jesus said: "for I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me."
2 Corinthians 5:9 - "For we make it our goal to please him..."
James 4:13-15, "Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, (according to the) Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.
God doesn't need you to be rich so you can give more money. He already owns all the money! - and can direct it like a leaf blowing in the wind - wherever He chooses. God doesn't need to you get a promotion for you to have a greater impact at work. He may have these things for you in time, but learn to obey daily, weekly & monthly first. Seek Him, and be faithful in the little things. The more PRISM time you spend in His WORD, the more your thinking and perspective will change. Man's goals are temporal-minded, God's plans for you are eternal, and "His Goal" is that you will Hear Well Done! Pursuing your goals will not accomplish this, only hearing and obeying what God has for you today, this week, and this month - will yield reward and joy on this earth and reward and joy in heaven.
Matt 25:21 - "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the Joy of your Lord."
PiVAT Monthly will help you understand the larger things God wants you to walk in. Just obey daily, He will help you. Joy is there!