When God calls the meeting, you drop everything and make it happen.

It’s what I call the divine encounter approach to “devotions.” It’s based on the fact that the Lord really is our shepherd, and that he will lead us better than we can lead ourselves—especially when it comes to our spiritual development and devotion. If you initiate your own devotional plan, it will often feel flat or empty because God’s agenda for us is getting buried by a devotional plan written for millions of people. But you’re not millions of people. You’re you.

When God calls the meeting, he sets the agenda. And it’s never boring, never aimless, because God called the meeting. It’s a guaranteed divine encounter. Read my book to explore this more deeply.

Anyway, last night after tucking the kids into bed I sensed God calling a meeting—beckoning me, inviting me to spend some time listening to his heart for my family. Not to pray for my family, I should point out. Not giving God my requests. God wanted to speak to me.

Pulling out my journal, I found a fresh page and wrote, “Lord, what do you want to reveal? Say? Show me?”

And then God began putting thoughts into my head—ideas, words, phrases, pictures—which I recorded in my journal. And family member by family member, he gave me insight into their lives and how I should be loving them in this season of life. This May, to be specific.

How do I know it wasn’t just my own thoughts and wishful thinking? Well, first off because the messages critiqued my parenting and stung a little. Not exactly what I’m dying to hear. Secondly, they had a ring of truth to them. All the vague, disconnected hunches I’ve been too busy to connect the dots on suddenly became clear and directive. Third, it was specific enough to do something about. Satan tends to be so vague with his criticism that you can’t possibly fix it.

Today is day one of the new plan. So far, so good. No, I’m not going to share the specifics. Suffice it to say that I’ve been dropping the ball as a dad and while painful, the messages were gracious because they gave me another shot at nailing this daddy thing. More or less.