Throughout this site I have asked you to rethink your beliefs about education. Now I’m asking asking you to consider another paradigm shift—to rethink scheduling. We have asked “What would Jesus do?” And, “How would Jesus teach?” Now let us ask “How would Jesus schedule?” Jesus had obvious long-term goals but He practiced daily as a responder. He prayed daily and allowed the needs of the people around Him to set His agenda. He saw people’s needs as opportunities to minister. We need to ask God to help us learn to schedule by faith.
The Heart of Wisdom plan includes a framework and objectives that requires both structure and flexibility. The four-year plan is a framework you can use as a guide as you schedule your curriculum and time by faith.
The basic structure derived from the suggested number of unit studies you’ll complete in a year. The unit studies are structured with lessons comprising four distinct, progressive steps. The flexibility is built into the amount of time you will spend in the units and lessons as you follow your child’s delight. Heart of Wisdom unit studies include an ample number of lessons to allow you to explore until you discover your child’s delight. (If you create your own lessons, you’ll be choosing the subject matter of your lessons based on your child’s delight.) Keep in mind that the name of our teaching approach came from Psalm 90:12.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.—Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days is a plea for God to help us recognize how brief our time on earth is so that we might discern the true meaning of life and use our time wisely. The most important part of your planning is giving your schedule to God. Day and night belong to God (Psalm 74:16). When you submit your ways to God, He promises to direct your paths. He will lead you. This is a wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth for your entire family. As you lean on Him, I promise that you will see obvious events in your schedule that you will know came directly from God. Marvelous things happen when you wait on Him!
Earlier I stated that reaching the Promised Land is not the end, but a new beginning. Reaching the Promised Land in our homeschool analogy is arriving at a place where you depend on God for all your schooling concerns, including your scheduling. We turn now to the book of Joshua for insight and encouragement about how to let God give you directions to plan your schedule.
Scheduling Lesson From Joshua
The book of Joshua is the story of how God led the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan.
The lessons in Joshua explain how choosing obedience brings victory and blessing, and how disobedience brings defeat. Joshua was commanded to rid the land of the Canaanites. After the battle of Jericho, the Israelites defeated Ai. The news of Joshua’s victories reached the Gibeonites. In their fear, the Gibeonites came up with a plan. They pretended that they came from a far away place (outside of Canaan) and wanted to make peace with the children of Israel. Joshua and his men believed them because of the way they looked (walking by sight/in the flesh), and because they did not ask for God’s advice—two big mistakes.
Joshua made a treaty with the Gibeonites and then had to keep his promise to not kill the Gibeonites (once an oath was taken, it could not be revoked). However, he made them slaves. Adonizedec, a Canaan king, heard that the Gibeonites had made peace with Joshua; so he sent word to the other kings and asked for help to kill the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites appealed to Joshua to deliver them from Adonizecec (Joshua 10:6–10). God reassured Joshua that He was with him and the Israelites would win (Joshua 10:7–8).
When the battle began, God sent hail stones to fall on their enemies. He granted Joshua’s request, and the sun stood still until they had defeated their enemies!
Joshua’s Plan for Success
Three elements combined to give Joshua success in this battle in Joshua 10. These are the same three elements you will use in scheduling your school day:
- Believing God’s promise (v. 8),
- Using sound strategy (v. 9),
- Calling on the Lord in prayer (vv. 10–15).
1. Believing God’s Promise
The Israelites didn’t have to be afraid because God had already promised them victory—and you don’t have to fear either, because God has promised to direct your paths. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5–6).
When we live by faith in God and in His promises, we can expect to receive God’s help.
2. Using Sound Strategy
I’m not suggesting that you run your homeschool on a whim, but to create your plan with prayer and submission to God. Leaning on God does not negate self-discipline or forming good habits. God has always been working in your life. From before the time you were first formed in your mother’s womb. He has been preparing you, just as Joshua was prepared many years for what would belong to him. You will need to plan, but allow time for a variety of unplanned activities; keep some flexible time in your schedule to meet your children’s needs and delights; in other words, schedule by faith.
3. Calling on the Lord in Prayer
D. L. Moody said, “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” Prayer is your first step in planning, and the first step in daily Bible study. Use Colossians 1:9–12 as a guide. Ask God:
- To fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom andunderstanding;
- That you would bear fruit in every good work;
- That you would grow in the knowledge of God;
- That you would be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience; and• That you would joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Worried about having enough faith?
Don’t worry—the building of your faith is incorporated into the Heart of Wisdom teaching approach because it teaches you to make God’s Word is your first priority each day, all day. Learning to lean on God will be part of your daily schedule. Your faith will grow daily because you will be in His Word daily. God will reward your desires when you trust Him and live obediently.
In his book, Learning to Walk by Faith, Charles Stanley said, “Faith is not a goal that we must work to achieve. It comes as the overflow of a personal relationship with God. It is as natural as taking a breath of air. Faith is the breath and life of our relationship with God and His Son. A life of faith is one that is dominated by Jesus Christ—not selfish desires. There are three levels of faith—little faith that says, ‘God can.’ Great faith that says, ‘God will.’ Perfect faith that says, ‘God has done it.’”
Recently, one of my married daughters and I had a discussion about waiting on God. She commented on the strength of my faith and expressed to me her anxieties about how desperately she wanted faith enough to count on God to lead her in her homeschooling. I explained to her that our faith grows as we consistently walk with the Lord. Faith is a living thing that grows as we see the Lord at work in our lives, and become continually aware of His presence.
This year I will turn fifty, and I have gratefully watched God supply my needs and answer my prayers over and over and over for many years. I know I can count on Him because He never changes. This does not mean I am satisfied with the level of faith I now have. I fall very short of the faith God expects from me, as we all do. But I am satisfied with Jesus my Savior, and know that He is doing His work in me.
I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.—Psalm 62: 5–8.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus—Philippians 4:6–7.
Fear and faith cannot operate at the same time
Fear and faith cannot operate at the same time—they are mutually exclusive. You cannot wait on God to direct your path and then sit around and worry that He won’t. Fear comes from trusting in your own ability—faith focuses and depends on God’s promises and ability. Because I delight myself in Him, God has promised to direct my paths—and I know He will because He has promised to and because He has done so in the past. My husband pays our bills once a month. I never have to ask him and he never forgets. I know he has promised to take care of it and I don’t give it a thought because he has proved himself to be trustworthy—and he is only a man. God guarantees His Word and fulfills His promises. It is when remind ourselves of all He has done, and recognize all He is doing in our lives, that our faith grows.
Faith begets more faith. Developing faith is much like developing muscles; our muscles grow stronger as we use them, and become weaker when we don’t use them. Faith comes from prayer and learning about God’s ways through studying and obeying His Word; it is through these exercises that we receive the confidence and peace that God gives when we trust Him. Faith is something we must practice continuously. It is a continuing cycle. The more you turn to God, the more your faith is strengthened.
Related Blog Entry: God Has a Plan for Your Homeschool