Tag Archives: plan

Blueprints (Video)

“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.”

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Action vs Inaction

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I mentioned a couple of days ago that my uncle and I built a swing set for my son. What I didn’t tell you was that we did it without instructions. I downloaded the picture you see above here thinking there were instructions involved. This turned out to be a material and cut list. There were no instructions included. We were able to take that picture and create what you see just below this sentence.

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Walking in faith is a lot like that. God gives us a picture of where He’s taking us, but doesn’t provide the step by step instructions on how to get there. It’s hard to know where to begin, what’s next and how to make it happen. We feel overwhelmed. When I looked at that drawing of what could be, I got excited. When I looked at my driveway full of cut lumber with no instructions, I got worried.

When I look at the plan God has for me, the big picture, I get excited. When it comes down to taking the next step in the process, I get nervous. I start to wonder, “Is this really the next step? What if I mess up? How do I know this will work?” Question after question fills my mind until I question myself out of the next move. Fear of messing up or taking the wrong step paralyzes me.

My uncle and I must have gone back to the initial drawing a hundred times. I’d ask, “What do think is next? What cuts of lumber go there? How many of those do we have?” He’d say, “Just grab it and let’s go. If it’s not right, we’ll unscrew it and try something else.” When God says, “Move”, our fear of inaction should be greater than our fear of incorrect action. God is more than capable of correcting our wrong actions.

When we fail to move or fail to act, we aren’t just holding ourselves up, we are holding someone else up. My son was watching us through the window the whole time. He was anticipating and hoping to play on his new swing set, but he needed us to do our part first. The same thing happens in faith. Someone else, who you may never meet, is praying for God to answer them. God is asking you to act on their behalf even though you don’t know it.

What you do in faith isn’t just for you. There’s a ripple effect going on and your action is their answer. Someone else’s action is your answer to prayer. God could do all of it on His own, but He chooses to allow us to participate with Him in faith. He chooses to use you and me to accomplish His will. It’s a big job when you think about it. It can be scary. Your mind tells you that you don’t want to mess things up for God or someone else. But God can’t use your inaction. He can only do something with your action.

What is the next step in what He’s asked you to do? What excuses have you been using to keep from doing it? What can you do today to start acting in faith and moving towards that complete picture of what He’s shown you? Don’t be scared and don’t be upset if your next step is small. It’s a series of small steps that create the greatest works of faith.

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Doers not Planners

A couple of years ago I was sitting in a board room with my peers, my district manager, the regional director and president. We were having to defend our results for the quarter and show projections for the next quarter. One of my peers was talking about what his results would be for the next quarter when the president noticed a huge gap between what he just produced and what he was going to produce. She asked him, “What are you doing to get those numbers changed that much?” He quickly answered back, “We’re going to…” and then she interrupted him.

She said, “I didn’t ask what you are going to do. I asked what are you doing.” He again said, “Like I said, we’re going to…” Again she stopped him. She looked at him, but the message was to all of us. She said, “I don’t want to know what you are going to do. I want to know what you are doing right now. If you were going to get those kind of results, you wouldn’t wait to do it. You’d be doing it right now!” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that meeting. Partly because I was next up to deliver my results and also because of the message.

As Christians we often talk about what we’re going to do for the Kingdom, but we rarely get to it. Life gets in the way. Schedules get packed. Traffic jams slow us down. Kids have games and practices we have to go to. Things just happen and keep us from doing what Christians should do. They keep us from helping widows, orphans and even our neighbors. They prevent us from stopping to help a stranger on the side of the road. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we haven’t made it a priority.

All of us are good at saying what we will do, but few of us are good at doing it. I’m guilty of this myself. I make plans to do things, but often the execution gets lost in other priorities. Each day I pray and ask God to open my eyes to see that need in someone else. I ask Him to help me to be His hands and feet to someone. I also ask that He would speak through me to someone. At the end of the day, I often ask myself, “Did I help anyone today or was it all about me?”

In the book of James, the first chapter tells us that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Most of us are good at going to church and hearing the message. Most of us can’t remember that message on Monday though. We do what James warned us about. We let it go in one ear and out of the other. God called us to action. To do things for Him. To be present in our generation and not stagnant. It doesn’t have to be great or big or world changing. Doing something small for someone else could be great or big or world changing for them.

If enough of us start making an impact on just one person’s life a day, the Church could rise to be who she was called to be. She could be effective in this broken down world. She could get the results that she was forecasted to make. It’s not going to be done by one of us. It will be accomplished by all of us. What is something you can do today to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Who is someone in your path today that needs an encouraging word? Don’t plan on doing it tomorrow. Do it today!

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