Tag Archives: planning

Dreaming Too Small

Late last year, I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with some high capacity, driven men. We spent the weekend praying, dreaming, discussing and planning what God wanted to do through us as individuals in our families, churches, communities and businesses. After we would write down what we felt like we wanted to do in any of those areas, we would come together in small groups to discuss the direction and goal. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to mention a goal to their group and then be challenged about it. Someone might say, “Do you think that’s a big enough goal?” It wasn’t ever done out of spite. It was done to challenge us to see if we were limiting God in what He was dreaming for our lives.

I’m a firm believer that God has dreams, goals and plans for each of our lives. If only we had eyes to see what He sees in us. Too many times our vision or goals are minuscule in comparison to what He wants to do through us. We limit ourselves because we focus on our weaknesses and roadblocks. Those things in our lives are not meant to hold us back, but rather to get us to trust in God and His all sufficient grace. A life of faith is not about what we can accomplish on our own, but rather what can God accomplish through us as a willing vessel. If we could do it on our own, we wouldn’t need faith, and most of what God wants to do through each one of us requires faith.

So what is it you’re asking God to do for you or through you? Is that too small? Think of Ephesians 3:20 which says, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (NLT). God is able to do infinitely more through you than you can even ask or think! Any of the dreams or goals we set are small by those standards. One of the prayers I’ve started praying is, “God plant your goals and dreams in me, then help me to reach the potential you see in my life. Help me to accomplish the goals and dreams you have for my life.” If what He wants to do through me is infinitely greater, then I’ll willingly give up my dreams for His so I can live a life of purpose that completes His objectives for my life.

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

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This Year’s Halftime

Today is the first day of the second half of this year. We reached the midpoint of the year sometime yesterday. I think it’s good to stop and reflect on the first half of this year before going into the second half. There are several questions I like to ask myself. Am I where I thought I’d be at this point in the year? If not, what course corrections do I need to make to get to where I want to be by the end of the year? What unforeseen events have happened so far that changed things in my life?

I believe in planning. I believe in setting goals for yourself, both physically, mentally and spiritually. In January, I decided that my personal spiritual goal this year was that Christ would increase in me and that I would decrease. There are areas where I have seen Christ increase in my life this year, but there are still a lot of areas where I’m not seeing the progress that I want to see. That’s where today fits in.

Just like in most major sports, there’s a half time. It’s a time to reflect on how things are going and what changes need to be made. It’s a time to be honest with yourself and God in where you are. I know I’ll never get to perfection, but that shouldn’t keep me from pushing towards it. Paul said, “I don’t mean to say that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection.” Paul understood the importance of understanding where he was and where he wanted to be.

He knew he wasn’t perfect or going to be, but he still pressed on for it. The next couple of verses in Philippians 3 give us more insight into his thinking. The next step is to forget the past and look forward to the future. You can’t change what’s happened so far this year. It happened. What I can do is learn from it, put it behind me and make a course correction with that in mind. I still have to move forward in Christ.

If you’re reading this, life has thrown you some curve balls this year. Chances are, you aren’t where you thought you’d be. That’s ok. You’re right where Christ knew you’d be. What’s happened in your life that has lead you to this point did not catch God by surprise. He’s built it into the plan for your life and who He is forming you to be. You may not be where you want to be, but that’s ok as long as you’re where He wants you to be.

I’ve dealt with set backs. I’ve lived through failures. I’ve watched as my plan for my life got thrown in the trash and burned. I’ve fallen down and tripped in places I never thought I would. I got up, dusted myself off, learned from my past and prayerfully created a new plan with God’s help. Does that mean those things won’t happen again? I’m sure they will, but now I know to keep pressing forward when things don’t happen the way I want them to. I know that my life is in God’s hands. He sees my tomorrow and knows what I need to go through today in order to be the person who can endure what’s coming.

How about you? Have your plans been ripped up and thrown away? Has your life veered off course? Did you envision your life differently than it’s turned out? It’s half time. Get your second wind, listen to what Hod has to say to you about the course corrections He wants you to make, pick your head up and get back out there. Keep pressing for the mark for that high calling in Christ. He will give you the strength you need to finish the second half of this year right where He wants you.

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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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