We don’t have a GPS (Global Positioning System)in either of our cars, but when we were in Nashville, the Cab driver asked me to punch in our destination on his. The voice in it sounded really confident. I asked the cab driver what happens when you miss your turn. Apparently, sometimes it says… “Recalculating” before it gives you the next instructions. These little devices are constantly assessing where you are and if you are headed in the right direction.
While I am not a big believer in resolutions, per se, the New Year seems to be a good time for so many to make changes in their lives. A time to reassess and recalculate. A fresh start. So let’s look at some GPS’s as practical tools to get on track and stay there.
Remember the old saying, “If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time”? Very true. Goals should be personal. They should be realistic and specific. Most importantly, set goals that matter and reflect God’s heart.
1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the LORD our God…” (NASV)
• What are some goals that are in line with Scripture?
Examples: personal godliness, loving God, loving others, growing in integrity, defending the truth, sharing my faith, good stewardship. . .
• How will I know if I am on track? What evidence will I see? What will be different? If someone were watching it on a DVD, what would they see?
Even the best of goals need a plan.
This is where the rubber meets the road. A goal is the destination. Plans are the map to get you there. Great hitters in baseball don’t just happen. You will find them at the cage taking 3…4…even 5 hundred swings a day. Be specific in your plans, and then stick to them.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage…” Proverbs 21:5 (NASV)
• What are some plans to help you toward these goals? How do you get there from here?
Examples: Time in the Word, Prayer, Fellowship, Accountability, One-anothering, Relationships. . .
Even the greatest plans will fail however, without a strategy.
Strategy is defined as a detailed and systematic plan of action. It’s what I do to execute my plans,to reach my goals. Most successful strategies are written down and placed where you can see them every day.
There are over 80 commands in the Bible for prophets and apostles to write things down. Some of these are for our benefit, but many are to make things official and permanent. For example, after the Lord spoke to Habakkuk, He then confirmed His word by directing Habakkuk to “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NASV) Seven times in Revelation John is instructed to write down specific instructions to the 7 churches. Deuteronomy 6:9 Moses admonishes the people to “Write (these commands) on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Writing things down gives them power. Strategies in written form will help to keep you on track.
Strategies would answer such questions as:
• What needs to be done? (break it down)
• Who will do it?
• When will I put the plan into action? Consider: Why not now? What if I wait for the perfect time?
• What could sabotage the plan? Examples:Laziness, legalism, personal effort, other commitments, lack of true motivation.
• How can I prevent being sabotaged, or sabotaging myself?
We need to approach our goals,plans and strategies with humility.
Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 21:30 “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against against the Lord.”
James 4:13-17 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on a business and make money.” Wy 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, “If it is the Lord’s will, we wil live and do this or that. As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
In this last sentence, James seems to be making sure that our “Deo Volente” (Lord Willing) does not become an excuse for doing nothing! What is called for is action with humility. We are mist, but even a mist, empowered by the Spirit, is a mighty thing. It is precisely when we know our own inability to do anything in our own strength that the power of the Spirit can be shown. Amen?
So consider this simple tool, GPS…Goals, Plans and Strategies…commit it all to the Lord, and hold on for an exciting ride!
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