In our previous post, we looked at the need to involve God in our direction-seeking. We want to be in sync with God's purposes, not doing our own thing. So the next step is:
Key 2: Make a Plan
So how can we do that? Here is one suggestion. Take a sheet of paper and a pencil.
First of all, look at all the ways God has used you in the past. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance (1). If God has called you with a gift of compassion for the homeless, this will have been evident in ways you have related to this segment of our community. Note this down. What other ways has God used you? Perhaps you have led small groups in church. Maybe you have a gift for prayer. Write it down. Maybe you are an encourager, like Barnabas (2). Perhaps you are a writer. Add this to your list. You may enjoy organizing events. Write it down. There are all kinds of ways God uses us, on a daily basis. Don't just look for the big things, God appears in our life in the seemingly small things too (3).
Now, consider which of these things bore fruit. We are not necessarily looking for huge numbers, but think back to events and people and note where God blessed and made an impact. There is a story about the person who led Billy Graham to Christ. The story goes that Billy Graham was the only person he ever witnessed to. If he could only have seen the hundreds of thousands of people who are now part of the Kingdom, through his courage to witness to that one person. God blessed that interaction. And he has done so in your life too. One day we will be astounded at the impact God has had through each of our lives. So, where has there been lasting fruit (4)
Next, think about in what ways has God prepared you for his purpose? God's way is to prepare you before he sends you out on your calling. Like the 12 disciples, Jesus teaches us (5). We too are disciples, or students. The Holy Spirit is our teacher (6). So, in what ways has God been teaching you? The Holy Spirit leads us in a particular direction (7). The Spirit gives us a nudge, an interest in finding out more about something. He places people on our path who encourage our development. He prepares us. In which ways do you recognise God preparing you?
All this thought will give you a picture of how God is working in your life. The gifts and preparation he has given you do not suddenly stop when you complete a particular assignment (1). Each experience we have grows us and prepares us for the next. He who is faithful in a little will be faithful in much (8). God does not waste willing servants. The harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few (9).
Having looked at all this, then, now you can make a plan.
1. Ask God to direct your heart and thoughts.
Let him direct your planning (10). We ask this in faith believing for his direction. Start writing down the thoughts that come to mind. It doesn't matter how sensible or crazy the thought seems to be at this stage, just get it all down on paper.
2. Find the pattern
Now see how these thoughts tie in with what God has done in your life previously. Some things seem way out there, and dont seem to connect or grow from past experiences. Write them on a separate sheet of paper.
The ones that do resonate with past experience may be a further development of what God has gifted you in, and may give you further direction for your future. You can safely make some plans in implementing these ideas.
The items you wrote on a separate sheet of paper, however, could be new things God wants to do in your life. Ask God to confirm this for you. Perhaps he will do this through comments people make to you, perhaps he will offer opportunities for you, perhaps he will speak to you in some other way. Ask God to make it plain.
3. Make the plan
Now it will become evident what God is wanting you to do. This is your big goal. Let's say in 5 years time you want to have accomplished a particular goal. Think about what would be needed to reach that goal. This may require intermediate targets. You could have a target for in 5 years time, 3 years time, 1 years time. Now break the one year goal down into what you would need to accomplish each quarter or three months. Then break each quarter down into monthly targets, and then into weekly targets. This now gives you targets for each week.
What will be needed to reach this week's target? What resources will be needed? Whom do you need to talk to? Think it through! Plan it out! Get the plan down on paper. Make a checklist of steps you need to take.
Hopefully this will help you plan to reach a longer term goal. Shorter term goals can be planned for the same way. The important thing is to make the steps as concrete as possible.
Next time we will talk about implementing the plan.
Till next time, be blessed!
Pastors Gerry and Dianne ><>
1. Romans 11:29
2. Acts 4:36
3. Zechariah 4:10, 1 Kings 19:12
4. John 15:16
5. Mark 9:31, Luke 11:1
6. John 14:26
7. John 16:13
8. Luke 19:17, 26
9. Luke 10:2
10. Jeremiah10:23, Proverbs 16:9