There are three basic categories of people as it relates to planning:
- Fantasy Planners – they simply don’t plan at all; coasting along in a dreamworld hoping it all works out good.
- Forced Planners – they only plan because they have to, and even that is most often last-minute.
- Fruitful Planners – they desire God’s best in their life, and as a result they have productive lives and families.
Twice in Paul’s epistles we are told to walk “wise,” and “redeem the time.” Throughout the Scriptures we understand that our Heavenly Father is a God of structure, order, foresight, and planning. We were created in His image to be like Him. So, to live our days without a plan is to neglect an aspect of God we are to emulate – structure, order, and planning. All for the purpose of being fruitful in the abundant life God has given us.
My plea to you in this New Year is to simply have a plan for your life, your marriage, your family! Remember these quotes that are often used in leadership circles:
A dream without a plan is just a wish.
A failure to plan is a plan for failure.
I have learned that my walk with God is directly proportionate to how I plan my life. Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” If my walk with God is going to be fruitful I must plan my life to support this goal.
It’s not enough to just plan your life, however. You must plan your life scripturally around two primary goals:
- The Will of God (1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 5:17).
- The Glory of God (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
I recently challenged our church family to focus not so much on resolutions in the new year, but life planning. Not just philosophical plans, but intentional plans (For example, philosophical planning says…“I’m going to lose weight this year,” or “I’m going to read my Bible more.” Intentional planning says “Here’s how I’m going to lose weight…,” or “Here’s how I’m going to walk closer to God…” Three areas that would be good for us to intentionally plan in this new year.
PLAN YOUR ROLES
List your major life-roles and intentionally plan with these priorities. My five major life-roles are these:
- My personal relationship with Christ (I am a Christian).
- My partner relationship with Kathleen (I am a husband).
- My parental relationship with Kate & Keegan (I am a father).
- My pastoral relationship with Laurel Baptist (I am a spiritual leader).
- My peripheral relationship with others (I am a friend).
When I look at my priorities I plan and structure my life in this order. Ask questions like, “How will I plan my role as God’s child in this new year?” “How will I plan my role as a husband to my wife in this new year?” As you examine your roles you begin to set goals/plans that will help you be fruitful in these areas.
PLAN YOUR RECREATION
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” That simply means that God doesn’t want us to endure life, but to enjoy life. Planning recreational aspects of your life help relieve stress, develop exercise, cultivate closeness with family and friends, etc. Plan personally and collectively with family and friends to enjoy recreation.
PLAN YOUR REST
To be honest, this my biggest struggle. But the Lord is teaching me as I get older how much I need His plan for my life, and rest is part of that plan. Early in my ministry I was of the mindset that to have a day to sleep in or take off is a sign of weakness and laziness; yet, God’s Word teaches us something completely different. Genesis 2:2 teaches us that God rested on the Sabbath day. Mark 6 tells how Jesus instructed His disciples to leave town, get alone, and rest a while. Psalm 127:2 reminds us that it is foolish to constantly sit up late and get up early and never rest.
In what ways should you better plan to rest this year? By the way, a trip to Disney World is not always rest. How many times have you taken an action-packed trip only to come back more tired than you were when you left? Intentionally find moments to give your body what it needs in order that you might be fruitful in your life and service to Christ.
My simple plea for 2014: be a fruitful planner! Remember: what doesn’t get planned, doesn’t get accomplished.
I’d love to hear of ways you plan your life to be fruitful for the will & glory of God. Feel free to comment below…