Summary: This third in the series deals with issues of planning and execution in life. While most people go through life "letting life just happen to them" there is encouragment to take control of life through the Spirit of God.
12 Secrets for Abundant Living
This week we are continuing in our series for the New Year - 12 secrets for abundant living. Remember that this whole series is based on 3 very important principles.
1. God has a plan for your life - Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
2. There is a battle engaged for your life - Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
3. Too many of God’s people are losing the battle - Marriages, children, finances, life. Matthew 9:36 - “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Let’s get right to it.
1) Secret #4 - Make a Plan - It really follows logically from the first three steps. Step one was about finding out what life is supposed to look like. Answering the questions Who am I, what am I, where am I, and what do I really want. The answer to those questions helps to identify what God made you and what He is calling you to be. Remember God has a plan for your life. Next we talked about owning it - taking responsibility for life - realizing that we have the power through the Spirit of God to be anything He is calling us to be - no matter what obstacles are placed in our paths. We also have to embrace positive change - we will never get anywhere new without change. The next piece of the puzzle is to make a plan. If you know where you want to go - and you know where you are - the next step is to make a plan to get there. Nehemiah 2:1-8. I love the beginning of this story of Nehemiah. God has called him with a broken heart to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem the problem is that Nehemiah is a slave in Susa, in Babylon, a 900 mile journey away from Jerusalem. Here are some keys for you in making a plan. These hold true whether you are trying to build an abundant marriage, work with your children, or building a career.
• Know where you are and where you are going. - Nehemiah is 900 miles from where he wants to be - he’s a slave - has no resources - I’d say the odds are against him. I told you last week though that if God wants you to go somewhere He will take you there - all he needs is your cooperation. You have to know where you are and what you want! Secret #1.
• What are your resources - what are you starting with? It may be nothing it may be a lot - but know what your resources look like.
• Count the costs - know what it’s going to cost you - and be willing to sacrifice whatever it takes.
• Prepare - Plan your route - set out the goals, benchmarks, and roadways for success. For Nehemiah this started in November 1:1 - and he talked to the King in April 2:1 - but when he did he knew everything he was going to need. He planned.
• Wait for God - When He says go - don’t hesitate - go - but don’t get ahead of Him or lag behind.
2) Secret #5 - Work Your Plan - A plan is only as good as your commitment to making it happen. I shared with you in the first of these messages a principle I believe in whole heartedly. “Stop letting life happen to you.” Most of us simply drift through life hoping when we run aground somewhere that it will be a good place. We let our marriages, our children, and our lives just simply drift around hoping for the best - the problem is that it becomes a game of pin the tail on the donkey with people’s lives at stake. Pin the tail on the donkey is a fun kid’s game but it’s no way to run your life, your marriage, or raise your children. So how do you work your plan.
• Set right priorities - take control of your life - stop living by everyone else’s schedule, rules, and priorities - take control of your life. It never ceases to amaze me that people want to be strong in Christ - they want a deeper relationship with Him - but they spend a total of an hour and twenty minutes on that relationship each week and most of the time they are here they want the service to be over so they can go home. We want our children to think Christ is important to their lives but we treat sports, band, TV, and everything else in life as more important than worship and Christian training. We want them to be committed but only if it doesn’t interfere with our stuff. Stop just living life, wasting time and letting life happen to you and around you - take control of life and set your priorities.