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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Developing A Plan

In review of Proverbs 13:16 it says, “Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance”

Bottom Line:
Be wise and think ahead, don’t act and show your foolishness.

What this means to me:
The sensible and wise thing for me to do would be to think before I act (have a plan). A foolish person won’t, they will even advertise and expose their ignorance.

I’m reminded this morning that If I want to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, I’ll need a plan to get from where I am to where I want to go. I’ll need a plan to overcome the expected problems I’ll face on that journey. Without a plan, all my goals will go up in smoke.

Genesis 24 tells the story of Eliazar’s ingenious plan to find a wife for his master’s son, Isaac. Eliazar had two major obstacles to fulfilling this goal. Where would he find a wife for Isaac in his master’s homeland? And how was he going to find a high character woman without observing her long term? Eliazar devised a predetermined plan to solve both of these problems.

First, Eliazar went to a place where women gathered in those days, a well. He had much higher odds of finding a wife at that well than any other place he could have gone.

And, Eliazar knew exactly how to get the type of wife he wanted for Isaac. He wanted to find a compassionate woman, so he looked for someone who would offer to draw up to 15 gallons of water for each of his 10 camels. That’s a lot of water!

Eliazar didn’t fly by the seat of his pants to accomplish his goal. Instead he prayerfully established a plan, and, ultimately, he was successful. In doing so he proved what the Bible says in Proverbs 13:16: “Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance” (TEV).

Good planning, whether that plan is for my family, my work, my ministry, or a different area of my life will have three parts to it:

1. Steps: I’ll need to establish how I’m going to get from where I am now to where I want to go. Write down those steps.

2. Deadlines: Put a date with every one of those steps. A goal is a statement of faith as I say that I believe God wants me to accomplish my goal by a particular date.

3. Schedule: Write those dates into my calendar. Don’t just hide it in a filing cabinet or up on a shelf. If I showed others what was on my calendar, they could tell what’s important to me.

Studies show that only 5 percent of Americans have written down goals for their lives. Those same studies show that the same 5 percent are the highest wage earners in the U.S. Successful people set their direction and go for it. Unsuccessful people drift. Life just happens to them. They don’t have any goals. They don’t know where they’re going in life. At the end of 2016, it’s just another year down the drain.

In order to not have that situation, I need to be more concrete in developing a plan to reach my goals.

As I think about these three parts, I think I struggle most with just solidifying a goal for my life. For the most part I tend to plan, schedule and keep to deadlines at work. I just don’t incorporate these into my personal life as much. I need to just keep them in a place where I can review them frequently and keep them at the forefront of my mind. With focus I can strive toward the goal or re-adjust dates as needed.  The problem without not having a plan and schedule is you’ll never know when you get there.

I believe God honors having well planned out goals. It’s making the best use of my time to accomplish something and not just drift through life.