Proverbs 24:27 “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”
Abraham Lincoln once said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
If you deal with people or interact with people at all you will quickly learn that God has designed us all very differently. Many of us have a variety of strengths, weaknesses, and differences. Some are great communicators with sharp minds that always know what to say and how to explain things in a way that makes sense to everyone while others struggle in explaining the great plan in their head. Some people work great under pressure while other crumble under pressure. Some people love a last-minute project while others refuse to take on a project unless informed in advance. Though some may argue that planning is a strength of a specific personality group of people and should be left to that group of people, I believe God wants us all to be prepared in our service for Him and in our personal lives. We could call this “living intentionally.” We are surrounded by a world of people who live their lives with no plan at all other than wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, and repeat. As Christians, God has so much more intended for us, but practically speaking how do we actually work spiritual growth and practice into our lives? Let’s get really basic, we have to have a plan. Before the start of every year, I like to evaluate my life and see what goals I would like to accomplish within different time lines. Once I determine my daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals I put them into my schedule along with a system that will notify and remind when those things need to get done. At the end of year, I can look back at my year with gratification because I took the time to sit down and map and prepare myself for the year.
I know as a personally testimony, the things I enjoy the least are the things I am not prepared for. But the things I have planned and prepared for produces an energy with me to do them because I know I took the time to formulate a plan that will Lord willing give me the best results.
I will also add that I understand we do not live in a perfect world, and plans often have to be adjusted, but adjusted plans are ALWAYS better than having no plan at all. I have found it is actually easier to be flexible when you have planned ahead, because your mind is often fresh with ideas and solutions for problems and roadblocks that arise.
In closing, I would encourage all of us to consider what the Christ honoring goals should be for our lives, families, and ministries. Once we arrive at some goals, work backward with a plan to accomplish those goals. Take the time, stop, sit down, think, pray, and prepare yourself. Let’s not shoot from the hip. Let’s prepare our work, make it fit, and afterwards go build what God has entrusted to us.
A great habit to develop is to, like our hymn reads, "count your blessings" daily!
The fear of the Lord leads to a life of humility, obedience, and faith.