Biblical Life Power Tip for June 2011
By Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.
Over the years, I have studied many productivity methods: from Dave Lakhani’s, “Power of an Hour,” to David Allen’s, “Getting Things Done” (and several dozen books in between). My mountain to climb has always been that I could think up more in an hour than I could do in a year, so I need all the help that I can get! The book, “Making Ideas Happen,” by Scott Belsky has been a real help recently. Scott has studied those with creative personalities. Creative people always have more ideas than time and find it hard to (1) keep track of all their ideas and (2) bring any of those ideas to fruition.
In all of these works, I have found one constant: you must formulate a plan of action and then work the plan! “Hope to,” “someday,” or “under the circumstances” are never phrases used by the movers and shakers in the world or in the Kingdom! Failing to plan is planning to fail.
The concept of developing a plan of action (which includes action steps) is essential to anything that you want to do in life: from completing your education to developing or expanding a ministry. The skills you must develop to successfully complete your studies at Biblical Life are the exact same skills you must use to build any ministerial endeavor. Avoid or ignore them at your own expense and the expense of the ministry God has called you to.
Counting the Cost
Luke 14:27-33 (KJV)
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
1. Being 100% Sold Out to Jesus: This is not a popular message in the twenty-first century church, but it is the only way to really be a part of His church! True discipleship is giving our all to the One who gave His life for us. Too many Christians today are not Believers because they are riding the spiritual fence – half in the world and half in the Kingdom. The truth is that they are not even in the Kingdom; rather they are only half way through the door that gets you into the Kingdom.
2. Jesus also uses important words in this teaching:
- Disciple (one who disciplines his life)
- Counting the Cost (project management)
- Building (must have a blueprint)
- Making War (strategic planning)
Counting the cost to complete your education or build a ministry is more than just reviewing your financial situation. It means so much more. You must:
Develop a Plan of Action (having a blueprint for success): How much time, energy, and finances will it take to complete this project? Just enrolling or just vision-casting is not enough. What daily, weekly, and monthly actions must be taken to successfully accomplish the project? Are your family and associates on board to provide encouragement and accountability?
Being a Disciple: In other words, are you disciplining yourself to successfully accomplish your daily, weekly, and monthly actions? Are you letting the enemy entice you with other things that take you away from your goals? Stop waiting for someday. A thousand “somedays” lead to nowhere. A thousand action days lead to the fulfillment of a dream! Discipline is required for anything worthwhile in life: especially the Kingdom of God!
Plan for Setbacks: This may be a shock to most, but there will be resistance to completing things in the Kingdom! Do you think that the enemy will allow you to complete something vital in life or the Kingdom without coming against it?
God told Adam something in the Garden that we all miss somehow:
Genesis 3:17 (KJV)
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
When Adam had no resistance to the things he needed to do in the earth, he fell into temptation. Pushing through the resistance produces personal growth: emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Individuals that will not plan and push through seldom grow in any area of their lives! The Word even tells us that Jesus was made more perfect by the things He had to suffer (or push) through. (Hebrews 5:8-10)
When You Stumble, Get Back Up: Pity parties have no place in the lives of doers! We all stumble and fall at times. Champions look at what made them stumble, develop a plan to overcome it, and THEN GET BACK UP!
Proverbs 24:16 (KJV)
16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Seven is an interesting number; it refers to the plan of God. God will allow you to fall at the right times to learn what you need to know in life. Those lessons learned will prepare you for something ahead in your life that you really need to overcome. Here is God’s formula: falling down + learning + GETTING BACK UP = victory!
Jesus – the Man of Action
Each of the Gospels has a particular focus. The Gospel of Mark was written for the Romans and Jesus was portrayed as a man of action. You will find Mark constantly using the words, “immediately and straightway.” Mark wonderfully displayed the discipline, decisiveness, and authority of Jesus. On every front Jesus overcame resistance, schemes, arguments, and even plans for His demise. In every instance, Jesus took command of the situation and gained the victory. He is our example! What you do not take command over will take command over you and stop you from completing your mission, vision, or task.
Isn’t It Time to Work Out Your Plan of Action?
“Hope to” and “someday” are not going to cut it in your studies, in ministry, or in the days ahead. Develop a strategic plan of ACTION. A plan of action includes daily, weekly, and monthly steps of action that systematically move you forward. Make the plan and work the plan. When you stumble, learn from it and start moving again. God is calling you to be like Jesus – a person of action!
© Copyright by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. All Rights Reserved.
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