A song of ascents
I lift up my eyes to the mountains– where does my help come from?
We know the famous quote, “BY FAILING TO PLAN YOU ARE PLANNING TO FAIL” and we know it’s a true statement but how many times do we just fail in evaluating and planning things.
“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” ~ Richard Cushing~
There are a few simple steps we should take in order to plan things well.
Luke 14:28 ESV For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
You should count the cost with your main partner: GOD! Jesus is talking about counting the cost or evaluating.
Evaluation is the basis for knowing where we want to go is knowing where we came from and where we are.
The essence of evaluation and reflection is that we need to understand how to look at what we have done and then use that as a platform for what we want to do next.
The process of evaluation is relatively simple, but can be varied a bit. The important point is having a process. Here is the basic process for evaluation and reflection:
Reflection is best done away from distraction. It gives your mind space to think. Jesus said, “sit down and evaluate…”
Whether it is once a week, every other week, once a month or quarter, be sure to set aside a regular time at regular intervals to evaluate and reflect.
Be specific. Be truthful. Be ruthlessly honest. Expect the best, prepare for the worst.
Keep a record. This gives you the chance at the next stage of evaluation to see exactly where you were last time and keeps it as objective as possible. (Mind maps are a great tool)
Stretch yourself according to what works for you.
This is a basic process of evaluation and reflection. If you have not done this before, then this will get you going. Be sure to follow the general idea and set aside time for your evaluation and reflection.
The unexamined life is not worth living. ~ unknown~
To evaluate and reflect brings us face to face with who we are and what we have become. More important, it allows us the time to dream and create a vision for what we want to become.
People who never take time to evaluate and reflect will blow to and fro through this life, living by the forces of culture, circumstances, societal pressures and, unfortunately, personal weaknesses.
Those who take the time to evaluate will find they are like an oak tree in a storm: They have a firm foundation, know where they are going, how to get there and, ultimately, they will get there no matter what comes their way!
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~ Abraham Lincoln~
“Plan for what it is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” ~ Sun Tzu~
Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established
Just stop planning things without prayer! It’s essential to commit everything you do to the Lord so you will have a 100% warranty of a successful outcome.
Proverbs 21:5 ESV The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty
Who is the diligent? It’s not just the hard working man/woman but the person who seeks God with diligence.
DILIGENCE, n. L., to love earnestly; to choose.
Steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion of body or mind without unnecessary delay or sloth; due attention; industry; assiduity.
Diligence is the philosophers stone that turns every thing to gold.
It’s not enough to have good plans but the key to get God’s blessing is diligence.
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” ~ Napoleon Hill~
##Call the things that are not as if they were
Romans 4:17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed–the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
Sometimes you cannot tell it like it is… Words are serious business. And, as believers, we need to get serious about learning how to use them. We need to begin to put them to work for us like God Himself does. The Bible tells us that He uses words to “call those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17).
Most of us don’t have the faintest idea how to do that. We’ve spent our lives “telling it like it is.” We’ve constantly used our mouths to report on the sorry state of affairs around us. Thus, the very thought of calling “things which be not as though they were” seems a little crazy.
As the Apostle Paul said in
2 Corinthians 4:13, “We have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak” (The Amplified Bible).
There are 2 aspects of faith that we need to grasp:
2. Speak into existence
Good planning must be accompanied by the Word of Faith.
Over and over again, the Bible makes it clear that once you believe, you must confess, or speak, the thing that you believe. Even in being saved, we follow the process of believing in our heart, and confessing with our mouth. Notice
2 Corinthians 4:13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.