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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

Setting Goals: Planning


PRAYER: Father, I want your will to be my plans. I want your glory to be my goal. I have things that I want to do. However, if these plans are not for your glory, if these plans are not a blessing to my family or those over whom I have influence, then please defeat me in those plans and please guide me into other areas of blessing. I want you to be glorified in what I do. I want to go where your grace leads. I commit my ways, my plans, and my works to you and to your glory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.



Some years ago the great thinker was on a train bound for New York City. As the ticket taker came walking through the car, Einstein reached into his pocket to retrieve his ticket, but could not find it. He frantically searched his coat pockets, turned his pants pockets inside out, but still could not produce the ticket.

The ticket taker said, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Einstein, we all know who you are. Forget about it.’ About 20 minutes later, the ticket taker came back through the car, and by this time Einstein was on the floor searching everywhere for the lost ticket.

Again the ticket taker tried to reassure Einstein by saying, ‘I told you not to worry about the lost ticket. We trust that you purchased one, and that is good enough for us.’

Einstein looked up at the railroad employee and said, ‘Young man, this isn’t a matter of trust but of direction. I need to find the ticket because I forgot where I am going.”

Do you have a clear sense of where you want to go in life? Are you headed toward that destination, moving away from that destination, or simply standing idle? The first foundational secret for wise living is simply this: Wise people have a sense of their God-given destination and have made plans of going there. Wise people know where they want to go in life and have a plan for getting there.

The Cost of Doing Nothing:

No body arrives at their destination in life by accident. The only thing that arrives at its intended destination by accident is airline luggage. In fact, without a plan, we tend to drift away from our dreams.

Sadly, not many people are into planning. Most people in Asian hope in good fate. They just accept whatever comes. In one of recent seminars, a brother brought out a disturbing observation.

He said, “Most Overseas Filipino Workers who have broken families” came to Hong Kong and work here for many years did not have a plan. They just came to work to support their family. These wives leave their husbands for years – 2-20 years seeing them only for a month every two years. The longer a wife stays away from home, the more likely that she will end up with a broken family.” (Mr. Rolly Estrella, Omsbudman member, Philippine Consulate in HK)

Finnish atheist who left his farm to the devil:

Recently I read a story of a Finnish atheist who stated in his will that he wanted to leave his farm to the devil. When he died, the legal system was dumbfounded over how to honor the request. Finally, after weeks of deliberation, the court decided that the best way to carry out the farmer’s wishes was to permit the weeds and briars to taker over the farmland, to allow the house and barn to remain unpainted and eventually rot, and to let the soil erode and wash away. The court declared in its ruling, “The best way to let the devil have possession of anything is to do nothing."

The best way to allow Satan to destroy your dreams is to do nothing. Continue to live with no action plan, and you will never arrive at your desired destination in life. Why? There is a law that works in the natural world that is also operative in your life: the second law of thermodynamics. This principle, simply stated, tells us that the physical world is decaying and that the direction of all creation is downward, not upward. Everything eventually runs down. Everything is decaying.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Cor 3:16 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered why a garden left untended eventually becomes overgrown with weeds? The answer is that everything in the world is decaying.

What is true in the physical world is also true about your life. If you don’t believe that, just ask yourself a few questions. Does your body tend to get healthier as you age? Does your vision improve the longer you live? Can you hear better when you are sixty that when you were twenty? If unchecked, the same decay that pulls your physical body downward will also destroy other parts of your life. Because of the sin nature we inherited from Adam, we do not naturally drift toward God or moved toward His plan for our lives. Instead, if we do not exert a proactive counter effort, the natural course of events will lead to the depletion of financial resources, the disintegration of our families, the deterioration of our bodies, and yes, the destruction of our souls.

That is why it is essential to develop a plan to reverse the natural direction of your life and transport you to your desired destination. A plan is simply a road map for getting you to your desired destination in life.

King Solomon demonstrates wisdom in his career: he had a clear objective that of building a magnificent temple for the worship of God. At the beginning of his reign, he called the people together and said: “Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my GOD.” (1 Kings 5:5)

Notice that Solomon had a clear objective in mind, but he knew that the temple would not build itself. He did not over spiritualize his dream by saying, “If the Lord wants this temple built, it will happen in His way and in His time.” If you looked at Solomon, you will discover that the wise king worked from a well-developed plan:

1. He gathered the necessary resources: cedars were cut from Lebanon (1 Kgs 5:6)

2. He organized the people. “Solomon assigned 70,000 men to carry loads, and 800,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains, and 3,600 to supervise them.” 2 Chro 2:2)

3. He designed the facility (2 Chro 3:3)

4. He set a time to begin his project (2 Chro 3:2)

5. He completed the project: “Thus all the work that Solomon performed for the house of the LORD was finished.” (2 Chro 5:1)

Solomon clearly understood the importance of developing a plan.

“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success.” Proverbs 15:22

“You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21

“Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without the advice of others.” Proverbs 20:18

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5


The Bible is against planning

“Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:13-15

A closer examination of these words reveals that James is not opposed to planning. Instead, he is warning against planning without God. The foundational question we should ask about any goal we establish should be, “Is this plan in keeping with God’s will for my life?”

Contentment: Is contentment

What does it mean to be contended? Does it mean I should have my desires limited to that which I already have, and that which I have already achieved. Or does being contended mean I should have my desires limited to that which I am convinced God wants me to have, and that which God wants me to achieve. The first statement reflects laziness, the sluggard’s philosophy. The latter shows dependence on Christ’s lordship.

Goals that are within the will of God and that are designed for the glory of God is pleasing to God!!!

What If I fail in my plan? Remember Nehemiah 4:1-3 Sanballats

“I have plenty of time, so what’s the hurry? Or “I do not have enough time, so why bother?”

The first one believes he has plenty of time, the other believes there’s not much time.

Steve Farrar warns “Our continual mistake is that we do not concentrate upon the present day, the actual hour, of our life; we live in the past or the future; we are continually expecting the coming of some special hour when our life shall unfold itself in its significance. And we do not observe that life is flowing like water through our fingers, sifting the precious grain from a loosely fastened bag.” (Steve Farrar, Anchor Man (Nashville, Ten.: Nelson, 1998), 91).

Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:10-12

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References: Pastor Daniel Villa - Pastor Dan has a Doctorate of Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary. He also holds a Master of Theology from Asian Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity from Asia Pacific Theological Seminary both from the Philippines.


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