January 8, 2020 –
Last week, we discussed the developing of our Spiritual Plan; we discovered just any plan wouldn’t do.
As you develop your Spiritual Plan, you want to experience a new sense of openness in three key areas: Openness to God, Openness to yourself, and openness to opportunity. This article covers the second and third openness to:
- Openness to Yourself
Start Where You Are. Draw a mental picture of where you are in your walk with God. Are you close or far away? How did you get to where you are? Why do you remain where you are?
Start Planning on Where You Want to Go. Do you want to move closer to God? Do you honestly want to walk with God?
Test Your Likes and Dislikes. On a legal pad, draw a line down the center of the page. On the left side of the paper list, things that you dislike doing. On the right side, list items you like to do. Be honest with yourself. Only you and God will see what you put down, and He already knows the activities you favor and the ones you distaste.
Because we closely identify our strengths with those things we like to do, and it strictly relates our weaknesses to the activities we dislike, God will provide us with assignments that call for the use of strengths; this is the process of “iron sharpening iron.” On occasions, God may require us to overcome some weaknesses to complete the assignment. In those cases, you will find His strength is sufficient.
- Openness to Opportunity
Start Looking for Opportunities. The songwriter has eloquently stated it. “Open my eyes that I may see.” Opportunities are everywhere. Be actively looking to see them. Focusing on God and the needs of your neighbor are the key ingredients for uncovering nuggets of opportunity. Focus on yourself and your needs, and you miss the opportunities.
Start Embracing Opportunities. When an opportunity presents itself, you must act. Choose not to act, and we lose the opportunity. Act and seize the opportunity. Plus, you expose yourself to additional opportunities. The spiritual reward for work well done is further work. Opportunity is always saying, “Let us now go… and see this thing has happened, which the Lord has made known unto us” (Luke 2:15).
Start Being Thankful for Opportunities. Opportunities have within themselves opportunities: the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to contribute, the opportunity to receive, the opportunity to serve, and the opportunity for self-fulfillment.
The thought God carries out His work through a man or woman must forever amaze and humble us. When we are selected, may we say, “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8)?
Build Your Spiritual Plan on God’s Master Spiritual Plan
Matthew and Luke record a realistic story Jesus told about two builders who each built a house. One had a plan and built upon a foundation of rock. The other executed his plan and built upon a foundation of sand. When the storms came, the house built on the firm foundation stood; the house built on sand fell.
Jesus commented on the outcome, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew against the house; yet, it did not fall. The house was founded upon the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and burst against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27).
It’s not enough to have a plan. Both builders had plans, but they executed their plans on contrasting foundations. The key to the successful house building is the foundation upon which we construct the house. The key to developing a successful spiritual plan is the foundation upon which the plan is built. By building on God’s Master Spiritual Plan, you build on bedrock, and when confronted with the storms of life, you continue your walk with God.
Next Week: The Seven Elements of a Personal Spiritual Plan