June 5, 2019 –
Spiritual planning is not an easy task, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Planning takes time, but the time spent planning will pay off handsomely. From the start, you need to spend some spiritual reconnaissance time—praying, studying God’s word, acquiring information, seeking guidance, and being sensitive to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual planning begins with a fundamental question, “What does God want to accomplish through me?” The answers to this question are the goals God has for you. By knowing what God wants you to do, you can focus and concentrate on the actions required to accomplish your goals.
Despite the benefits of spiritual planning, very few Christians have a plan. There are some reasons why Christians fail to plan.
EIGHT REASONS FOR FAILURE TO PLAN
- Planning is not a priority. This excuse often comes disguised in the statement, “I don’t have enough time to plan.” But this statement is not true. Everyone has the same amount of time, 24 hours each day. The question is not more or less time; it is how do you spend your time? We do the things we want to do. We spend time on activities that we feel are important to us, activities that are urgent or have high reward value.
- Lack of planning expertise. Stripped of all its puffery planning boils down to a few simple steps: 1. Know where you are; 2. Know where you want to go; 3. Devise a method for getting there. It doesn’t take a college degree in management to design a basic spiritual plan. The key is desire. If you have a strong desire to mature in your faith, and you take your request to the Lord, He will help you design a plan to achieve the goal.
- Apathy or indifference. The response of the fatalist; whatever is to be will be. The fatalist fails to plan because they consider it a waste of time. So, don’t make plans for tomorrow. If you are not convinced that planning will make a difference and help you toward spiritual maturity and a walk with God, you will not put effort into developing a plan.
- Ignorance. Some people just don’t know that they should make spiritual plans or even how to begin to develop plans. But these people are in the minority. Having read this far in this blog, you aren’t in the minority.
- Believing that planning is a straitjacket. People fail to plan because they don’t want to be boxed in. They resent goals and measurements because in the past when they have been unable to achieve a goal or complete a task, they feel they failed. And by failing, they have become failures. Therefore, to avoid further failures, they will just not be measured against a benchmark. If this is your reason for not planning, keep in mind, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
- Resistance to change. People often resist change because they may be uncertain of their ability to take on new roles. Sometimes people prefer the status quo to something new, even when their present paradigm is inadequate. They prefer the familiar to the unfamiliar. People who don’t see a need for change are seldom motivated to seek change. For most people, to leave the comfort and security of their present spiritual paradigm and enter a new spiritual paradigm may be difficult, at best.
- Fear of failure. Lack of self-confidence is a contributor to an inability to plan. Trying something, even it does not work, often opens doors that would otherwise have remained closed. The key is to keep moving toward the target. On occasion, you must be willing to take a risk. You won’t walk with God by continually playing it safe. Fear is not of God.
8. Not prepared to work to achieve the goal. The first 90% of accomplishing your goal is the determination to do it and not to compromise, no matter what sort of roadblocks appear. Once you commit to working on your plan; you want to focus on only those activities that have a connection to the project. Don’t get sidetracked on irrelevant or side issues. Concentrate on the goal. The real difference between success and failure in planning can often be traced back to the question of how much passion, commitment, and enthusiasm the planner had.