If you missed the last post, you can go back and read Planning and Productive Paranoia (Part 1)
Quick Review: Last time we looked at Scriptures on Preparation and Discipline and Roald Amundsen’s winning strategy for racing to the South Pole.
In light of Amundsen’s story, do you need to focus on something like a “20 mile a day march” in following Jesus? What would that be for you? What intermediate goals would you set? What preparation and discipline do you need in daily life to make you a more faithful disciple of Christ? Amundsen lived with the Eskimos to prepare. Who is praying for you and with you? Who can teach, guide, help, mentor you to diligence in serving Jesus in some particular way or overall? Are you willing to admit you need others to help you? Are you teachable? “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
In the ancient Greeks Olympics, one race was unique. The winner was not the one who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way through this life following Christ with the flame of my torch always lit for Him. (Joseph Stowell)
Proverbs on These Themes
- Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
- Whoever loves instruction and discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates reproof and correction is stupid.
- Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
- Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
- One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
- The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
- The horse [and its rider] are made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.
- The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Humility is the fear of the Lord, bringing riches and honor and life. In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.
- Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.
- Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
(Proverbs 6:6-8, 12:1, 15:22, 16:3, 18:9, 21:05, 21:31, 22:3-5, 24:27, 25:28)
- The alternative to discipline is disaster (Vance Havner).
- The great need in the Christian life is for self-discipline. It’s not something that happens to you in a meeting. By God’s grace, you’ve got to do it (Martyn Lloyd-Jones).
- No point praying for spiritual growth unless we live disciplined Christian lives (Nigel McCullough).
- Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems (Scott Peck).
- People cannot come to spiritual maturity except through discipline (Donald Whitney).
British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein (1880–1959) was visited in his studio by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950). Shaw noticed a huge block of marble standing in a corner and asked what it was for. Epstein replied: “I don’t know yet. I’m still making plans.” Shaw countered: “You mean you plan your work? I change my mind several times a day!” Epstein said: “That’s OK with your four-ounce manuscript, but not with my four-ton block of marble.”
Physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8 AMP)
- A plan is only as good as those who see it through….Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.
- Meticulous planning enables everything a person does to appear spontaneous.
- Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.
- Think ahead. Don’t let day-to-day stuff drive out planning.
- Failing to plan is planning to fail.
- If you plan for one year, plant rice. If you plan for ten years, plant trees. If you plan for 100 years, educate humankind. (adapted from various sources)
Prayer: Our Father, we thank you that you care about our goals in life and all the little details it takes to achieve them. Lead and guide us, we pray. Help us to put you first in our lives. We thank you that our times are in your hands. In you we live and move and have our being. So Lord, provide what is best for us at every step and stage of our journey. Give us the right people to help us and give us wisdom to listen to them. Help us to be sure that our plans and purposes hallow you name, advance your kingdom, and do your revealed will (your word) on earth. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Excerpts from Leadership class at Belhaven University, also used in other teaching, counseling, and prison ministry.