Friday, July 15, 2016

A Present Priority

By Donnie O’Fallon
A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9 NIV

Why is it that so often, the things we say that are most important to us do not get the priority of our best efforts or our best time?  Instead, the things that just crop-up we allow to become urgent and begin to take our energy and our time. 
When our grandson graduated high school, my wife and I gave him a mahogany wooden box, about a three-inch cube.  Made into it were a compass and a clock.  On the card we wrote this passage from Proverbs 16:9 NIV, “A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps”.  Also on the card were these comments:
·      The Compass directs us in where we say we want to go in life.  It represents your values, principles, conscience, vision, mission and the purpose for your life.
·      The Clock will direct your schedules, your appointments and commitments.
·      The Calendar also is important for it has a written record of how we’re doing in the direction we said we wanted to go.  Those are written goals for the month and the year.  A goal is not a goal until it’s written.
What is one thing/one activity that you could do and by doing it well and consistently, would have a positive impact in your life?  What one thing would make a difference in yourself, family, in your church, in your service to Christ.  Working harder, smarter, faster won’t do it, so what will?
When you have a purpose and a vision for your life, you’ll have meaning and peace!  Learn four lessons from the Compass, the Clock, and the Calendar as you reflect on your life today.  Reflect on the following four very important questions:
·      Are you prepared to respond to the challenge of change?
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  In each of our lives there is the law of inertia, to stay the same. We’re all creatures of habit.  If you don’t like the direction your life and pattern of daily living are going your must have a willingness to change or you’ll never do it.
·      Are you prepared for the resistance of the spiritual adversary?
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. As a Christian you must understand that if we read and believe the Bible and apply it to our daily living you’ll be walking into enemy territory.  J. I. Packer said, “If I were the devil one of the first things I’d do is to stop folk from reading the Bible, God’s Word … I’d want to keep them from getting the message of the Bible”.
·      Are you prepared to replace the urgent with the important?
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  You must ask and answer the question, “What are the important tasks that must be done today or this week?”  Those urgent tasks call for instant action that devour our time and energy and keep us from keeping first things first.
·      Are you prepared to record your progress, successes, and failures in a journal? Hold yourself accountable by writing out your goals, progress, and failures.
Psalm 139: 23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

·      Pray your direction, purpose, and vision
·      Put the plan for your live in action one day at a time

·      Prepare your heart and keep them in discouraging times

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