Proverbs 16 3 Dedicate your work to the Lord and then your plans will succeed. – KJV
What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Would you write that book? Start that business? Support that mission? Write and record that song? According to God’s word, if we ask for his help, nothing we attempt will fail if it’s in line with his Kingdom. But yet, we all have had regrets about the project that would or could have been.
Just like many other Christians, I’ve had my issues with doubt and disappointment in the past when things that I was working on would fail even though I knew that I had the talent and the resources to accomplish them. I’m sure I’m no stranger to this feeling of despair. After an eye opening sermon by Kenneth Moore last night at Word of Life Church (Pastor Joel Simms is awesome by the way), I realized that my lack of success could not be blamed on God. I was not successful because God wasn’t my partner, even though I said he was. I was really working on my own and for my glory. I wanted people to see what I had done instead of what God had done through me.
As I studied on the subject of what it meant to dedicate your efforts to the Lord, for the first time I realized that I have to ask God to be involved in my project first and then he will make it successful.
Rick Warren stated in an article that we must dedicate our work to be used for God’s purposes and that whatever we want God to bless; we should give it to Him first. Pastor Warren even went so far as to break down what success means:
S – Start working enthusiastically
U – Understand who you’re really working for
C – Concentrate on building your character
C – Care about the people you’re working with and for
E – Exceed what is expected of you
E – Expand your skills to succeed at your work
D – Dedicate your work to be used for God’s purposes
When you dedicate a business or an assignment to Christ, he gets involved on a spiritual level with your decisions. Even though you may make the plans, He steers them and tells you which way to go.
Have you ever had that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you feel like you should go left instead of right? That’s the Holy Spirit keeping you away from something bad and getting you into something that is good. But keep this in mind, even though He instructs, he won’t force your hand. It is your decision to follow His leading.
As a Christian, your faith should never be a secret to those around you. You should walk and carry yourself so that others can be influenced. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
According to Proverbs 16 1-3, man had the right to plot his own course, but God has the right to change it. God has actually given you the responsibility to make plans for your life. We have all heard the saying, “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.” So if you’re waiting on God to tell you what to do with your life, you may be waiting a long time. God waits for you to make plans and then act on them and as your Heavenly Father, he starts to guide you along the way.
If you notice there were several instances in the Bible where someone would have to act first to show their obedience.
God has promised you that he would reply to your plans but you have to give him something to work with in the first place.
The average Christian has heard “you shouldn’t ask God to bless your plans but you should get on board with his plans”. In theory, this sounds pretty good but this advice has left many Christians too paralyzed to make a move because they think God won’t like their plan or approve of it.
I feel that you must have a plan for your life if you expect to succeed at anything. A plan is a method or a blueprint of actions that will help you to accomplish a definite purpose.
A goal is a dream that is written down, if you don’t write out your goals, they will remain dreams.
A plan is your blueprint. It is a detailed explanation of how you plan to accomplish something. It can be something as simple as losing ten pounds or as complicated as building a skyscraper. I am a home builder by trade and blueprints are my plan for how to build a structure. I am often asked by people how much I would charge to build something and I tell them that I can’t give an acceptable answer without a set of plans.
Without a set of plans, I could probably build a structure but it would take me much longer to finish and it would be drastically different from your original vision.
3 Rules for Making A Plan That Works:
Dedicate your plans
According to Proverbs 16 3, if you will first commit to the Lord whatever you’re doing, your plans will succeed.
I don’t know about you, but if someone guaranteed me that my plans would be successful, I would consult them from the beginning to see if everything is on track. As simple as this sounds, most people rush into something and only consult God when it blows up in their faces. I can’t speak for you but I will publicly say I’m guilty of this. Even worse, we blame God for letting us fail.
How would you like it if someone blamed you for their failure and you weren’t even aware of the fact that they were doing it in the first place. This is the position that most of us are guilty of putting God in. He would have gladly helped us out if we had just thought to ask for his help.
It reminds me of a story I heard about someone riding down the road with God in their passenger seat. After a while, they got tired of Him constantly correcting them so they asked him to get in the back seat. As they went further down the road, it got bumpier and they got a flat tire and eventually got lost. They blamed God for letting all of this happen even though they asked Him to get out of their business. But like the loving father that he is, once they repented of their self-centered ways, they then asked for his help and he got in the driver’s seat and got them back on course in record time. Just think, if they had asked for his help along the way, they could have avoided all of the mishaps.
2. Decide to win
According to Proverbs 29 18, where there is no vision the people will perish. The true meaning of this is without a plan for your future, you won’t go anywhere. How many of us have been in a bad situation and for some strange reason, we just chose to waddle in our misery?
If you dedicate your plans to God, He will line your thoughts up with His will to move you forward. Remember, I’m being totally transparent here. I can’t count the number of times I would failed and wished I could have a do-over with His help from the beginning. Life experience does give you a sore behind after its through with you.
According to 1 Corinthians 9 24, it states “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
This scripture is telling us that only the winner of a race can be awarded the prize. Remember, second place is the first among the losers!!! Your effort should be that of the first place winner in everything that you put your hands to. You should work as though you can’t fail. God’s ways will always lead to triumph so why would you work with any less effort than to be in 1st place.
As long as you’re running the race that God created you for, you can’t lose. we only struggle when we are outside of His will or outside of our blessed abilities.
3. Discipline your life
According to 1 Corinthians 9 25, everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. If you expect your plans to work, you must discipline yourself like a world-class athlete. When an Olympic hopeful starts training for their event, do you think they have made up in their mind to be 5th place. No, they train like 1st Place is the only acceptable outcome.
They have a “take no prisoners” attitude about training and they will cut out any activities that may cause them to under perform.
The thing that gets most people when they make plans is that they only give themselves the “Big Picture” and never look at the baby steps that are required along the way. For example, if you said you wanted to make a million dollars in one year, that seems like a huge and almost impossible goal and you would surely fail because there are no incremental steps to get you there. But if you break it down into bite-sized nuggets it works out like this:
How to make $1,000,000 in a year
$1,000,000 per year/12 = $83,333.33/ month
$83,333.33 per month/4 weeks = $20,833.33/ week
$20,833.33 per week/7 days = $2,976.19/ day
$2,976.19 per day/24 hours = $124.01/ hour
$124.01 per hour/60 minutes = $2.06/ minute
Now, I know this is an extreme example, but doesn’t $2.06 sound a lot more doable than making a $1 million dollars. It’s all in how you look at the situation or goal.
Another example is the desire to lose 30 pounds for your 20th high school reunion. Thirty pounds seems like such a huge amount at first but if you break it down into manageable chunks, it’s quite easy to accomplish.
Look at it like this: 20th class reunion (30 pounds overweight) / (12 months to lose the weight)
30 pounds / 12 months = 2.5 pounds per month to lose. You could stop eating so much takeout food and exercise a little and knock this goal out with very little effort.
When you break goals down into manageable chunks, you can be encouraged by your progress and then you find yourself making a game out of it to see if you can beat your previous month’s progress. Your goals should be tough enough so that you stay committed but not so tough that you’ll give up after the first challenge.
Remember the Olympic athlete, their willing to train with injuries several hours per day, eat bland but nutritious foods and dedicate their entire life to their sport to spend just a few moments in the spotlight for a gold medal.
Are you willing to give the same kind of commitment to a task for God if He guaranteed you would have success? Take Him at his word and see what happens…