In this the second part of our 7-part series on the ever increasing life, we will focus on planning the spiritual life. I will continue with how to prepare, plan and execute a plan that will cause an ever increasing life. Watch the previous episode here where I talk about why following this plan will lead to increase.
“…Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Matthew 6:33 ESV
It is very important to develop and set goals for all dimensions of your life. There should be a systematic plan for a concurrent growth in all 6 aspects of your life. Most importantly, your spiritual life should be the first area to work on. The goal of your spiritual life is to change you, forming a habit and improving you.
As a human being you are created in the image of God, you are a spiritual being existing in a physical body. The first place to grow is to be strengthened in the spirit. If your spiritual goals are in order, all other parts will fall in place (Matthew 6:33).
The first step in building your spiritual goals is to know where you are, who you are and where you are. This is because you need to know your starting point before you can focus on a destination. It is important to sincerely asses yourself. In all honesty, count your blessings, assess your faults and position yourself appropriately.
WHAT IS YOUR NOW?
You must first be able to answer that question. Then, we can progress to identify your goal and how to achieve it.
In helping you to have an ever-increasing spiritual life we will focus on these 5 major questions to which I would recommend you answer honestly. They should guide your thoughts and plans for your spiritual life for this year and the subsequent years.
1. Where am I now?
2. Where do I want to be next year?
3. Why do I want to be there?
4. Is it SMART?
5. Who is my accountability partner?
1. WHERE AM I NOW?
There are 5 aspects of the spiritual life. So, you have to find out where you are with each. Each aspect is equally important and contributes to your advancement and growth.
A. The Word:
How many hours do you devote to engaging God’s word in a week? It is ideal if you could commit a minimum of an hour a day to the Word. This should be dedicated only to the reading of the word. Do not include prayer. All your focus should be on the word once it is time for the word.
You need to engage the word in 5 different ways: HEAR, READ, STUDY, MEMORIZE (MEDITATE) and APPLY (ACTION). God gave us the word so that they can be principles for us to live by.
David understood this principle when he said, “Thy word have I hidden in my heart so I might not sin against Thee”.
Find out the number of hours do you devote to praying alone a week. Prayer is communication with God so you need to commit time to having conversations with Him. We are admonished as leaders of the church to have dedicated time in fellowship with God on a daily basis.
Prayer gives you the power to keep going. Also, you engage the power of God in prayer for your spiritual life. To be able to grow and increase, ask yourself how much time you commit to this.
How many hours do you devote to church fellowship a week? We are admonished in the Scriptures to never forsake the fellowship of believers (Hebrews 10:25). It is very important to commit time to Christian fellowship. Furthermore, it’s important to increase you time in the church. How many hours are you committing to this? Are you giving enough time to this? Its important to write down where you are now to better asses and determine where you want to be.
How many souls did you win this year? We each have an assignment and a task to achieve. For “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). As Christians our great commission is to go into the world and preach the Goodnews. Our goal is to rescue the perishing (John 3:16), and care for the dying. Did you pray the sinner’s prayer with others? How many people have you compelled to Christ? Are your souls established in the church? Be truthful to yourself and write the answers down.
How many hours do you devote to serving God’s purposes a week? What is your profession to live off? John 6:29 Jesus answered unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. It is who you are. Just as you have dedicated time to your earthly career, how much have you committed to the kingdom.
Are you serving the purpose of God? Committing resource (Time, money effort to serve community and draw people to God. We all have a role and a task to the establishment and the growth of the church. This indirectly also builds us up and improves certain skills.
For some people the church is the only platform they would have to develop leadership skills and talents. However above all the goal is for people to be saved. Achieving your ministry. What is your MINISTRY? How many hours did you commit to your ministry? To be an ever-increasing person be truthful to your now.
2. WHERE DO I WANT TO BE NEXT YEAR?
Based on the time-frames you have stated my advice is for you to double it. If you used to spend an hour each on the various aspect of your spiritual life, double to 2 hours each. Commit more time and resources to the growth of your spiritual life.
Though I advise a double principle, ideally, it’s for you to ask the holy spirit for what He requires of you. It is not a strait jacket rule for all, for some, He might require you to do more. As a ministry head, Pastor, shepherd, class leader, it’s important for you to commit much more as you are required to impact and guide.
Double your time in the word, prayer, church commitment, mission and ministry. Start small and keep in mind that with time you would achieve greatly. When it rains, it pours abundantly.
The model of the apostles were their daily commitment. Hence, if you have to miss a spot, replace with other opportunities with the week (Acts 2:46. Acts 3:1). If you missed Sunday service, go for weekday service. If did not win souls last year start with one and ensure their establishment in the church. Try and be there at all cost don’t forsake the fellowship of the brethren.
Double your service to God and community. Learn to double your time and manage it appropriately. Committing more to the various sections requires you to be disciplined, committed and time conscious.
START SMALL and GROW BIG.
Get to the point where your spirit is in sync with the spirit and you sense it’s enough. Focus and commit to the things of God.
3. WHY DO I WANT TO BE THERE?
Knowing the reason for a goal is very important in achieving a set task. Just because someone said so is not enough of a reason to influence your decision. Come up with reasons in the bible for a decision. The Bible is our ultimate guide. If you cannot understand or place what you read into perspective ask your spiritual Leader or Pastor. Ask questions yourself and write down the 4 WHYS. The fourth why is your greatest motivator. Find out the 4 WHY’s for all the various aspect we have discussed above.
4. IS YOUR GOAL SMART?
You need to have SMART goals for all the different dimensions of your spiritual life. Are the goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound? Be deliberate in ensuring your goals meet these standards.
Be Specific about the time and task. What exactly so you need to achieve on a particular aspect.
Let the goal be measurable, hence state the unit of measurement for the task, is it the number of hours or people you have impacted? How do you determine the impact you have achieved?
It should be attainable. As mentioned above, know where you have gotten to now and form a goal that you can achieve with the timeframe in mind. It would be difficult or unattainable if you aim to achieve 1000 souls within a month when you have not won a soul ever before.
Goals should be realistic. Identify your strength and weakness and plan what you know you can grow with. As Christians we have the help of God but you should not demotivate yourself with task and goals where we are unable to work with.
Time-bound. God created the earth within 6 days, He had a schedule and a time to achieve a task. Place deadlines on our goal and work within that. Push till you have achieved the goal. Have a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily task.
What you do daily is what propels you to the next level. Your daily habits are increasing you or bringing you down. What pushes men to the next level is as a result of your daily habit. Pray, fellowship, read the word, evangelize and work in your ministry DAILY.
As a start commit about an hour daily to each aspect. That is about 7 hours weekly to each task.
5. WHO IS MY ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER?
You cannot place enough emphasis on having an accountability partner. Find a person you can trust and check you. Submit your goals and dedicate time to be accountable to this person. Proverbs 27:17, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Continue reading from here.
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