Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast. In this episode (88), I shared some perspective gained from a recent LifePlan experience and my conviction that we can choose the life that we desire. If that idea goes against the grain for you, please listen and/or read all the way to the end.
Book: Living the Life You Were Meant to Live (Tom Paterson)
LifePlan Process: A two day process guided by a facilitator trained and licensed by the Paterson Center
Future Reality Exercise
Think about your goals and where you would like to be 10 years from now in your personal, family, vocational, church, and community domains. Write out those goals in present tense, as if they have already been realized.
Examples from my LifePlan:
- I am experiencing excellent health and energy
- I am at my ideal weight of 200 pounds and am exercising 5 days a week
- We enjoy our getaway cabin and spend time there with family and take pastors and wives there at least 2 times a year to encourage them in their marriages and ministries
- We have been able to set aside a college fund for our grandchildren that will largely fund their education
- My books and online courses are producing enough passive income that I can work with any church or pastor that fits my schedule and I have a great team that helps me to continue to produce top notch resources and use technology to work with pastors and churches all over the world and still sleep in my own bed at night
Lessons from the Exercise:
- Writing them in present tense creates a sense of enthusiasm, optimism, and energy.
- Clarifying a future vision gives a sense of direction and calls on me to get clarity on my current reality and some obstacles that exist
- None of these things will be true 10 years from now if I don’t start on them today.
What about God’s will?
James 4:13-17 – Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
“The Lord’s will” is not an excuse to never make plans or set goals. “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” This or that leaves plenty of room for plans goals and strategies. This passage is not about plans or even about the future; it is about leaving God out of our plans and then boasting in ourselves.
For more on the concept of God’s will, I have written an eBook that you can get for free. Click here for details on how to get it.
Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
This verse doesn’t mean that God will give you the object of your desires if you have enough delight in Him. It means that, the greater your delight is in Him, the greater the likelihood that your desires originate in Him.
None of my goals originated with my two-day LifePlan process. They are desires that have developed in my heart over years of walking with Jesus. None of them exist in isolation or for the purpose of making something out of me, but of desiring above all to fulfill His purposes in and through me.
Here’s the great truth: My LifePlan is not simply my plan; it discovering God’s unique plan for my life. Hence the book title: Living the Life You Were Meant to Live (not the life you want).
What desires has God placed in your heart as you have delighted yourself in Him? How can those desires be translated into goals? Are you willing to do the Future Reality Exercise and envision your life 10 years from now?
I’d love to hear from you and know how I can assist you.
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