A boy told his father, “Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a limb that hung over a pool, and one frog decided to jump off into the pool, how many frogs would be left on the limb?” The dad replied, “Two.” “No,” the son replied. “There are three frogs and one decides to jump, how many are left?” The dad said, “Oh, I get it, if one decides to jump, the others would too. So there are none left.” The boy said, “No dad, the answer is three. The frog only DECIDED to jump.”
Does that sound like last year’s resolution? Great inspiration and great resolutions, but often times we only decide, and months later we are still on the same limb of do-nothing.So what have you decided to do? What is your plan? Better yet, what will you do?
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 Read:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.
Solomon is telling us that God has a plan for all of us and a cycle for everything we are planned to do in accordance with His will. Notice once again Solomon said, “I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.” Make no mistake the whole of the Bible clearly states that this business is to be whose business? God’s! Yes, God has a plan for your life. To do all that though, we must find balance. The only way to find balance, is to understand some fundamental things that are to be guiding our life.
The first thing you have to do, if you are going to have balance in your life is: You have to discover your PURPOSE. What is your purpose in this world? This is the core question of our lives. If you have not thought seriously about this, you have not taken life seriously. Many of the problems in people’s lives would be settled if they understood their purpose in life and lived it out. If you have not thought seriously about this, your life is a lot like throwing mud up against the wall and hoping some will stick.
The Bible says, “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8). There’s something that is often forgotten, we belong to the Lord.
If it is true that we belong to the Lord, then we have the obligation to live for the Lord, correct? As the Word says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Our lives are not our own. They do not belong to us. Our plans are not our own. We belong to God.
The Bible says, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13). Add this scripture together and you get the answer to “What is your purpose in this world?” Your purpose is to live out and fulfill the purpose of God for your life. He is working to unveil that plan in your life, and your responsibility is to cooperate with his work in you. You mean His plan is to be my plan? Yep.
The Bible says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). The grand number 1 purpose of your life is to know God and have an ongoing relationship with him that brings him glory in the way you live your life. The Bible says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
What is your purpose? It is to know God through his Son Jesus Christ and live for him. Your purpose is to do as much good as you can do for him and others. You are not here to serve and please yourself; you have a higher calling. If you don’t understand your purpose, then your life is built on the wrong foundation. And if your life is built on the wrong foundation, it does not matter how magnificent the structure is, it will crumble and fall.
Your plan/purpose is to be God’s plan. Hear what David told Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve him with single mind and willing heart; for the Lord searches every mind, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will abandon you forever.” Now I do believe that by the grace of God it will not be forever, but the point is again, our plan is to align with God’s plan.
Listen carefully because these next points go against our culture and American way. Your primary purpose here is not to be successful or have a wonderful career. Your purpose is not to be happy in your earthly accomplishments or earn a lot of money. Your purpose is not even to find love and have a family. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Simple, there is your primary purpose: seek first his kingdom and righteousness. It is not that these other things are bad, they are not, it is just that they cannot come before the main purpose for which you were created — to know God and glorify him with your life. When you get that straight, then the rest will all fall into place.
The second thing you have to do, if you are going to have balance in your life is: You have to establish your PRIORITIES. You may have a firm grasp of what your real purpose is in this world. You may understand that your life belongs to God, and that you are to live for him rather than yourself. But now you need to understand God’s specific plan for you.
Priorities, begin by asking yourself, “What are my gifts? What are the specific talents and interests that God has put into my life? How can I use these to fulfill his purpose for me in this world?” The reason that these questions are important is that you may be doing many good things, but you may not be doing the things that God has in mind for you. Your area of interest may be the gift God has given you to promote growth and influence for His kingdom.
However, the opposite of this is that God knows what gifts you have, you may be ignoring them and the Holy Spirit keeps speaking to you to use a gift you have, the thing is you may think you don’t have that gift. Seriously, in prayer and in life if you are being called to step outside of your comfort area, I propose that you are ignoring God and the gifts he has given you but choose not to recognize.
Setting priorities is not about choosing between what is good and what is bad. That has been settled when you decide to live out your God-given purpose in life. Priorities have to be set when the choice is between what is good and what is best, between what will be beneficial and what is actually God’s will for you. He has made you with particular interests, skills and gifts. Go in the direction of your interests and gifts known, and also the one’s unrecognized by you, because this is how and why God has created you. It is about getting the most from your life. Setting priorities helps you to trim down your involvement in the world to a reasonable level.
The third thing you have to do, if you are going to have balance in your life is: You have to make your PLAN. You can understand your purpose and set your priorities, but if you have no plan on how to make it happen, it will never happen. Nothing is going to happen until you make it happen. It is too easy to let life sweep you along and your agenda be filled with the urgent little things of the day. If you are not deliberate in planning out your life, your life will drift, and life will “just happen.” You want your life to happen on purpose. If you can’t get everything done, it is because you are trying to do more than God wants you to do. You can only simplify your life if you always remember your purpose, priorities, and follow the plan….and remember that’s God’s purpose, God’s priorities and God’s plan. You have just enough time to do what God wants you to do. The Bible reinforces this:
Ephesians 5:15-20 portions
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is important to take the time to sit down and write out your life purpose. Put your priorities down on paper. Make a plan to fulfill those priorities and make them happen. Begin to say no to some things and cut out other things. Make sure there is enough time for God’s important things. Pencil in time for God and for ministry to other people. Pencil time for the Sabbath, by the way, that’s one day. Your ministry may be encouraging someone over the phone, baking a pie, singing a song, teaching a class, witnessing to your neighbor, writing a story, leading a group, working with children, youth or the elderly. Your ministry will be unique to your personal gifts and calling, and you will have time for God to use you because you have made a plan.
I ask you to consider if the New Year could actually speak to you;
Here I am, the New Year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time. I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life. All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me in this coming year, waiting for you to search it but with more determination. All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires. All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have – they sleep, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose. I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Happy New Year!!!!!!