Power your Plan
In the last blog we discussed self-control. There is power in your self-control even though when we first start controlling our lives it feels like we are powerless. Matthew 5:37 tells us that anything other than self-control is from the devil. Self-control is born from being able to say “yes” when appropriate and “no” when that is appropriate. We must learn to control the impulses we have, so when God speaks to us revealing our direction, we are not controlled by the world. We must be committed to following Jesus, steadfast at the cause and patient when it looks so far away. The power that sets your self-control on fire for that thingamabob depends highly on your planning skills. A goal is one thing but the plan can make or break a goal. Our God is not just about us being there He is about how we get there as well.
Picture your desire (God’s will for you) as a mansion on a hill. God has given you a picture of what that looks like. For me, it is the Hope Devoted, Life Skills Center for Women. For you, it could be the book He wants you to write, a house big enough to be hospitable, a ministry at your church or whatever thingamabob God wants you to have. Picture that at the top of the hill with nothing but trees between you and it. The only way there is a dirt road designed just for you. You get on your ATV and go praying for a safe journey. The Almighty has empowered you with His tenacious voltage (ATV) and He is lighting your way with it. As you continue you realize the road behind you has been paved. You are making it easier for others to follow the same road. What you cannot see, for the trees, is the monstrous ditches coming up on both sides of your dirt road, the absence of filling stations and the washouts. Your ATV has enough power to get through each of these but you must hold onto it.
Your Plan is your Power
The Almighty’s tenacious voltage (ATV) is your power to get to your mansion. His vision for you is what you are striving for. It is that mansion on the top of the hill you want bad. For you to reach that mansion you MUST hold fast to the ATV. There are going to be seasons of cold and seasons of hot while you are driving on the dirt road. Hold fast, for you will reap the benefits if you do not give up.
To hold fast to the ATV you must know your God. His voltage can only be felt when you are in constant contact with Him. If you do not know Him you will not feel His voltage. His voltage can be found in the Word of God. You read it. You know it. You ponder it. You understand it. You do it. You feel it. That is the order in which the voltage travels. You have this Powerful generator inside you to use but it needs fuel. The Word of God is your fuel for this generator. The less time you tap into this filling station the shorter the distance you will be able to travel. The more you more you fill the further you can go. This picture is the same for every Christian and the fuel source is also the same. Let us plan our travel down this dirty road.
Plan Your Ditch Dwelling
You are driving on the dirt road comfortably with no obstacles. You can see your desire at the top of the hill but you are still miles away. You know if you hold fast to your ATV you can make it in no time. You hit a pot hole in the road, lose control and fall straight into the ditch. You try to push your ATV up the side of the ditch but don’t have enough strength. You decide to get onto your ATV and drive through the ditch. The weeds, the soupy water and the mud are slowing you down to a snail’s pace. What a nightmare? There are snakes, frogs, cattails, green goo and scanky smelling fogs along the way. You are deep in the valley.
Did your plan include ditch dwelling? There is a reason you are in the ditch. We ditch dwell to build strength. The mansion we have been given by God has to be built by us. It has to be defended by us. The Israelites spent forty years wondering in the dessert until the second generation built up enough strength to do what God has told them to do. When it was time to go into their promised land God told Joshua three times in Joshua 1:1-9 to be strong and have courage. God will keep us in the ditch until we build the character traits He needs us to have to be able to build our ministry and defend the position we have in our ministry. Our plan for what will happen while ditch dwelling has to be implemented while on the road because our overall plan is hard to see when we are in the ditch. Planning to gain enough strength to hang on to the ATV tightly while in the ditch will ensure we exit from the ditch each time.
Plan the Power Loss
You have finally exited the ditch. Your strength is gaining so maybe the next ditch won’t be so deep or so long. The road is being paved again behind you and all is well in your world. You lose sight of it. Where did it go? Your mansion, it’s gone. You have lost the power needed to stay on the road. You put your foot on the brake to stop. You look around. There are no filling stations anywhere. The filling stations are your lifeline to traveling. They consist of Christian teachings, Christian friends, and your self-help books. They are all gone. You are all alone.
If your fuel is from people this will be a rude awakening. The fuel used to power ourselves cannot be people it has to be the Word of God and His revelation for our life. If we rely on people to tell us what to do and how to get to our mansion we will spend much time in the ditch and on the wrong road. God has revealed to us the dirt road that WILL get us to His mansion. The power of the vision God gave us can fade. We will not be able to see it nor tap into it as easily as we could when we first saw it. The long passage of time and ditch dwelling can cause this to happen. If we don’t plan to refuel ourselves with the Word of God we will lose our connection to the constant power source. Staying plugged into the Word of God has to be part of our plan on the road to our mansion.
Plan to Portage
You are out of the ditch and have your mansion in sight again. You put the ATV in drive to travel. You are aware of the ditches and of the chance still remains to run out of gas. You are building strength and keeping fuel in your generator. Then you see it, water over the road. The road is washed out and there is no way for you to continue unless you lift your ATV onto your shoulders to wade through it. The water is rushing so fast at times you have to stand still because moving will push you off the path. Sometimes, it gets higher than your mouth and it takes all your strength to jump up for a breath. You are drowning.
The world is one weight on our shoulders and to lift the will of God up there too is enough to make us feel like we are drowning. Sometimes, the will for God for our lives feels like a burden to us. The dirt road looks good to us compared to this washed out road covered with rushing waters. We compare the burden of carrying the world on our shoulder with carrying God’s plan for us too. There is no comparison. God’s plan for us is self-sufficient. He planned it for us and He will bring it into fruition. He is filling in ditches, revealing the fuel and parting waters for us to get to that mansion. We don’t have to pick up the ATV it is already on the other side waiting for us.
The Power in the Plan
There is no work we can do to get us closer to our mansion before God wants us there. The mansion we see at the top of the hill is the desire God has for our life. It is not our desire or someone else’s desire for us. The Almighty’s tenacious voltage is our power to get there. The road is being paved to our mansion. To pave a road it first has to be made level and graveled. Ditches need to be dug and rest stops with filling stations added. Drains need to be placed in low lying areas to avoid wash outs. The fulfillment of His plan for your life is what paves the road behind us. Others may travel on our paved road for a time but they have their own dirt road to travel, their own ditches to get out of and their own water to wade through on the way to their own mansion. The generator used by us is not the same one used by others. The dirt road we travel is designed specifically for the windy, hilly path to our mansion. It is designed to make sure that by the time we begin building our mansion it is built on a sturdy foundation. The foundation must be on the Rock, Jesus Christ. The path that is being paved must always lead people to Jesus. We are preparing the way to Jesus, for many people, by obeying God’s will for our life.
We need not wonder why God tells us where we are going but doesn’t show us the whole sorted path. Learning to believe Him and trust Him will always put us on the path of teaching others to do the same. If you want that thingamabob, you shall have it.