I recently read a great blog by Seth Godin called, “Sure, but that's not a plan”, that caused me to reflect on the “shortcuts to success” that people are spending so much time and energy searching for in hopes of achieving a dream, goal, or a solution to some problem or difficulty they are having (like financial struggles, relational dilemmas, weight or health issues, etc).
For some, their “financial plan” to success is to continue to play the lottery, picking numbers from a “divine selection process” (meaning they pick numbers and pray that God will intercede and allow the balls to match their lotto picks).
Others pray that God will “bless this food to the nourishment of my body, and help me to reach my target weight goal”, as they bow their heads over their afternoon snack of Moon Pies and Cheetos.
In my message Progress Report: Blowing A Still at LifeSpring Church, I shared the BIG IDEA: Continuous steps in the right direction will get us to the right place over time. This Big Idea is also known as “A PLAN”.
Periodically we need to “Blow A Still” in our lives and review our PLAN and our PROGRESS in working the PLAN. (Blowing a Still is an old maritime expression still used in the Navy that calls for sailors undivided attention while pausing what they are doing and reflecting on (1) what am I doing, (2) what should I be doing (3) what adjustments do I need to make next (4) redeploy to that activity at the next strategic opportunity).
So, what would happen if Christians, the followers of Jesus, were to regularly “Blow a Still” in their spiritual lives and give themselves a PROGRESS REPORT on how well they are living out their PLAN to do the Great Commandment and Great Commission Jesus asks of us.
The Great Commandment Matthew 2:37-40
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The Great Commission Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
A Christian PROGRESS REPORT should contain
1) Honest ASSESSMENT of your progress (answering the question “What am I doing?)
2) Recast the VISION (answering the question “What am I suppose to be doing?)
3) Course ADJUSTMENTS (answering the question “What do I need to change and do next?)
4) Start to REDEPLOY (Begin again at the next strategic activity with your adjusted plan)
Next week I will talk more of specifics you and I can do to help us improve our PLAN as well as systems and motivation to live into that PLAN.