This post is by René Bancroft.
"Let's make a plan."
How many times have you said that phrase? To your kids? Your employees? Your spouse? To yourself? There's always an opportunity to make a plan for your day, your budget, your marriage, or your life.
The dictionary definition of the word plan is 'a specific project or definite purpose.' To make a plan is to be certain of what it is you are going to do and how you are going to accomplish it.
We know from God's Word that His plans are good for us and they have a purpose with an eternal perspective. (Jeremiah 29:11). When the Lord gives us ideas for something, He is looking forward to working with us on every aspect of that plan to full fruition. Okay, so we know that making a plan is essential, but now what? Where do we begin? How do we make the plan stick?
When I was younger my dad would tell me the old adage of, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And it’s true. So many times in my life I have done both and it’s always better to plan. But I wanted something that would stick! The Lord is the one with all the great ideas, so I asked Him to help me discover what I need to do in following His plan for my life and He gave me a dream. He is such a good Father to give us the answers when we ask. It was fairly quick, but it spoke volumes to me.
There was a huge blackboard and written on it was this:
P - Prayer
L - Listen
A - Activate
N - iNtentional
The first place we always need to start is in prayer. This is the only way to truly get the heart of the Father. We see all over the New Testament that Jesus went to spend time with God the Father every single day. He never did anything without first spending time with Him. If Jesus made prayer a practice, how much more should we do the same?
Listening to God's response to your prayer is also vital. We cannot go to the Lord, unload our prayers and requests and then get up and leave the conversation. If someone came to you with their hopes, dreams, cares, and concerns, asking you for your advice and then got up and left before you could give them counsel, it wouldn't make any sense. How many times do we do this to the Lord? We have to get in a better habit of remaining in the posture of prayer and listen to God's response.
Once we hear from the Lord, we are activated to go forward in the path He has for us. Romans 15:13 (AMP) is a beautiful picture of how we are given power through the Holy Spirit to accomplish what God calls us to, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises." When we take the time to be filled with faith from God and walk in His power, we are ready to tackle the adventure ahead of us.
Now we have prayed, listened, been activated, so it's time to be iNtentional! By the pure fact that you walk in relationship with the Lord, have access to His Word, and have a heart burning with the dream God has given you, it's time to act on all of this and go for it! Intentionality is the pivotal move we make to see a plan come to fruition. Authentic intentionality comes from the heart of the Father. Plans on paper are good in the beginning. But if they never get off the page, they are being wasted.
Let this be an encouragement to you. Go back to that original dream God gave you. Ask the Lord to give you back the excitement you first experienced as He revealed His plan for you. You can be certain that God gave your life purpose (Romans 8:28).
Now is the time, let the world in on your plan!
René is a 6th generation, born & raised, Southern California girl, currently residing in Altadena, CA, and has known the Lord as her Savior since she was 8 years old. She & her husband Tony have been married since July 14, 1990. Together they have raised three daughters & have one son-in-law (Sierra 20, Savannah 24, and Caitlin 26 & Joey 33). René has a mother’s heart and serving women of all ages is what she has been called to do for the past 25 years. She currently serves at church with Tony leading a LifeGroup for young professionals in the Entertainment Industry. René is a mentor-mom, a marriage mentor with Tony at their church, and is a student mentor at Azusa Pacific University, meeting weekly with 3-4 young women. René believes in the authentic beauty of who God created women to be, and desires to bring others into their own giftedness as she shares her story of God’s goodness & provision throughout her life.
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