The Practicalities of Stewarding Your Breakthrough – Pt. 6

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The waiting period for your breakthrough (the topic of last week’s blog) will come to an end sooner or later. Thus, as we discussed last week, there is work to be done while you wait. There are preparations to be made, some of which are very practical and precise. Here is where commitment meets its greatest test, and where we either sink or swim in the race toward the finish line. Prioritizing life around the promises we are carrying begins with learning to master our calendars, instead of being enslaved by them. This, then, is the practical tool I have to offer you this week.

I attended a women’s conference about two years ago that revolutionized my life. A few weeks before the conference, God wrote two words on my heart and kept repeating them over and over: all in. Imagine my surprise when the speaker at the conference spoke about just that – being all in for God! She talked about the Scripture in Proverbs (16:3) that says, “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Who doesn’t want to see their plans established?! I know many women who say they want to be all in for God, as well. Yet, somehow, these two things seem to be rare phenomenons in our day. The woman who brought the message that weekend was one of those rare phenomenons. She brought keys in that conference with which I have been able to evaluate and prioritize the hours and activities of my life so that they align with what God has purposed and promised to do for me. So I am passing one of those on to you today.

The first thing you will need, in order to prioritize your own life and activities, is a heart that truly does want to be all in, a heart that is determined to believe God and to see the breakthrough He’s promised you. The second thing you will need is a calendar and a list of your priorities for the current season. This list should come from a prayerful time of seeking God’s direction, but as a general template, you can start with these categories:

  1. God
  2. Family
  3. Self
  4. Ministry/Service
  5. Friendships

These are the non-negotiable areas in our lives. Our commitments in each category may vary from season to season, but these should never be sidelined. Sadly, we often tend to prioritize our jobs or our conflicts over and above, or rather than the things that will help us to grow and to reach our breakthrough promises. I don’t think any of us set out to do so, but it just seems to happen in the world we live in, as life crashes in around us and we learn to live in survival mode. We tend to pour our time, energy and resources into whatever will give us the quickest return or the most convenient comfort and security. This will have to change, if we will truly see breakthrough. This is why I mentioned earlier that commitment meets its greatest test here. Taking charge of your calendar and reordering the way you spend your time will not be easy, but it will surely be necessary.

To give you a bit of an example, I’ll share a few of my priorities from last season (I’m still praying through what this year/this season’s priorities should be):

1. God: a) Private Devotional Time  b) Corporate worship time

2. Family: a) Date nights/weekends w/ husband b) dates with kids  c) family nights  d) visiting extended family

3. Self: a) Growth & healing  {meet w/ mentor; recovery group}  b)Leisure & fun c) Health

4. Ministry/Service: Writing, children’s church, prayer team

5. Friendships: monthly date with different friends

Once you’ve clearly defined (with God’s help of course) your priorities for this season, you will be ready to start plugging them into your calendar. What worked best for me was to sit down at the beginning of every month and literally assign each priority a place in my schedule. Then, at the beginning of each week, I would transfer that week’s appointments and plans to my giant kitchen chalkboard, so the whole family was aware of what was on our schedule. Of course life happens, and plans get interrupted, but this is where determination and commitment must kick in. When you know you are pursuing God’s plans, you have the grace required to come back and revisit the calendar when those plans get foiled. Then you simply recalibrate, and rather than leave them unaccomplished, you can decide where you will move them so that they will certainly be done.

As you make this kind of planning and commitment a habit, your anticipation and satisfaction will grow. I’m not by nature a big planner, and it is difficult for me to buckle down and do this, but it really has changed my life. It really has made breakthrough a reality. My plans – which are God’s plans for me – really have been established. I am tasting measures of success which I would still be waiting for and dreaming about, had I not taken this tool and made use of it.

I have learned to let my priorities define the way I spend my time, instead of letting my time define my priorities. Before I learned to plan and prioritize well, the chips just sort of fell wherever they landed, and I seemed to always be waiting for things to happen the way I knew they should and hoped they would. More often than not, I was frustrated and disappointed, and rarely had the time or the space in my life to reach beyond that cycle for what I knew mattered more than was I was settling for. Taking charge of the time God has given me, and using it to serve His plans for my life, has served to propel me toward the hopes implanted in my heart.

Dear Woman of Breakthrough, may this be the year when your calendar gets rewritten. May the ways you choose to spend your time change, and may the investment of your hours prove that your greatest treasure is truly God and His plans for your life. May you continue to move toward breakthrough with this very practical and effective tool, and may you find that you are much closer to it for having done so!

Come back next week as we wrap up the series with our final tool for stewarding your breakthrough practically: Reinforcing the Weak Links (reconnecting to the right relationships/disconnecting from the wrong ones)! It is sure to be a powerful and insightful time together!

{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}

 

 

 


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