Does anyone remember the movie, 2010, The Year We Make Contact? The original flick, 2001, came out the year before I was born but I remember seeing it when I was in kindergarten. I think I was a freshman in High School when 2010 came out. Well 2010 is just around the corner and we haven’t reached Jupiter yet or encountered any black Monoliths on the moon. At least I don’t think NASA is holding out on us. But we are indeed on the verge of a new year and I’m looking forward to what God has in store for us as the Kingdom of Heaven plays out in our lives.
In the past, I’ve taken some down time around late December or early January for reflection. Usually this is a good time to review a spiritual journal from the past year, read through sections of the Bible, and just try to listen for God’s voice. When I’ve done this I’ve found it easier to organize and set out some goals for the upcoming 12 months. This past January I did some additional things which I plan to repeat again for 2010. The first thing I’ll do is to ask four or five mentors what their advice would be for me in the next year. The second thing will be to work through an expanded list of questions that I got from guy named Bob Roberts who is a preacher, church planter and has been around the block a lot longer than I have. Finally, after a season of praying and reflecting, I’ll then take the major points from God’s Word, lessons learned over the past year, answers from the questions below, and council from trusted advisors to develop a plan to go forward.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that my problem at times is not finding things to do, but being focused enough to really do the right things. We have plenty of business in our society, but not a whole lot of solid direction. So let me challenge you to take some serious down time somewhere over the next few days to be still. Be still before God and ask Him to teach you something from the past and rightly point you to the future. You won’t regret it.
1. What has God called me to be / do?
2. Do I know why I’m doing what I’m doing?
3. What is it that I bring to the table?
4. What are my greatest strengths?
5. What are my greatest weaknesses?
6. How am I organized?
7. How is my team organized?
8. What are two or three things that I could do which would bring an increase this next year?
9. What are some of my biggest obstacles and how can they be turned into opportunities?
10. What excites me most?
11. Do my beliefs match my actions?
12. What are two or three changes that I could make which would be most pleasing to God?
Is there anything else you would add?
I find it helpful in sorting out my own motivations and potential shortsightedness to deflect the focus from myself to either the Father or others. Some pertinent questions:
1. What doors is God opening before me? What doors is He closing?
2. Am I allowing habits or sinful patterns to damage my relationship with the Father?
3. What patterns am I observing in my prayer journal? Is there a direction that consistently over time points to the hand of God moving me in a certain direction?
4. Are my children flourishing under my leadership and parenting or are they exasperated and discouraged?
5. Is Jesus’ character being expressed through my leadership or is his name being tarnished because of my words/actions?
6. Am I being challenged in my faith and am I challenging others?
7. Am I submitting to God’s will when it conflicts with mine?
8. Does the Holy Spirit have free reign in me?
9. Am I loving my wife as Jesus loved the church—does my wife know that I love and cherish her?
10. What is my money saying about the loyalties of my heart?