Life plans for Christians?
OK, I’ll admit the words “life plan” do not appear in the Bible. But the expectation that Christians are to live life INTENTIONALLY is everywhere! God expects things of you and your life (Matthew 25:14-26), and…
you need to be living on purpose instead of by happen-stance.
Another part of the picture is this: You don’t know how long your life will last, so it would be smart to get started figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing with it.
Do you have a life plan? If you don’t, you should. Because this subject is so important, this post is going to be a tad bit longer than usual, but it’s worth it.
When Mindi and I married, I didn’t think in terms of a life plan. I lived day to day, rolling with whatever came. It’s a pretty stress-free way to live, but you never really get anywhere you want to go.
After we’d been married a few years, Mindi began to refer to my way of living as “floating.” She meant that I was floating through life, not being intentional about my thoughts, time, relationships, direction, talents – anything! I finally came to admit she was right. Not only was I floating through life, I didn’t know how NOT to float.
I thank God that He gave me a wife who is exactly the opposite. Her life is lived intentionally. Underneath her purposeful living is a life plan – she desires to bring glory to her Savior with every aspect of her life. As I was getting to know her (1988) that was one of the first things I noticed about her. She was intentional about her life because she was intentional about loving her Savior (John 14:15).
What a life plan looks like
Your life plan will be as individual as you. God has made you who you are, put you into history where you are, taken you through the experiences you’ve had, and given you your personality and talents ON PURPOSE. He’s made you a very specific tool that He wants to use in very specific ways during the days He has you on the planet. Your job is to make yourself available to what He has in mind.
And how do are you supposed to know what He has in mind for you? It’s called “walking in the Spirit,” (Galatians 5:16), and it’s how God guides us into His will. When you placed your faith in Christ, the Spirit of God came to live inside you. He’s been given to you to be your Helper and Guide (John 14:16, John 16:13), to show you, step-by-step, what the LORD desires for you to do. He’s also the power source by which you do the will of God (Ephesians 3:16). So God is not a tyrant who expects things of you but doesn’t help. He’s exactly the opposite. When He expects things of your life, He also gives you what you need in order to do what He expects.
How to develop your life plan
Your life plan could be simple, or it could be very detailed. Which it is will depend on a lot of things. Personality, gifting, temperament, experiences, and many others. For now, let’s look at the two extremes. As an example, Mindi and I are pretty opposite:
- Mindi does NOT have a detailed life plan (it’s not written, she didn’t spend a lot of time “working on it,” and she never had anyone teach her how to do it). But you can be sure, she HAS a life plan that guides her every day. In her case, it’s a mixture of the gifts and personality God has given her that make her such a “natural” at living on purpose.
- I DO have a detailed life plan (it is written, I did spend a lot of time “working on it,” and I have learned from others how to develop it – Mindi, mainly). In my case, I had to seek the LORD diligently and watch what He was doing in my life to “discover” who He’s made me to be and how I’m to serve Him.
- Some people know intuitively or naturally what their life is about. Mindi has known since a very young age that she’s called and wired to be a wife, Mom, and a teacher and counselor to others.
- Others don’t come by this as naturally and need to spend time seeking the LORD’s heart on the issue. That’s me. After 45 years, I’ve just begun to see who God has made me to be, and what He has wired me to do for His sake.
My life plan: one example
It wasn’t too long ago that I finally got my life plan on paper. I did it following a process very much like what I described above. Here is my finished product:
Because Jesus is more than worthy of all my life can ever be…
I will BE a godly man, husband, father, and friend.
I will USE His gifts in me to magnify His worth to others.
I will SERVE others as a model, mentor, leader, teacher, and writer.
I will DO all this depending fully on Jesus, who lives in me.
If you don’t have a life plan, get started on it. If you need some help, I offer life coaching – so feel free to contact me. (If you are part of my church family, give me a call – it’s free for you!). And once you get your own life plan on track, begin thinking about how you can teach this sort of intentionality to your kids! And I’d love to hear how this process goes for you, so feel free to contact me or post your own life plan in the comments below!