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Monday, April 16, 2018

Part Four: Getting God's Plan to Succeed - Diligence and Equipping


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

If you have not read the previous three parts on Getting God's Plan to Succeed, you can read them by clicking here: Part One, and Part Two, and Part Three.

This is the fourth and final part in the these series on Getting God's Plan to Succeed.

I have been writing about how often most people fail in their attempt to make changes in their life—changes that they think about all the time. It's been my desire to help others understand that they would attain a much higher level of success if they would take a few steps of preparation prior to launching an attempt to make a change in their life. So far we've talked about preparing your heart for change, creating an execution plan, and partnering with others that would encourage you toward your goals. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of God's part versus your part, in relation to diligence and equipping in leading you to success in your goals.

In almost ever difficult endeavor and goal you attempt in your life, you will be confronted with the pressures that would lead you to give up and quit. Unless the goal is quite simple, it will come with challenges. Those challenges are not from God. They are from the enemy of your soul. Jesus faced the enemy's harassment constantly attempting to get Him to quit in His 40 day fast. That is what the enemy of your soul does when you are pressing on in the things God leads you to do. And so, we have to learn to be diligent.

I could write a book on what diligence is, but lets keep it simple. Lets just talk about it today in terms of not quitting. There is more to diligence than not quitting, but you may not initially know that. Diligence is a character quality and heart character is built over time. To be diligent you must learn to be committed. The combination of diligence and commitment is faithfulness.  Faithfulness is a rarely developed character quality and the evidence of that is the local church. The workload of most local churches is done by roughly 20 to 30 percent of the committed, diligent, faithful people in that church. That's about the average percentage of people who truly learn faithfulness in most good churches. They are the ones that allow God to develop this character in them. The rest of the church body fails in developing these qualities and consequently, fail in their goals.

Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV) says, "Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?"  Do you know what this verse is saying? Its saying that most Christians would proclaim to be faithful but are in truth, delusional in thinking so.  It's saying that there aren't many faithful to be found.  Jesus taught on the importance of learning to be faithful (committed + diligent). Luke 12:42-44 (NKJV) And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household...? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has."

There is much more I could write about this but for now, understand that diligence takes time to develop so let's relate to it at it's starting point—not quitting. Do the preparation we talked about in the previous writings but then, once you do begin, don't quit! Taking that attitude will be the beginning of diligence being formed in you.

And then Equipping. I've said repeatedly, God has a part and you have a part. Your part is to take hold of this important spiritual component. You must have faith in God doing His part (behind the scenes and naked to your human eyes.) You'll have to see God doing His part in your heart through the eyes of faith. It shouldn't be that hard. God has always been doing His part. Jesus loved you when you weren't thinking about Him. He is diligent, committed, and faithful. And because He is, you'll have to trust that He will equip you with His grace (His supernatural help in everything) to help you get the job done. That includes strength of spirit, good attitude, encouragement, miracles big and small—everything you need to get the job done. The devil will challenge you, but that's where character is built. When you hold on in faith, trust in God's grace, and be diligent, then you'll experience success in your goals.

Here is your equipping promise! Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV) "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, EQUIP you with EVERYTHING GOOD for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 

The reason this verse talks about the blood of the eternal covenant is because God is in covenant with you and Jesus shed His blood to seal it. And it says He will "...equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him..." This means His grace will be available to help you succeed in every situation. (Even when it doesn't look like it!)

All these things together, preparing your heart for change, creating an execution plan, partnering with others, and being diligent knowing that God has equipped you with the grace of God, will lead you to success repeatedly throughout your life. I know because I've experienced them again and again. And so will you! So let's begin...

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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