Luke 12:26–31 (AV) — If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Find Your Target
Among shooting enthusiasts there is a common expression; aim small, miss small. The idea behind this expression is that if you aim in the general direction of your target, there is a good chance you could miss what you are shooting at. However, if you pick a very small, or concentrated area near the center of your target, even if you miss your exact point of aim, you will still manage to hit your intended target. With enough discipline, training, and intentional focus, it is possible for you to always hit your target, even if it isn’t your exact point of aim. This same principle can be applied spiritually. Philippians 3:14 (AV) — I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
It is extremely easy to find yourself in the position where you are living from moment to moment, service to service, expecting your walk to grow simply because time is passing you by. Age does not equal growth in the kingdom of God, just as age does not always equal wisdom. Job 32:9 (AV) — Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. This is why it is imperative that we remain intentional in our growth and in our spiritual aim. If we lose sight of our intended target we end up focusing more on the distractions of life and getting lost in the sea of monotony, rather than the will of God.
Focus Your Breathing
In the verse above, Jesus tells us that we need to consider the lilies. They’re not worrying, they’re not fretting, and they need nothing because God Himself is providing everything they need. He is telling us that we were made for God to be our sole provider in life – not worrying over anything and putting it all into His hands. Jesus says that when we do so, and we focus on His kingdom rather than our selfish ambitions, all things will be added to us! We were made for more and we will get more if we focus on Jesus. But this takes a certain intentional discipline. When a marksman decides he is about to take his shot, he focuses his breathing. In the same sense, we must have a focused spirit when we are aiming for the Kingdom purpose. Jesus told His disciples to make disciples of all nations. If the disciples were chosen of God to make disciples, ultimately, that makes me a disciple chosen by God. Therefore, it is my duty, my purpose, to do the same. I must submit myself to that purpose and give all of me to God so He can use me to make disciples.
Practice Makes Principle.
It is God’s intention that His people live abundant lives. Intentional living means not to be weighed down with temporal things that will all pass away, but to be blessed abundantly that we may be a blessing to others. God promised Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him and his seed. Genesis 22:18 (AV) — And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. Yes, we are Gentiles by birth, but we are sons of Abraham through our re-birth! Galatians 3:29 (AV) — And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. It seems pretty clear that God intends for us to have these blessings and intends for His chosen people to be more, not just for themselves, but for the kingdom. The blessings referred to here are not all temporal blessings. The things in this life that we treasure so much: a good job, house, car, etc. These are party favors to the One who created EVERYTHING! He will give them freely, because eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (AV) — But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But none of these things truly matter in the end. That is why we must lay up our treasures in heaven. Matthew 6:20–21 (AV) — But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
So, you’re ready to get focused. You’re ready to get intentional. How do you get intentional about growth? To answer that question, I would like you once again to consider the marksmen mentioned earlier. What would it take for him to get to a point of hitting his target nearly each and every time? An action plan is the only way; a plan that demands we be consistent. Think of your children, if you are a parent. What is the most effective way that they learn? Through random happenstance? Or through consistency? Made for More teaches one how to apply Biblical principles to his or her life in a way that promotes true excellence. And although it uses universal values from the Bible, each person will find their unique gifts being hewn out and sharpened in a way that they can become more aware of what God has called them to be.
Principle Inherits the Promise
The word says that the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former. In order for God’s word to be true, and for the heirs of the promise to fulfill that promise, growth is not only necessary but an essential part of God’s sovereign plan. So now the question becomes, Do you dare bring your self-will into alignment with God’s will? If your answer is yes, then personal growth is the key! You cannot grow someone else’s spiritual walk; you can only grow yourself, which is why the growth you must focus on is personal! When we get to heaven, there will be no question who gets the glory, the honor and the praise. The glory belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ! That fact is clear amongst believers. The reason God desires for His people to grow to their fullest potential is to be living, breathing proof that living for God is the ONLY way to live, and to make us as effective as possible to win the most important treasure in the universe – souls. In a lost and dying world, there must be a light, a city set upon a hill, if you will. Something to look to, a mere reflection of God’s glory, grace, and mercy. To put it simply, by God blessing His church, He brings glory to himself! 2 Corinthians 4:6–7 (AV) — For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are not blessed for our own sakes. We are blessed to the glory of Almighty God. We are blessed to become a blessing to others.
Be Open To Instruction
I taught these lessons to my church and revealed the need to be intentional in their growth. I have found that there is a common theme of people growing up in church, yet never realizing or understanding the principle of growth. They don’t really think that it requires an active, involved drive of determination and discipline to achieve. I want to share with you a couple of testimonies of people who have been in church all their life and yet never understood the principle of growth. In most cases, it is not the fault of the individual, but rather the lack of communication of the importance and the direction to do so that hinders the growth of the person. Listen to their below:
“I honestly did not understand why I was chosen to be invested in nor why I needed to be part of this training. I stayed submitted to your leadership training and took notes on everything you said. The steps I have taken have ultimately taken me to developing my Plan for Growth. I have read books on leadership and have daily focused on anything that would help me grow on the Lord. I also prayed specific verses over myself to enhance my learning and growth. After 18 months of developing notes, keeping a journal, praying, and meditation on your leadership training, I found myself with information overload! I began to consolidate all of my notes and all my thoughts down in digital format on my computer. After a few hours of doing this, I realized that what I was doing was developing my Plan for Growth. Now, looking back, I have to say that one must be patient with himself and focus on one thing at a time because ultimately, one will discover his or her purpose and will develop their Plan for Growth. Also, another thing I have done is teach other people. I had faith that the leadership skills you were teaching me would greatly benefit, not only myself, but others, too. Everyone that is close to me, even non-Christians, have been getting an earful on self-discipline! I must say, Pastor, the main thing that has been important to my personal growth is that I always maintained focus on personal growth.”
My practiced principles:
- 1.Submitted to leadership
- 2.Took notes
- 3.Read books
- 4.Stayed focused on growth
- 5.Prayed for growth
“It was hard for me in the beginning because I didn’t know why I needed to grow. But, after understanding that it was my duty (Luke 17:10), that it was my mission to make disciples (Matt 28:19), and that I needed to apply and multiply what I have (Matt 25), it was easy to maintain my focus on personal growth. Only a passion for God and souls could provoke you to want to help others to become More. Your first question was, “How to convince them to set up a plan.” You touched me writing about a personal relationship with God. The question came up, am I passionate about my purpose or is it just something I do because I was taught it? I must keep in mind what this is all about. It is not just how to build a church, but its about building a Bride for Jesus Christ. That’s the end result. How can I help do that? You are good at pulling out the passion because you are passionate yourself. Pull out all the stops. Next you asked, “How to convince them to develop a personal growth plan?” I know from experience of myself and teaching others, it is helpful to have something in hand or it is easily forgotten as soon as the event passes to fellowship.”
My practiced principles:
- 1.Be patient with yourself
- 2.Focus on one thing at a time
- 3.Teach others
In these testimonies you see that the understanding of the growth principle is not one that always happens by chance, but rather it may take someone to help you see and find the importance of being intentional. We all have the opportunity and potential to grow, we just have to invest in ourselves and in our spiritual walk in order to achieve the higher level. Do not be discouraged if you feel like you are not where you need to be. Set your sights on His promise, focus your spirit, practice you principles, and take aim toward your potential.