Part 4 of 4
By Pastor Dave
4. Get your ducks in order.
An old preacher taught me this and it is a valuable piece of advice not just for a meeting but every goal, every relationship and especially in every conflict. Be prepared and know what your goal “weeble” is. Know the facts and how it fits into your philosophy and how it squares with the Bible. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (I Peter 3:15). Life experience helps in this area as well as learning from Godly people wiser than you that have been there and done that in the Lord. Having your ducks in order will not only help you focus in meetings but in the tasks of life.
- Keep your focus but make sure your will is in neutral.
Once you get your ducks in order, give the Lord the privilege to change them and rearrange them. God loves to tweak our goals. Focus is good but it may lead to stubbornness and pride. When you have your will in neutral, focus with flexibility is a great quality. In the end your goals will achieve their highest purpose. If God is leading, your ultimate goals will be accomplished but I’ve learned that the river turns many ways along the way. As long as God is steering I’m fine with that.
- Remember weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.
There are a lot of things that will knock you off your (weeble) goals.
- A cutting and hurtful remark can destroy a goal and leave you paralyzed by bitterness or anger. In the poem “If” Rudyard Kipling’s line “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run” says it all.
- When someone or something puts an insurmountable road block to your plans sometimes it can be called “death of a vision.” Nehemiah faced many obstacles but in Nehemiah 4:10 Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. Bad things can come in threes.
- The strength is decayed.
- The rubbish is too much.
- We can’t build the wall.
Stay focused and wait on God to provide. If there is to be a way, God will provide it. Nehemiah 6:15 says So the wall was finished… God made a way.
- Those who stay calm stay focused. Napoleon said, “The true genius in war does the simple when everyone else is hysterical.” Sanballat and Tobiah tried every which way to get Nehemiah off his weeble but the one constant quality of Nehemiah in building the wall was his ability to stay calm and focused.
- Watch careful temptation. Nothing will knock you off your weeble quicker. Temptation comes in all forms. Moral as in David, pride as in Saul, and power as in Uzziah when he entered into the holy place when he was not a priest and became a leper until his death. Oswald Chambers said, “Poverty has slain its thousands but prosperity has slain its tens of thousands.” We are weakest when we are most successful. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5, 6).
Why is this so important? Because life is a one way street and you only get to live it once. Your focus in life, the goals you set, and the paths you take will lead you to a destination: heaven for a faithful servant that has fulfilled his purpose on earth for his master or hell for losing your purpose and finishing as an unprofitable servant. The longer the journey and the more successful the journey the easier it is to lose our way. Solomon realized this and got back on track at the end of his life and left us a lot of guidance in this area.
If you have no purpose, you can find it in salvation in Christ Jesus. If you have the right goals that bring glory to Christ then stay with it and keep your eye on the weeble. It’s a long journey. If you have been knocked off your weeble and lost your real purpose in life, seek forgiveness like David did and get back on your weeble. God is a forgiving God and your purpose will return. When you get to the end of your life, you may not be worldly famous but you would have lived a life of good conscience as Paul puts it, filled with holy purpose, ready to meet your Lord. You will be a faithful servant because you kept your eye on the weeble. I press toward the mark (the weeble) for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).