Only a fool would attempt to climb Mt Cook without a plan.
Likewise, it has become popular to have a ‘Life Plan‘ or similar sort of personal ‘mission statement’.
Interestingly, we Christians don’t tend to have much of a plan with regards to following Christ. I’m sure there are some rare individuals out there who do have some plan for serving God, but the more common approach seems to be either no plans at all or else waiting for God to give us a ‘call’ to do something particular with the life He gave us.
God does appear to call some folks to serve Him in particular ways, He certainly calls all of us to follow His commands. What I’m beginning to realize is that I have never given adequate consideration to how I am going to deal with the hazards and obstacles which will certainly arise in serving Christ. It is one thing to know my goal, quite another to have a plan of how to reach the goal.
Currently my thinking is fuzzy on this, but just as someone climbing Mt Cook needs to consider how they intend to cope with the cold, avalanches, rock falls, crevasses, ice, rock, falling off, &etc; so too I need to consider how I will cope with the obstacles and hazards known to be part of following Christ.
What might those hazards be?
- Growing weary (Galatians 6:9)
- Lack of faith
- Love of the world (1 John 2:15-16)
- Satan snatching away the word from my heart (Mark 4:15)
- Falling away during a time of testing (Luke 8:13)
- Being choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life (Luke 8:14)
- Temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- Inadequate fellowship
- Failing to rejoice (Philippians 3:1)
- Being unfruitful
Having only compiled this list right now (and I am sure there are more hazards I could add), I don’t yet have a plan for dealing with each of these potential obstacles to my following Christ. I am going to need to ponder and pray over each hazard and come up with at least an emergency strategy for each. As with physical hazards, experience of the real thing teaches valuable insight into how to best overcome them so my tentative plans will no doubt evolve and be modified by experience over the years ahead!
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30 ESV)
How would you cope with these hazards?
By your endurance you will gain your lives. (Luke 21:19 ESV)