Presence Life Planning Prayer Series (3): Life Planning vs. Managing Life
Felicia Fan/Presence Editors
Life planning* and managing life (i.e., balancing work, life, and rest) … To me, these terms initially seemed more like corporate slogans than biblical commands from the Lord. They do not sound “spiritually-related.” Boy, was I wrong.
Our God is a planner. From Genesis 1, I can see the orderly fashion in which He created the world. Then the Lord rested on the seventh day — even God took time to rest and enjoy His creation. This is an example of working and resting in perfect balance. Also, throughout many psalms and books from the prophets, God invites us on numerous occasions to come back to Him to rest and to gain strength. Thus, it makes sense for us to take a period of time to rest — not only to cease from work, but also to focus on God.
In the New Testament, when Jesus challenges us to calculate our cost of following Him (Luke 14:25-33), He is talking about life planning. He also teaches us balance as He exhorts us to take His yoke, for He gives us rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
On a practical level, how do I reconcile both? Planning seems to be action-oriented while balance seems to be rest-oriented.
While I don’t know the answer, I do know I have the Holy Spirit. As a parent, when I tell my children to do something, I expect them to do it right away. As they get older, the whining and complaints tend to increase. Nonetheless, it brings me joy when they hear me and obey me. I believe our relationship with God works in a similar way. I hear promptings in my heart to do (or not do) and to say (or not say) certain things throughout the day. Many times, I ignore His voice and move on. I now realize my disobedience may hurt Father God’s heart. Of course He still loves me. But if I listen and obey cheerfully, I know it pleases Him all the more.
Perhaps obeying the Holy Spirit’s voice on a daily basis is the answer to life planning and life balance. At the end of the day, we can plan our own lives or allow God to be the Master Planner of our lives. Our relationship with Him is part of the dynamics. I need to continue to learn to give all consequences to God and rest assured that He loves me far beyond I can ever imagine.
- How well am I managing my work/study life at this moment? Am I working/studying too many hours?
- How well am I managing my rest? Am I lacking sleep?
- How well am I managing my spiritual life? Do I have meaningful time spent with God?
- God says in Psalm 46:10a, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Pray that you will be diligent in having quiet time, so that you may know God as God.
- Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Pray that in the busyness of life and the midst of many stresses, you will experience the rest promised by Jesus.
- Pray that God will give you wisdom to plan and manage your life according to His will.
* Presence is hosting a series of classes on life planning. For details, please visit Presence Life Planning Curriculum page.
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