January 18, 2023
Successful People Set Deadlines
Nehemiah - “The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, ‘How long will you be gone? When will you return?’ After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.” (Nehemiah 2:6)
Nehemiah had done his homework. When the king asked him how long the project would take and how long he would be away, Nehemiah was prepared to give him an answer. He was able to do this because he had taken the time to think through all of the steps needed to accomplish the goals set before him. Nehemiah had an idea of how long each step would take and was ready to set actual deadlines for each step once the king gave his approval and he launched out on his journey.
Many onlookers probably looked at Nehemiah and thought, “Look at him! That guy has all the luck. He gets all the breaks.” The truth is, the more Nehemiah planned, the luckier he became. The opportunity was ahead of him and he just had to be ready for it with his planning complete and his goals and deadlines in place.
If our goals don’t have deadlines, they are only wishes. This past year, one of our Celebration members had a goal of losing a certain amount of weight. By June, he had gained ten pounds. Frustrated with his lack of success, at the end of June he started using an app based weight loss program. After answering the initial profile questions, the man entered his weight loss goal and the desired date he had for the goal to be accomplished. Once that was complete, it was easier to break the weight loss goal into weekly and daily caloric consumption and exercise goals. The man followed the plan to the best of his ability. Now, having lost 34 pounds by the end of December, he attributes his weight loss to following the daily and weekly deadlines he set for himself after setting his overall goal.
How do we set deadlines? What process should we follow? First, we spend time in prayer. Second, we think through the situation. Third, we set goals for ourselves. Fourth, we figure out how long it will take to accomplish the goals we’ve set. Fifth, we break down the necessary steps to completing our goals and place them on our calendars. Finally, as we work through the remaining steps, we continue to pray for the Lord’s guidance.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Look back over the goals you’ve set for yourself, your family, your work, or your ministry. Then make a plan to prayerfully set deadlines for each of your goals. If you’ve already done this, review your deadlines to see if any adjustments need to be made. If you’re leading your family through this exercise, lead each family member to do the same.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for giving me hopes and dreams for my life. Help me to follow through with the goals and plans I’ve prayed and planned for by setting deadlines. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today is Day Eleven of our emphasis. As you pray and fast today, ask God to show you where you need to set deadlines for the goals and plans of your life. To request a prayer partner or to download our prayer and fasting guide, see celebrationchurch.org/prayerfasting