Don’t be Anxious about the Future!

Matthew 6:34 “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

The future is filled with uncertainties. Many people fear the future and live with anxiety over the unanswered questions of what tomorrow may hold. Truth is, your future will be a reflection of what you are sowing into your life today. Today is the day God has made for you and I encourage you to live it to the full and be mindful of the moment that God has you in rather than anxiously waiting for tomorrow. The key to making the most of your tomorrow’s is maximising the opportunities that are infront of you today. Many of us suffer from destination disease. We’re so desperate to get to a place called there, that we miss the place called here. I understand for some of us, life may be so painful today that we’re just holding on for tomorrow, hoping it will take away the pain we feel. But God is not only in your tomorrow, He’s in the pain of your today. He wants to bring you closer to himself and he wants to speak words of life into your spirit that will give you strength for whatever it is you are facing today. Don’t believe the lie of anxiety about your future. The same God who’s with you in your today will sustain you in your tomorrow. Time is the most precious resource we have. Focus your attention upon Jesus and make the most of today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Explosive Insights!

Do Less But Do It Better!

Type A achievers tend to have high capacity to handle a lot of different tasks and assignments all at the same time. However, whilst the results may be enviable in the short term, the long term consequences are far less glamorous and far more stressful. The person who who commits themselves to focus on fewer things but with greater attention and resolve will execute far more consistently and receive better results long term. It has taken me my entire life to learn this principle. I would struggle with saying ‘NO’ to well meaning people who would ask me to get involved in a task, ministry or event. I didn’t want to disappoint people and I thought I could make a helpful contribution. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  High profile individuals are generally recognized for the one unique thing they do remarkably well, not for the million and one things they are average at. Play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Do less and do it better. You’ll enjoy life more and you’ll produce better results.

Keep It Simple!

keep-it-simpleLife tends toward complexity. Complexity is tiring and overwhelming. Most of us are already overwhelmed with more information and demands than we can handle. It seems like every week we need to take stock and cut out, afresh, the complexity from our lives. Simple, on the other hand, is cool. Simple is better. Simple is more effective. Simple is attractive in this day and age. Simple is refined. Simple is leaner and meaner (in a good way). Simple is possible. What complexity do you need to cut out of your job, relationships, finances, health, schedule and faith? There’s been no better time than right now to get simple, get clear and feel more effective in life.

Focus On The One Thing!

one-300x300What is the one thing, this year, that if you focused on it would add more value to your life or work than anything else? For some of you the answer to this question will come quickly to your mind. For others of you, you may have to probe a little deeper.

Whether the answer comes quickly or slowly, it is well worth the investment of your time. I’m in a rare and privileged position this year to spend my time purely on that which is in the bullseye of my gift mix and life calling. I have time to pray, study, preach, mentor, pray some more, prophesy, write, talk, spend time with my family and do all the other things that God will require of me as his servant and friend. I have never been presented with such options and yet I feel I am more accountable to God to be a good steward of that which he has entrusted to me.

If you had an inordinate amount of free time available to you this year, how would you spend it and what would you do? Some may say, ‘I would go to the beach everyday’ (not in Melbourne). You might say, ‘I would spend it with friends’ (they’ll be at work though). You might want to invest your time at the gym or at your local church. Seriously think about what you would do.

I think there should be a direct correlation between the one thing that would add the most value to your life and your use of time. Focus more of your time and energy on the ONE THING that will add the most value to your life and work. Very few people spend their time doing what they don’t want to do. We all seem to find a way to do what we really want to do.

Don’t waste 2013 on lesser priorities. Find the ONE THING and focus on it and watch what happens to you and all around you. Increase and opportunity abounds. You just have to position yourself for it.

1 Cor 9:24 ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.’

The Oracle! 

Less is More

Life seems to constantly creep towards complexity. It doesn’t matter how well intentioned you are, each new day brings with it new opportunities to be distracted from what’s most important.

I’ve observed that most people have a passion for doing 1-2 things but tend to never get around to actually doing what they love because of other competing demands or distractions. We must confront the brutal facts about our lives and realize we can only do so much. The size of our impact is connected more to our concentration on doing the one thing that’s most important than doing eleven different things average.

Less is More

Here are 6 ideas to help you do more by doing less:

1. Minimality = keep it simple: It’s not about the hours you put in but what you put into those hours. Focus is about making disciplined choices about what to take off the plate and what to leave on it. The secret of concentration is elimination.

2. Intentionality = keep it missional: Ask yourself ‘what’s my mission and am I doing it?’ keep the main thing, the main thing.

3. Reality = keep it real: Say goodbye to impression management and say hello to the brutal facts. Be authentic and real with God, yourself and people.

4. Multility = keep it cellular: Ask, ‘What if…?’ Important question if you are going to keep growing. How can you expand the one thing you are on about exponentially?

5. Velocity = keep it moving: Live with a sense of urgency. Time is short and now is the time to act. Move from idea to implementation quickly.

6. Scalability = keep it expanding: Leverage the strength of others around you by having an ‘arrows out’ theology that keeps people moving out to do more of the one thing that’s most important rather than boxed in to what’s least important.



Narrow the Focus!

The eagle that chases two rabbits at one time will catch neither.

All of us at some point feel overwhelmed by the demands of life that we feel like we are being buried under a pile of stuff. I encourage you to embrace the philosophy of ‘Less is More’.

Imagine a river a mile wide but an inch deep. The water is so shallow I would let my 4 year old splash around in it but imagine you narrowed the mouth of that same river to one hundred meters wide with the same amount of water surging through it. The power of the current would be that strong, you wouldn’t be able to cross over it let alone splash around in it.

Too many of us approach life a mile wide and an inch deep. Our focus ends up being diffused across too many areas, rather than in what’s most important. Focus on less, rather than more and you’ll increase the impact.

Divide your life into 4 categories of Time:

  1. Rest time = 1 full day to focus on re-energizing your body, mind and spirit.
  2. Results time = Full or half days devoted to the mission critical things in your job.
  3. Response time = Full or half days devoted to responding to and following up stuff.
  4. Refocus time = 1-2hrs weekly, half a day per month, 1 retreat each year to refocus.

Become discontent with juggling everything and break your workload into these 4 categories of time. Focus on 1 kind of activity at a time and don’t multi-task and mix them up. Prayerfully determine what your main things are and schedule them into sizable chunks of time. Less is More is the key to making an impact but still having a life!


Connect your Vision to your Diary!

I define vision to be a clear and compelling God-given picture of the future (as per my Vision book 2006). I think it’s also more than that but we have to define it in some way.

I was speaking to Steve Addison last week and he feels that the word ‘vision’ has been over-used and that it doesn’t mean a whole lot  anymore. He prefers to use the word ‘Need’ and suggests that when God gets a hold of a leader, he re-defines their character with his character and opens their eyes to a particular need and gives that leader energy and ideas to resolve the need. Not bad at all, I like!

Whether you call it a need, or a big cause or the big idea, I don’t care. What I care about is that you connect your big vision to your daily schedule = Diary! If you don’t, you’ll be like me sometimes and get totally frustrated with feelings of not accomplishing what God put me here on the planet to do. Can you identify with this?

When I have felt frustrated for longer than a few days, I ask myself, why? Invariably, it generally comes down to a disconnection between the great cause God’s put in my heart and my own daily schedule. It’s really simple, if you want to see your vision come to pass and avoid feeling like you are wasting your time, then you need to know what jump starts your heart and you need to actively schedule the right activities in your diary around the big idea.

One of the best bits of advice from all the books on time management I’ve read is simply this, “Organize and Execute around your priorities”.

When I feel frustrated with vision output vs time spent I return to the prayer closet and ask God to speak to me about what he has called me to do and what his vision for my life’s work is. When I do this, he always, always, always says the same things but the whole process distills life into its rawest and simplest form. I’ve found that after 2-4 weeks of living post this encounter, life gets complicated in the minutia and demands and expectations of others. I have a real problem with people approval and I have OCD expectations of myself. This makes for an intense feeling of drivenness that I like when sanctified but I hate when not. We are to love people but worship God, not people. We are to love results but worship God, not results.

Your diary should reflect the vision you are seeking to fulfill. If it doesn’t, your kidding yourself. The big rock activities of your week should be spent on the big rocks of your vision. My vision for Activate Church is:

  • Disciple thousands of people
  • Transform the community we are apart of
  • Plant churches across the globe
  • Produce resources to help people grow in their ministry

While there are things I do that don’t fit into anyone of these big rock categories, If I don’t get intentional about aligning my diary with these goals, I get frustrated and my family feels like they’re living with a bear who has a sore head. You get the idea? Make it work.