How to Maximize Productivity by Pastor Don
Someone asked Pastor Don how to maximize productivity, how to get the most out of what the day can give, what is the Godly teaching about that?
Pastor Don told us that the mistake believers make is not knowing how they are hearing from God. They feel they can only hear from God through a prophet or with the audible voice of God. Many cannot locate a prophet or are in churches that don’t teach New Testament reality. Some move from church to church. They haven’t learned to listen to that inner witness, the still small voice within, being led by their spirits.
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
There are people with prophetic gifts in our church and that is good. But a Church cannot only be run by spiritual gifts without the Word of God. People are looking for someone in a robe or vestments to guide them. Churches need people in the five fold ministry, Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelist, and Pastor and ministry gifts. The appropriate beginning of any decision is to pray, Lord, order my steps. The Lord can’t order our steps if we are not following His instructions.
We need to line up with God’s Will and God’s Word. We want to start and maintain a focus, and then make a list, of the things and steps that we need to do. We know what we want to accomplish and God can help us to find the right order to do them. When God gives us the correct order, then the whole thing begins to make sense.
Pastor Don shared that he listens to God about how to order his day. We have conditioned ourselves to start moving a certain way, moving in the way our flesh tells us. Routine can be good for us, but sometimes it is good to change our routines. There are times when we have a certain routine that does not prove to be productive.
For example, maybe we get up, get coffee, turn on the weather and listen to the news. But, instead of that, if we took some time to first read God’s Word, brush our teeth so that we don’t swallow our mouth’s germs with our coffee, or spend some time praying first, our days would go smoother. We may get no spiritual information coming to us over our second cup of coffee. But we are creatures of habit.
Our flesh will fight wisdom all the way, and will use reason to cause us to take a detour from God’s will for our lives.
Pastor Don told us that we have to check our locater (our inward spirit).
1. We need to check the Spirit of God.
Habakkuk 2:2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”
Do you have a list of your plans for the day? It is good to have a list for it will keep you on track. You can reward yourself by checking off things on your list, and it removes the need to worry or stress about your day. You don’t have to do all things on your list, and the ones you do not accomplish you move to the next day. Do the first thing on your list, check it off when you accomplish it. Order your steps.
What is past in your life? What do you need to do in the present? What do you need to do in your future?
We need to pay our bills, be a saver, set clean-up times, clean up old stuff.
Pastor Don told us that he runs the church the same way. As Pastor many come to him saying that their problem is an emergency, but not all emergencies are emergencies. Sometimes satan uses “emergencies” to try and pull you off your plan of action – run to deal with enough emergencies and you end up not getting accomplished what God wants you to accomplish. Sometimes people feel their situation is life or death, but it is really just a hiccup. It is important to assess whether what someone calls an emergency is really that.
2 Kings 20:1 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’”
This was not a hiccup. When there is a real emergency, then it is important to assess when to change the order of your day. Notice Hezekiah did not have his house in order – he had to get his affairs cleaned up. Hezekiah needed to prepare to pass his power and authority to the next generation.
We need to get our finances in order. There can be major changes in our lives, and having things in order makes the changes easier. When we are disorganized and dealing in sinful things it can lead to health problems and mental problems. We need to stop making excuses.
Job 33:1-5 “But please, Job, hear my speech, and listen to all my words. Now, I open my mouth; my tongue speaks in my mouth. My words come from my upright heart; my lips utter pure knowledge. The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. If you can answer me, set your words in order before me; take your stand.”
Job was told to set his words in order. People close to you correct you, but often we do not listen to what they say. Sometimes we are deaf to our own words.
To maximize productivity we have to set our house in order, maximize our words, and we can’t do that if we don’t know what we are speaking. Your words are like loaded guns. You can be speaking life or death into your life through your words.
Pastor Don spoke with someone in the group who is a good basketball player – and asked him if he would ever be in the NBA finals. He told Pastor Don no, it is true he would not make the finals, his age and lack of training would prevent him from being in the NBA finals. So what we feel in the spiritual may not match up with the natural. Can we have what we say – yes. But if we have unrealistic aspirations, it is possible that we will not achieve what we want. To have order in our lives, we need to be moving toward something that has potential. To know, if God blesses me, I can do this.
A whole lot of times, God may not bless an aspiration of ours. Why? What glory could God get out of the failure of our unrealistic expectations.
We need to set our words in order. Take time to say this is what I have to say to bring me success. We need to monitor our words. Claim Scripture to build us up, set a target. A scatter gun will not kill an elephant, unless you are at close range. There needs to be a balance between what we believe and have faith in.
If God really will get glory from it, he wants you to yield to something you don’t want to do, than it is a real miracle.
Pastor Don shared a bit of George Foreman’s history. How he went into ministry after Ali beat him up. When he needed funds for a youth center, at 50 years old, he came out of retirement and had a fight. He prayed that God would give him the strength to take back the title and make money for the youth center. He earned 8 million in that first fight. God was able to rejuvenate his body and prepared him to win the fight. But he did not fight again, instead, God made him a successful business man, and that was something he never figured out he could do. Instead of squandering his money, God showed him he could be a successful business man, something he never believed possible.
What blessings are you speaking over yourself? Are you as husband and wife saying, “We can do this?” We need to set our words in order. Saying things that mean something. If our flesh lines up, ok, if not you need to change your flesh response.
When we get blessings from God, we also need to remember God is the one that gives us the blessing.
John 15:5, 8 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing…..(8) By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
We need to get a plan and speak over it. What are you saying over the plan God puts into your life? What is the fruit of God’s plan?
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
To maximize our stuff we have to be careful about who we talk to, some people are not expert at anything. Do not talk about financial troubles with someone who has their finances in a mess. If a person has had several failed marriages, they are not the one to go to for marriage counseling. You cannot walk in the counsel of the ungodly, for then you can get in over your head. If I am not thinking right, you need someone to speak into your life that is thinking right. Sometimes we cannot even trust ourselves and our own thinking. Some people in our lives, and sometimes ourselves, sit in the seat of the scornful.
Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Know the law of the Lord. Don’t take shortcuts. Our flesh will offer you shortcuts, but don’t do it. Pastor Don spoke about his boat which has serious problems, and someone suggested to him to take it out and let it sink and collect insurance – he suggested that to Pastor Don, but knew Pastor Don would not do such a thing, and it is true, he did not choose to try and cheat the insurance company. You can win without cheating.
Psalm 1:3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Notice it says IN SEASON. Waiting for the season to come can sometimes be hard. We want it easy and quick, and not have to sign up for the long haul. But God’s timing is right, and when we wait for the fruit to ripen in it’s season it tastes so much better.
Pastor Don told us, whether rich or poor, the problems in handling money are the same. If we cannot handle the pressure of money when we have less money, we will not be able to handle the pressure of money when we are rich. When we have a challenge in life it is only a bump in the road.
As we do things in order, waiting for God’s timing, we may not seem to be prospering, but we are learning what God wants us to learn, and learning to organize. You get stronger as you face the tests that come between you and your goal.
As we make the same mistake over and over we come to a point where we realize we don’t have to make that same mistake, that there is a better way.
Matthew 12 talks about unclean spirits. Jesus tells the leaders a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. When a person is cleansed from an unclean spirit, that draws others to speak against you and deter what has happened. You need to realize that is part of growing up. Ie a baby will spit up, but that phase will not last forever.
When you become a born again believer, the devil, who never paid much attention to you when you were unsaved, now will begin to try and cast doubt on your faith and pull you back to your old habits.
Sometimes we blame the devil for everything that is bad that happens to us, but not everything is from the devil. Sometimes it is our own disorganization that causes us troubles. Matthew 12:43-45 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
The prerequisite for the devil is everything is in order, empty, and swept clean.
In our walk in life, we have to accept the fact our foes and friends either work for you or against you. The same foe is in you, and we all come to ourselves in Christ. We come with baggage, wrong ideas. We may go to a deliverance church, or a church where there is no power or presence of the Holy Spirit, or a church with signs and wonders. Some churches focus on prophecy, some on deliverance, some on preaching. Certain churches have a sense of order, but there is no power of God demonstrated. There are Word churches, where the Word is preached and that leaves the door open for legalism, and in the bid for accuracy, there is little of the love and the flow of the Holy Spirit, so the church becomes dehumanized.
We need to hear from God. The prophets can speak but you have to hear to get the word inside of you. Our baggage has to be swept clean to accept the reality of the Word of God. We have to ask God to reveal and help us with it.
We all have bad habits, and we have to realize everyone is not against us, that was the way we were, we alienated ourselves. Satan will make it easy for us to get what can defeat us.
For Pastor Don, sometimes that is distractions.
Pastor Don can order his steps, make a list, and people come to him with what they think is important, but it isn’t what God tells him is important. He has to make a decision about who is a distraction and who isn’t. Is this crisis something that is the fruit of a past thing, is it a present problem that needs dealing with, or is it something that is a future situation to be dealt with. If Pastor Don moves some situation to the front of the list that means that another person is put lower in the list and has to wait – perhaps that makes the problem worse for the person who was moved lower on the list. Other times there is an emergency that absolutely needs to be dealt with. That is where discernment comes in.
How do we distinguish?
Matthew 12:44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
It is the person’s responsibility to keep it clean and filled with God’s Word.
Matthew 12:45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.
We have to discern en route as it is unfolding. Is this an emergency, has the emergency already passed? And am I the one that has to do this? Never leave a vacuum as a vacuum needs to be filled.
Luke 11:24-26 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
We then looked at the previous verses. Luke 11:18-23 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
If our goal is separate from Christ’s goal for our lives, then the devil comes with a distraction, that takes away what we trust. If our trust is not in Christ, the devil can take away whatever we place our trust in, or money, power, ego, Lexus. The evil one comes to take away what you trust. When someone stronger is operating on the basis of faith, and your goals are in place, then distractions come. Sometimes what you think is part of your plan is really a distraction.
Pastor Don said, if he had prepared a sermon for Sunday, and then God comes and shows him he is to speak on another topic, even though he already has a sermon prepared. If Pastor Don preaches on the prepared sermon, than he is disobeying God in the Holy Place and is in serious trouble. The prepared sermon would be the distraction.
We want to maximize ourselves, get our house in order. We may not get it perfect every time. Sometimes we realize it is a side trip, sometimes we get to a place and have to abort the situation.
Satan will use all things to try and get us to change from God’s plan. He will try to make adultery seem correct, to keep our marriages in trouble, and to make you spend your time in ways that are not God’s plan for you.
God spoke to the prophets, and we realize that faith comes by hearing – we hear our words and the power of the words.
We have to line up possibility with the gifts of the spirit and speak what God has already done. God will give us the desires of our heart – and He can place those desires into our heart. We need to question if the desire we have is from God, or not.
What do you want? God wants for us to have what He has already built into us.
As we try wrong avenues, we will stumble on some good stuff, and learn how to line up our wills more and more with God’s perfect will for our lives.
Praying this blesses you. I know it has impacted me, and touched some areas that I still need to work on.
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