How to Plan Your Year With Eternal Impact

A simple guide. A dangerous prayer.

Years ago I started a dangerous prayer:

 

Lord, do what you need to do in me and through my life so I make the biggest impact possible for eternity.

 

God’s first answer confused me.

If I asked Him to use my life for BIG eternal impactthen why did God remove me from mission work to station me in the walls of my home raising kids?

Really? THIS is making a large impact for eternity?

I use to see effectiveness in life according to my perception of results. I want to be on-mission for the Kingdom, so that must mean impacting a large amount of people—here and now—and being involved in numerous hours of “ministry” work, right?

It took six years of spiritual wrestling for me to learn the lesson I now offer you:

Eternal Impact

The reality of life is bigger than we can see.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Cor 4:18


If we want an eternity-sized life,

we need to trust God,

who sees with eternity-sized eyes.


Only God sees the full dimension of reality–physical, spiritual, and throughout time. We can trust His placement of us when we are committed to following Him. We all have a part in the ministry of drawing people to the Lord.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

2 Cor 5:17-19

Hand with a small marble

photo thanks to unsplash

But what if our part in that plan seems small?

When we offer Him ourselves, we can trust that He places us where it matters most for eternity, which means our present reality matters right now.

Those kiddos and hubs? Matter.

The housework? Matters.

The neighbors and co-workers? Matter.

Everything we do and say impacts eternity

no matter where we live or what we do for a living.

So, How Can We Plan Our Year With Eternal Impact?

Whether you are making plans about parenting, career, or other kinds of ministry, here is a process to help keep your heart and time in-line with the Lord.

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

Psalm 127:1

1) Pray.

Lay out your dreams. Ask Him for His plan for your year. We only have 168 hours in the week. If we are spending it doing things God has not led us to, we miss out big time. Pray about your dreams, plans, relationships, goals—everything.

2) Listen.

Set aside some silent space to worship and listen. 

  • Write down the thoughts or scriptures that come to mind.
  • Search His Word for the truth to guide you. The Spirit always leads inline with the truth of God’s Word. If it’s unbiblical, it’s not the Spirit.
  • Share with your Christ-following friends. If you are processing changes or making plans, sharing with a like-minded Christ-follower will help confirm or correct your direction. (Proverbs 12:15)

3) Take one step at a time.

Example: One of my God-honoring goals this year is to take better care of my body (body is a temple of the Lord). So I asked a Christian health coach what she thought. She is praying with me and encouraging me in my first steps. Today I worked out for the first time in a long time and am making a healthy meal plan for the week. Now, I will pray for strength and discipline to take the next step: resisting sugar!

Then repeat 1-3.

Hiker

photo thanks to unsplash

This process of following the Lord’s leading in our planning reminds me of a trust-hike I took at Jr. High camp. I placed my hands on the shoulders of the person in front of me, whose eyes remained open while I closed mine behind a blindfold. I listened carefully to her voice, ignoring all other voices of other guides in our group, as I moved my body to the shifts of hers one-step-at-a-time. She guided me through the rocky hiking trail scattered with obstacles of tree roots, rocks, twists, and steps. Once  at the top, my blindfold removed, I the overview of the trail laid clear.

God asks us to trust walk with Him (Psalm 3:5-6). He knows the way. He sees the full trail of our lives and eternity.

We pray, listen, and take the next step.

He might lead us to impact hundreds of people this year—or simply the littles we love deeply in our homes. It may look like big public projects—or helping our kids with a science project.

It all matters now. It all matters for eternity.

So, dream big, write those lists, and pray like it matters more than here and now—because it does.

Then take one step.

PRAY: Lord, do what you need to do in me and through my life so I make the biggest impact possible for eternity.

Question:What is your process when you are dreaming about the future? To leave a comment, just click here.

 

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