A primary question we should consider is “What is our endgame?”. In other words, where do we want the choices that we are currently making to take us in the future?
Stephen Covey put it brilliantly in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – “Begin with the end in mind.” In other words, if I could re-do what I am about to do how would I do it?
If we developed the ability to look ahead and make our choices not based on what we see right in front of us but instead make our decisions based on how we want the choices to play out in the future, then we could begin to possibly see results in our lives that work toward something more significant. It is the realization of consequences.
Our ability to make choices is God-given. The ability to choose is what makes us unique among God’s creation above the animals. So it stands to reason that the blessing of choice should be a critical part of renewing our sin affected lives. I’m not talking about the struggle to not sin but the potential of the decisions that we choose to make.
An essential key to this is the ability to know ourselves. Thank God that we can look at ourselves without fear because God looks at us without condemnation. Followers of Jesus know God looks at us based on forgiveness and his desire for our peace and his glory.
Knowing ourselves gives us the ability to accept who we are and then begin to look at who God wants us to be. It’s about giving up on what we see and making choices that will lead to chosen destinations.
For example, I know that when I am 75, I want my children to look at their father and say that he lived wisely and made sound financial choices. (I, of course, want them to see me having done more than that but for our example, let’s go with finances!) If I spend the next 20 years never saving or managing my money then how will financial success happen unless by accident? I don’t want to rely on chance and hoping for the best! I have to decide how long before I look at where I am financial, to make decisions not based on what money I need right now but instead to make decisions based on what money I will need for the next 20 years.
Look to the Future
This same principle can be applied to every part our lives. We must look at our lives and ask the question “Based on my choices will I ever become the person that God desires me to become?” What would you do if you could redo your next choice?
So here’s the verse:
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”
(Philippians 3:13–15 ESV)
Make a list of where you want to “end-up” in the future. Make several sublists of particular things that you want to happen int he near future. Plan with the end in mind!