Preparation: time, plan and foresight

zebras-606867_640Proverbs 30:25: The ants are a people who are not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; (LEB)

For the ant, the focus of the admiration in the writer of the focus verse, the intuitive knowledge of the coming season of scarcity makes it prepare over time. For the ant it is all about survival, it is about going through the cycle of life successfully. Preparation therefore takes time, planning and foresight.

Time

It takes time to prepare. John the Baptist spent a long time in the wilderness before the time of his manifestation to Israel though he was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother Elisabeth’s womb (Luke 1:15).

David was very young when he was anointed by Samuel, and soon after he was thrown into a whirlwind of change, all preparing him to take over the reins of leadership in Israel (1Samuel 16:13).

It was not an easy ride. It was trying, his motivation was purified, his commitment to God was challenged; he was cured of his naiveté and really came to grips with the kind of enemies he was supposed to defend Israel from, and the kind of leadership he should give. He developed leadership skills away from the limelight.

Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, and at the age of twelve he discussed the hard points of the law with the professors of law, he fully recognised that his time has not come, and continued in his time of private preparation before his manifestation (Luke 2:42-52).

He did not jump the gun, but fully cooperated with God when it comes to timing. And before he was launched into public ministry, he yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to go into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The temptation was also part of the preparation (Luke 4:1-13). He was tested so that he can be manifested as the son of God.

He did not choose the time of his manifestation, it was as appointed by the father. He was right on time. And he made a beeline for the cross.He did not choose the time of his manifestation, it was as appointed by the father. He was right on time. And he made a beeline for the cross.

He did not choose the time of his manifestation, it was as appointed by the father. He was right on time. And he made a bee line for the cross.

The bible says that in the fullness of time Christ died for us (Galatians 4:4-7). He was prepared for it. Jesus spoke concerning the significance of a woman pouring precious oil on him (Matthew 26:12). He said she was preparing his body for death. The woman did not know that what she did, added to the preparation of Jesus, but it did.

In the same way, there are people who inter-phase with you who may not know they are part of your preparation process.

Before Moses stepped into his role as the deliverer of Israel, it was after eighty years of two-phased preparation. The first forty years was in Pharaoh’s house and the second was in the valley as a shepherd in the wilderness, it was the preparation of pleasure and pain, fame and shame. These were situation he was thrust into, for which he had little or no control over.

Known to God are his works for eternity (Acts 15:18). But within time we get to execute our parts in small measures. The apostles were prepared for a few years prepared to lead the church after Jesus had gone.

Preparation today, makes you strong for tomorrow. Making the best use of today is the best preparation for tomorrow.

Paul said that we should maximise the time, making the best use of it, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:14-17).

Moses prayed: teach us to number our days so that we may apply our heart to wisdom (Psalm 90:12). When you waste today, you are setting yourself up for a bad tomorrow.

Planning

Jesus said that a man who is going to build needs to sit to first make a plan, so that he does not have a failed project in his hands, while he who wants to make a war needs to think about it well (Luke ), comparing his ability to that of his enemy.

Thinking well about what you want to do is vital. That is why we have the Spirit of sound mind (2Timothy 1:6-7). Planning is looking at different possible scenarios, it is getting ready to meet any possible challenge. It means saving for the future.

Planning involved deep thinking, it is about appraising the situation from different angles, and it takes strong mental grit. If you refuse to engage your mind, you will be able to plan.

But “preparation” is not just about planning, there are actions involved in planning as any athlete will tell you (1Corinthians 9:25). Planning is not about sitting back to just review things, it is about movement in the direction of the future, it is about hard work.

Foresight

Foresight is an accurate measurement of the future. You gauge what tomorrow will demand and you set out to give it what it takes in preparation. Jesus knows what the task of reaching the world for his name will take so he said that the disciple needed to wait to be endowed with power from on high (Acts 1:8). The world was going to be won through supernatural means.

Because he has the foresight though King David was not going to build the temple, he made preparation, having downloaded from heaven the design of the temple (1Chronicles 22). Without a picture of the future, we will not be able to prepare adequately for it. Foresight gives the picture of what what we want in the future will demand and that might spur us to seek better training and mentorship.

Conclusion

Time usage, foresight and planning are about wisdom. And “wisdom” is the ability to analyse various aspects of an issue and chart a way forward. Preparation involves other people and you need to know who to trust, who will help you in the journey of preparation.

Timothy was associated with Paul who helped to prepare him for ministry. He said that just as he had taught him things, he should teach people who will in turn teach others (2Timothy 2:2).

Timothy’s influence over them must be towards preparing them for the future, the way Jesus influenced his disciples.

Time is a gift. We have the same twenty-four hours, and we should not worry about tomorrow because worrying has no preparation value. When we worry we react to the future, or what we imagine it to be. But “preparation” is about responding positively today to the possibilities of tomorrow.

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