HOW TO PLAN FOR SUCCESS? - Message by Dr. Alex Appiah

portraitEPHESIANS 4:20-32 "20 But what you learned in Christ was not like this. 21 I know that you heard about him, and you are in him, so you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self - to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do. 23 But you were taught to be made new in your hearts, 24 to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God - made to be truly good and holy. 25 So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day. 27 Do not give the devil a way to defeat you. 28 Those who are stealing must stop stealing and start working. They should earn an honest living for themselves. Then they will have something to share with those who are poor. 29 When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need - words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you. 30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes. 31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ."


In our previous study we looked at the question: Why Do We Need Plans For Our Lives? We established four main reasons for the need for planning as follows:
1. Because there cannot be any success without plans!
2. Because God our father is a planner who has set an example for us to follow!
3. Plans keep our lives in focus and help us to measure progress!
4. Following Godly plans ensure you get exactly what you set out to achieve!


There are very important principles for efficient planning that will lead to success when the plans are followed through. The Bible, the divine compass for living gives us sound principles and good examples for us to learn from. The Apostle writing to the Ephesians share some instructions and advise that shows us how to efficiently plan our lives for success. These are summarised below:

1. Know your current state of affairs! eg. a). I am unhealthy and I need to lose weight! b). I am in x-amount of debt and I need to become debt free!

2. Learn the truths about the situation from God’s Word! -v21and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus
For example: a. God wants me to be healthy – 3 John 2.
                         b. God wants me to prosper - 3 John 2, Deut. 29:9.

3. Think anew or differently! - Identify and list all new possibilities and choices about the situation -v23But you were taught to be made new in your hearts
In example where you want to improve your health: a. Exercise – walking, running, cycling, joining a gym or exercise class etc. If the goal is overcome financial difficulties: b. Finance – tithe to God, reduce spending, prepare a budget, find new avenues to increase income, debt payment plan, start saving, invest.

4. Decide carefully the order of priorities! - Mary or Martha? - Luke 10: 38-42
when Jesus stopped over in the house of Martha and Mary, Martha got so busy and pre-occupied with household chores and preparing food to host Him that she forgot the need to spend time with the most important guest any man can ever have under their roof - Jesus! On the other hand Mary sat down at His feet listening intently and learning from the teacher and Master. Martha got so frustrated that she came and complained to Jesus her sister has left all the hospitality and hosting work to her. Jesus answered her, Martha, Martha there is one thing which is more important and Mary has taken that an no one can take it from her. Jesus was taking about the need to have godly priorities in our lives.

You will need to make realistic new choices - v22You were taught to leave your old self - to stop living the evil way you lived before

Put down simple steps you are going to take with timelines - v24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

5. Set S.M.A.R.T G.O.A.L.S for each area of your life you want to see change!

Specific - pinpoint or nailed down goals not general.
a. Health - I want to lose 2 stones of weight in 4 months…
b. Biblical knowledge - I will read one chapter of the Bible each day starting from Matthew instead of  "I want to read the Bible more this year"

Measurable – You must be able to access level of your goals achieved, so make sure the goals are easily measurable.
In example of health: You can decide to Weigh yourself at end of each to see if you’ve lost 2lbs!

Attainable - Your goals must be set in consideration of your stature and age "aiming to be an premiership footballer by the time I am fifty" isn't attainable. In place of that dream, I may make my goal to be  "to train to run the London marathon, under four hours in a year's time." This goal is reachable, but not without me putting in some consistent effort. You need to stretch yourself by setting challenging goals that are attainable.

Rewarding – You must state what are you going to gain at the end? What is the carrot at the end of the stick? You must also plan how you're going to celebrate after completion of you goal. This will serve as strong motivation to keep you going on when things become tough along the way!

Timed - You will need to set time limits for your goals or you will lose interest!
Weight loss: eg. You can set yourself the goal to lose 28 pounds of weight in 16 weeks! (that is 2lb weight loss per week). You can then 1. mark out 16 weeks on calendar, 2. Calculate amount of food calories you're eating each week and then reduce your daily calories intake by a certain amount to give you 2lb weight loss combining it with some form(s) of exercise!

Godly - You must always ask yourself a few questions in goal; setting to keep goals on the right track. Is the goal going to bring glory to God? Measure your motives to make sure your goal is fit for the kingdom.
4 godly goals of Jesus - Growth in Wisdom, Stature, Favour with God and Man -Luke 2:52
Proverbs 19:21 “People can make all kinds of plans, but only the Lord’s plan will happen.”
Note: Don't plan or set evil goals for those who do so are said to be ‘troublemakers or schemers'- Proverbs 24:8, 14:22.

Our goal as believers is to "Put on the new man created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."- v24, Heb. 12:14

Outlined - Write down each goal and define each of the following terms: SMARTG under it.

Accountable - Select a friend to call you very week to check on how you're progressing and give them power to speak or to check on you unannounced.
Be honest and truthful with yourself! v25 “So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body.”

Life Changing - Set goals that will change you over the long haul of life. Goal that change your lifestyle and habits through learning new experiences.
Learn to be generous to others! Your plans will succeed as show generosity and kindness to others! v28-32 “,,, Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.

Self-disciplined - Determine to stick with your decisions until you accomplish your goals and get mentally tough! Practice self-control – v26-27When you are angry, do not sin,.. Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.”
Also, be ready to work hard at your goals! - Proverbs 14:23

Three Characteristics of good planners and plans…
1. All good plans of a believer acknowledges God’s will and commit to it – Proverbs 3:5-8, 16:2-3, 21:30-31.
2. If you're going to be effective and go far, you must cultivate the attitude of learning from others who are ahead or achieved what we’re looking for – Proverbs 6:6-11, 20:4.
3. Be willing to seeks advice from godly men and women who can give you in sight to what you cannot see – Proverbs 15:22, 20:18.

I invite you visit our service to learn more of the powerful teachings from the Word of God that will radically transform your life into all that God has planned for you! I look froward to welcoming you at our next service. Stay Blessed!!!


Everyone who is alive wants to be successful in life, so does God our Maker and Creator wants for us. He designed you to live a life of success! He told gthe first man, Adam and his wife Eve, be fruitful and multiply, subdue the earth and have dominion over everything. That's a call and instruction for man to succeed in life!  Many people go through life not knowing exactly what they want to achieve, and it's no wonder they fail to achieve anything significant or live a fully satisfied or fulfilled life.“

The big question is "How can you ensure success in your life?"

You know, there is a big difference between wanting to be successful and being successful! The biggest difference between those who achieve success in life and those who fail is that one group plan and work smarter to realise their dreams whilst the other don't plan and may or may not work hard.

"Good planning is the key to a successful life and mission!"

Right from the beginning, God planned what He wanted to achieve through creation! - Gen. 1:1-5. Because God planned very stage of creation He could at the end of each day's work evaluate what has been achieved as recorded repeatedly "And God saw that it was good."

So set godly goals for every area of your life and by the help of God and the counsel of others see the transformation and success that can take place in your life!


The Bible says in Proverbs 24:6 (NLT) "So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers." Prov. 20:18 "Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.“ We are advised to seek the approval of the Lord if our plans are going to succeed. "There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord." Prov. 21:30-31. Prov. 16:3 "Commit to The Lord whatever you do  and your plans will succeed."

Why Do We Need Plans For Our Lives?

1. Because there cannot be any success without plans!

Failure to plan is said to be planning to fail. Every successful individual or organisation owes their success story to effective planning, organisation and commitment to working out the designed plans.

2. Because God our father is a planner who has set an example for us to follow!

 God planned our salvation and redemption from sin - Gen. 3:15 "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.“ The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy said "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, ..Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

"God planned our redemption and salvation from sin long before the world began."

Also, God planned how the Ark of Covenant and the Tabernacle should be built! He told Moses to build it exactly according to the plan showed him on the mountain - Exodus 25:9,40.  - Exodus 26:30, 27:8, Numbers 8:4. God wants His children to follow His plans for our lives! In Jeremiah 29:11, God said to Israelites "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“

Dear friend, following God's plan for your life brings His approval! You must find out the plan of God for your life and work it out.  

3. Plans keep our lives in focus and help us to measure progress!

 David gave Solomon plans for every aspect of the Temple - I Chronicle 28:11-12, 19 "Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; 12 and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit,..19 “All this,” said David, “the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.”

God gives understanding and guidance when we decide to plan our lives and His work! There is a godly pattern for living that you're required to build your life upon! - Hebrews 8:5 "who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Question is What plan are you building your life upon?

4. Following Godly plans ensure you get exactly what you set out to achieve!

God told Joshua to carefully follow the instructions given to Moses in order to be successful. He said "..Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be
careful to do everything written in it.“ You must diligently follow your divinely approved plans to ensure success.


What godly goals do you want to achieve for your life in 2013? What areas of your life have you planned and set goals for 2013? We will be studying "How to Plan for Success? in our Sunday service and midweek Bible studies. We invite you to come and hear these life changing messages to get you into the success earmarked for you! Stay blessed.

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