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Are You Taking Inventory, or Just Winging It?

Are You Taking Inventory, or Just Winging It?
February 22, 2013 Dr. Karl Benzio

February 22, 2013

The Lighthouse Network Team is excited to be celebrating our 4th anniversary of Stepping Stones Daily Devotional.  We have been overwhelmed by how God has used the simple truths of this devotional to impact the lives of thousands of people every day.  We can truly see God’s hand in its growth and success.  Thank you all for your desire to grow in your daily walk with Jesus and for pursuing spiritual maturity as a cornerstone of your life.  Stepping Stones is dedicated to sharing key truths with you everyday, bathed in prayer, and rooted in God’s Word.   We are also happy to have large group of new Stepping Stones Daily Devotional readers joining our family this month through our on going partnership with Vision Video, a christian video company that strives to show how God has worked among His people over the centuries.   Thanks to all the Stepping Stones readers for your dedication to reading Stepping Stones everyday, introducing your friends to this resource, and sharing it through your social media outlets.   We truly enjoy your comments, ideas and thoughts and we encourage you to email us at devotions@LighthouseNetwork.org.

Transformational Thought
Business is often complicated and, at times, messy. Always in a rush … scurrying around … solving problems … helping people … putting out fires … dealing with personnel issues … finalizing contracts and deals … fundraising … developing curriculum. No wonder I never have time for lunch. Good business owners slow down life, sort the pieces, and then count them. They take regular inventory of their stock. These inventories are a useful business-planning tool that can reveal growth, decline in productivity, or show possible obstacles to growth. Most importantly, inventories guide and assist business owners in making changes for a better future.

The merry-go-round of life constantly accelerates, ‘til we hit the retirement home. Just as business owners do, taking a regular inventory of our lives is mandatory. It helps us answer questions about the directions and paths our lives take. Are we growing or declining in character development … in spiritual maturity? Are we moving toward our goals, or do obstacles hinder our progress? Is our relationship with God growing? What changes do we need to make to move ahead more effectively? What strategies, if any, have we been using? And more importantly, are they working?

The old adage really is true. If you don’t learn from history, your are likely to repeat it. But, in order to learn from history, you have to look back and study it.

You see, when we look in the mirror and get honest with ourselves, we realize we are lazy and don’t want to look back at our mistakes. Our strategy for growth is to get by and just “wing it” today, and deal with the ramifications tomorrow. Satan obviously wants to distract you from applying any of God’s teaching into a strategy for growth. When I sat and took a serious, brutally honest inventory of my life, I realized the Instruction Book of Life according to Karl really wasn’t working. Worse yet, instead of being an important asset to my pursuit of happiness, I was my biggest obstacle. Then I made a decision to follow God’s instruction book and the strategies it teaches … and WOW!

Know that God loves you and wants to help you eliminate the things in your life that may be hurting you and others. But before He can help you, you must face up to the fact that these problems exist. Remember … Jesus is with you. He will not disappoint you in your time of personal searching. Open your heart and challenge Him; He will reveal to you and give you the desires of your heart.

Today, decide stop being lazy. Be intentional and dig. Take inventory of your life. Consider your relationships with God, self, family, church, and friends. Be honest … brutally honest. Sure it hurts a bit to see who you really are. Ask God to help you see things as they really are … not as you intellectually think they are. Face any obstacles, either within you or outside of you … without making excuses. In our 6 component SPEARS Decision-Making Strategy, we call this inventory-taking component “Summary Thought.” It’s a powerful step towards lasting transformation. Looking back, taking honest inventory, and honing your decision-making strategy is your decision, so choose well.

Prayer
Dear Father, I confess I make mistakes. Instead of trying to sweep them under the carpet, help me take a good, honest look at myself. Help me see what is pleasing to You … and what is disappointing to You. Help me understand a concrete strategy to begin moving forward in areas of my life in which I am struggling. Help me to reorder my life under You and according to Your will. I want to develop a disciplined strategy instead of just winging it everyday. I pray this in the name of Your Son who always searched Himself well, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. Lamentations 3:40

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3

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