Follow a plan that agrees with God

The greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, & strength. That means our goals ought to revolve around God. We ought to shape our wants and desires through correcting our thinking to loving God and see how we can serve God more efficiently with all our heart. Our prayers ought to focus more on our growth toward God's righteous character. If we do not have a clear & distinct measurable plan, how can we focus our intentions, pursue it, and fulfill it? It's telling a child to go out in the world and do good. Although doing good is a good idea and right thing to do, how to navigate it with all the temptation and corruption in the world makes such a vague plan insufficient, otherwise everyone would be doing good. Who tells their children to go and do wrong? So vague instruction has proven over time to be insufficient.

Science, technology, education, psychology, sociology, philosophy have learned an immense amount of information from a variety of studies regarding human behavior. Our education system has applied some of this knowledge toward its system of teaching and learning. Many authors of the books of the bible describe learning, reminding, practicing, meditating, thinking, talking, teaching, listening, modeling, and acting with God's character as the highest priority and greatest achievement. Not only ought we memorize scripture, but we ought to see what it mean to us as God's servants. Memorization without personal understanding of what it means in the spiritual kingdom is insufficient. 

We ought to guard against unfulfilled intentions. Intending to do good does not complete it. Incomplete goodness is not good at all. What we do or do not do makes all the difference. Judging ourselves by our intentions does not change the fact that everyone else, including the spirit, judges us by our actions. Following God's spirit will always lead to improved spiritual conditioning, but not always happiness. Self-examination and taking responsibility for our actions can be a humbling experience. Being humbled is necessary toward spiritual growth. Intending to examine self, but not doing it evades the spiritual necessary growth of being humbled. Intending to be honest, but lying, increases confusion and spiritual destruction. Intentions can often times fool us into thinking we are right because we 'want' right things, but in reality we want what is easy, convenient, and self-gratifying. We must rely upon our actions instead of our intentions.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

Like riding a bike - Get on it and learn

The bike analogy works well because there really is no formula to explain how to ride a bike just as there is no formula to explain how to grow spiritually. On top of not having a formula to ride a bike most people learn at an age where they wouldn't understand the formula if it existed. Still, people learn how to do it. They get on it, fall off, get back on, fall off, but through faith & hope they keep at it until they begin to move. Once they see progress their faith & hope increases. If we intend to get on the bike, but don't, we learn nothing and our faith does not grow. It may be good to ask ourselves what kind of faith would tell us not to get on the bike. If we really believed we can learn to ride the bike, wouldn't we get on it?

Receiving and growing with God's grace is like receiving and then choosing through faith to get on an invisible bike.  Imagine teaching someone to ride such a bike. Where would you start? It might be best to first help them understand how to find the bike and sit on it. Imagine being in a dark room looking for a bike, feeling around not finding anything, but through bumping into things and knocking things over (endurance & perseverance), finally the bike is found, excitement and fulfillment, but there is still there is much to do before riding it.

To begin the process each of us must learn to feel/sense the bike/God. God is love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, peace, patience, generosity... you know goodness & righteousness. We need to experience such sensations inwardly in order to increase our understanding. 

No one gets on a bike and rides it without fail. Everyone will fall. Even trained professional riders fall. Mistakes are bound to happen. Bike riders lose focus, stop paying attention, get distracted, over estimate their abilities, under estimate the difficulties of the path, and sometimes run into other bike riders. This is similar to walking with God.

We need help to stay focused and properly navigate the difficulties in life, limitations in ourselves, and watch out for others. Having goals, mentors, support groups, who are also staying focused upon growing in God's goodness helps us to keep our focus. Hanging out with biking groups helps us to be better bike riders. Hanging out with others who set their efforts, time, and resources toward developing Godly character will help us be better at developing God character.

Make a plan

Like the statement above, failing to plan is planning to fail, we need to have direction in order to achieve any goal. We can have a desire to ride a bike, but nothing will happen until we can learn to sit on it and feel the peddles with our feet.

We need to learn how to love if we are to obey the greatest commandment. How can we complete the greatest goal ever made if we lack in love? So goal number one each day ought to be to grow in love and for that goal most of us will need to learn how to humble ourselves. Our own pride and selfishness interferes with our service in love. We will need to learn how to make God more important and ourselves less important. We will need to make God's agenda more important than our agenda. God's ideas ought to be of greater value than our ideas. What God wants and expects ought to be more important than what we want and expect. Until God becomes more important we will have slim chance toward growth at fulfilling the greatest commandment.

Humility, prioritizing God, self-discipline, compassion, caring for others, and paying attention to feelings ought to be of increased importance in our daily lives. We need direction, a schedule, and reminders. We need structure to help us stay focused so we do not slip and fall, fall away from God. As soon as we pursue other things we begin moving away from God's grace.

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

Acts 5:38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;