Last week I was conducting a session on vision statements. We were having a good time as we crafted our vision for the future. I was feeling really good as the approach was novel. They were being taught to use the principles God used in Genesis 1 and 2. God first created a vision of creation in His heart then he set about creating everything. Everyone was eating it up until half way into the exercise the Holy Spirit said these words to me.
“Never do a bucket list. Make no plans for death. Saints must plan to live. You do not plan for death as those without Me do. You live on forever. Plan for life.“
That statement wrecked my carefully planned teaching session. My thoughts were now split between teaching on crafting the vision statement and running with this revelation.
The more I thought about it the more I realized I had never associated death with the bucket list. It seemed like a wonderful idea. What could be wrong with compiling a list of things you wanted to achieve before you die? Just thinking in that manner attached a sense of urgency to it.
I am sure you can tell me everything about a bucket list. It is so commonplace that even our Middle School son knows what it is. Check this! While writing this article I decided to test my theory. He was playing a video game. I asked him to share what he understood a bucket list to be. Without pausing or shifting his focus he blurted out the answer. That answer came from his subconscious. He did not have to think about it. That right there is evidence of how skillfully we have been marketed this hype. We have been so flooded that the concept is ingrained in us. What’s dangerous about everything is our lack of analysis of its implication for us.
Please think about it! Isn’t a bucket list a things you desire to accomplish before you die? Isn’t that planning for death? Every time we participate in this act we are prophetically declaring our death. Each act is empowering the spirit of death. It signals to death that it may remove us from this life when we have checked off the final item on the list. When all the fun is completed we will leave a good corpse. I don’t know about you but I do not want the devil to take me out. I will go to my grave at a good old age after serving God with all my heart, strength and soul. I will be full of life when I die. Death will not have me. The angels of God will come to take me home to glory.
When my grandmother died, the Lord showed me her transition. I had a vision of a horse drawn golden chariot coming to mom’s home for her. I woke with peace and joy in my heart. I missed her but there was no sadness. I was contented that she had received her reward from the Lord. ‘Blessed are the death in Lord for they rest from their labor’. That’s what I want.
It’s very important that we remain vigilant. Satan devises so many schemes to rob us of our life. These challenges and lists that seem really, really good are meant to shift our focus from God’s plan. It’s important that we wait on God to receive His plan for our life, our community and the nation(s). We must then set out to do all we can to fulfill that assignment. That is making a plan for life. That is the list that we must pursue. That should be our life plan.
Please hear me loud and clear. Now is the time to be laser focused. God is promoting the saints in this decade. He will be granting favor to those who do His will. Failure to be aligned to His will means there will be no reward. Your reward will be the fun and excitement you had in this life time. Selah!
Luke 16:19-26 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
There was a certain rich man who [habitually] clothed himself in purple and fine linen and reveled and feasted and made merry in splendor every day.
20 And at his gate there was [carelessly] dropped down and left a certain utterly destitute man named Lazarus, [reduced to begging alms and] covered with [ulcerated] sores.
21 He [eagerly] desired to be satisfied with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover, the dogs even came and licked his sores.
22 And it occurred that the man [reduced to] begging died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Child, remember that you in your lifetime fully received [what is due you in] comforts and delights, and Lazarus in like manner the discomforts and distresses; but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who want to pass from this [place] to you may not be able, and no one may pass from there to us.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.