The 9-12 Change Project
They say it takes 21 days to make a permanent change. I won’t argue the accuracy of that here. I will only note that when 9 and 12 are added together, you conveniently get 21. Further, this project came about because I’ve been listening to Glenn Beck and his 9-12 project. I’ve decided to write my own principles and values because I believe that any change must start with God and have God central to every step.
So with that said, here’s my proposal:
I’m going to take 1 day at a time 6 times to effect change in my life in increasingly bigger concentric circles.
The first circle I will focus on my relationship with God, the second my relationship with me, the third with my family, the fourth with my church, the fifth with my community, the sixth with the world. I am pledging to do something big in the world, not on my own but because I feel called through and with my God into the battle for His children’s souls. Many people know it’s time for change, but they don’t know how. So they stay in their little roles, afraid to change, afraid to reach out, afraid to do anything big for God, and the devil likes nothing more than to make sure they stay there.
Living small is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. It convinces us that we are insignificant, that nothing we do really matters, that the world would not necessarily be better if we weren’t here, but it wouldn’t be worse either. We think in terms of five minutes rather than in terms of eternity, and our actions follow. And we judge our lives based on how we measure up to each other rather than how we measure up to the person God made us to be.
It is time to change all of that. It is time to change our focus, to change our direction, to change our vision. What do you envision your best life being? What would you do if you could not fail?
These are the questions of the desires of our hearts. Instead we push those aside for the minutia of the day—bills and carpools, soccer and television. We have this deep clawing worry that we’re wasting our lives, but we’re not really sure where to go with that or what to do about it. This book will lead you, if you are open, to what to do about that.
There will not be an answer on page 22 or 27, but as you work through the lessons and listen to God speaking into your heart, into your life, you will find the answer He has already written on your heart.
I pray for this journey for you. May God hold you throughout the process in the palm of His hand.
The Structure of Change
Change cannot happen from the outside in. It must happen from the inside out. That’s where real change happens and where change that lasts happens. So each day of this plan has a short lesson, something for you to focus on, to pray about, and then to put into effect in your life.
Each lesson is meant to be read and then worked out as you go through that day. Feel free to go back, to write after you read or after the day. There is no formula. Listen and let God speak something new and wonderful to you each time you read.
I believe that change must start with your relationship with God, so the first time through start there. It must then “stretch” to your relationship with you, then your relationship with your family, then to others in church and the community, and then to the world. Each circle—represented by a 21-day commitment of reading each lesson—will build upon what you have done in the previous circle. You will just get better and better as you practice these principles and values.
What I want to prove to you (and to myself) is that when I get right with God, when my relationship with Him is rock solid, I can change, and following His lead as I change, the world around me can change as well.
Your 3-12 Group
I would like to invite you now to enter into prayer to find at least three friends and at most 12. These are people you really, really trust, people who not only would go to the mat for you but have. They need to be people who believe in prayer and people whose opinions you trust because they speak from wise counsel. I chose three because that is how many Jesus had in His innermost circle; 12 as those were in his larger circle.
Here are the instructions to give your 3-12 group:
“I am entering into a time of restructuring and reorienting my life. I am hoping and praying that God will give me insights and inspiration about what He wants for my life. I would like to ask for your prayers for this time and for me. That God may speak into my life in a powerful way, that His love for me will become ever clearer, so I know what He wants and I have the faith and courage to follow where He leads. Please pray that peace, inspiration, and true power will come into my life and through my life into the world. I would also like to be able to tell you about my journey.”
As you move through the 21 days, feel free to share what you are experiencing with your 3-12 Group. They may at some point ask about this restructuring process. Please feel free to tell them and point them to The 9-12 Project.
Satan Coming at You
It is vital to know that any time you commit to real God change in your life, you should know one thing: Satan will be coming for you. He does not want your life to change… especially for the better. He wants you sad, scared, hunkered down, worried and fearful. The last thing he wants is for you to be striking out in new and amazing ways for the Kingdom. So I offer this prayer to you and sincerely ask you to pray it every morning. Put it on your mirror or somewhere that you will see it every day. You need the protection of all of God’s forces on the alert and ready to move on your behalf. (Also, feel free to make up your own version. The key points in this are: Call Satan and his uglies out of your life by the Blood of Christ; Invite Jesus and His forces into your life.)
“Satan and all your minions, I hereby cast you out and away from me by the Blood of Jesus Christ (they must listen and obey when you evoke the Blood of Christ. They literally have no choice but to do so). You are hereby sent to the throne of the Most High God to be dealt with there as He sees fit. Dear Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart, surround me with Your peace, and fill my life with You. Guide me, inspire me, protect me, keep me, help me, and love me as I journey with You down this path. I open my life to You and Your will. Amen.”
The First 12 Days (in August)
Like the Glenn Beck program that was the inspiration for this project, I came up with 12 Principles. These are specific to having a life powerful in God. They are meant to strengthen you in Him, not you apart from Him as so many of us try to do. Your power is found in God and only in God. Apart from Him, you can do nothing. But with Him, even the impossible becomes possible. The 12 Principles will help you get really grounded in that understanding.
The Last 9 Days (in October)
Again like the Glenn Beck program, the last 9 days are devoted to 9 Values or core components that we must have as part of our everyday life to effect powerful change around us. These are centered around faith in God and will challenge you in what you believe and if your “belief” is really rooted in God or in something else.
Copyright Staci Stallings, 2008