This week in our Transformed: Getting from Stuck to Unstuck series, we will look at a very practical technique that has proven very effective for me in my life and ministry-that is the action of setting specific goals in every area of your life. (In case you missed it, last week’s article on step 6, embracing the truth that God is constantly and continually working to bless you, rather than harm you, can be accessed HERE.)
Affirmation #8: Set specific loving and righteous goals in every area of your life.
There is an old saying that says, “If you aim at nothing, you will certainly hit it.” Paul was my closest friend in high school. We did everything together-hiking, biking, church, skiing, baseball, dating, cars, bowling... he enjoyed life and was a ton of fun. When it came time to decide what we were going to do with our lives, he never really came up with anything. He was just going to see what came up. When I made plans to go to a Christian college, he was going to hang around and maybe take some more classes at the community college. When I started memorizing Scripture, he just read his Bible and hoped some of it stayed in his head. When I began to pick friends, who were goal-oriented, he just hung out with whoever was around.
After college I spent some time with Paul, and he let me know that the last four years of his life had been a waste. He was hanging out with kids five and six years younger than himself because everyone else had moved on. He was working a dead-end graveyard job because it became available a few years back. He knew he wasn’t accomplishing anything with his life, but he wasn’t interested in setting goals and aiming at any of the wonderful things that were available to him. Paul just drifted through the next twenty years of his life, going from one job to another, one relationship to another, one group of friends to another. I eventually lost track of Paul ... he just drifted out of my life.
Life was not meant to be drifted through. Life is a gift that God gives us, which He wants us to present back to Himself having accomplished something with it. Click the link to look at the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-28.
God wants us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first in every area of our life. He has not given us our life to squander it on selfish pursuits or for drifting along like flotsam and jetsam on the ocean. We must come to understand that God’s power is released for the pursuit of righteous, God-glorifying goals. There is something powerful that takes place when humans set goals. There is something even more powerful when we set righteous goals that glorify God in the pursuit of them. Remember that Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness...” It is not necessarily the attainment of the righteous goal, but the pursuit of it, the hunger after it, that releases the blessing and power of God.
Listen to how the Apostle Paul says this same idea in terms of His life in Philippians 3:10, 12.
“I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,” (Phil 3:10).
The Apostle goes on in that same section to talk about his own goal setting,
“I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of me,” (Phil 3:12).
I am deeply saddened by the number of Christians who let life happen to them. They only use the power of God to survive the obstacles and difficulties of life, but God’s power is meant for far more than just passively handling life as it comes at us. We were made to use the power of God to accomplish God’s goals for our life.
The key to effective goal setting is to be as prayerfully specific as possible about what you believe God wants you to accomplish in the next few years. There is a big difference between setting a general goal like, “I believe that God wants me to love Him more,” and setting a specific set of goals like, “I believe God wants me set aside an hour each day to be with Him listening, speaking, and learning from Him;” “I will love God more by reading and studying my Bible every day;” “I will love God more by listening intently for the prompting of the Holy Spirit to allow the fruit of the Spirit to flow through me during the day;” These are all specific, righteous goals that allow you to increase the amount of love you express and feel for the Lord.
The question is what does a wonderfully rich, full, and righteous life look like in each arena of your life. What does it look like to be deeply in love with Christ? Your spouse? Child 1, 2, 3...? Your boss or co-worker? Your church? Your community? Your self? Your friends? Your finances? How does that break down into specific actions, reactions and results?
I am convinced that God wants you to have a wonderfully fulfilling and satisfying life full of love and righteousness (Jn 10:10). But you must go after it and use the power of God to achieve this potential life. Reach, stretch, and grow into the full potential of your life by setting specific righteous goals for an immensely rich relationally wealthy life. Join me next week for affirmation #9.
P.S. Missed the Transformed Series Introduction? Click HERE!
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Follow God as You Learn How to Talk to Him!
The Lord's Prayer is one of the most common Scriptures in the world. Thousands have memorized this prayer and have no idea they are reciting one of the most powerful keys to intimacy with God and access to His power. Unlock the hidden keys to ignite God's power here and now and watch your spiritual life explode to a whole new level.
Join Dr. Gil Stieglitz in Getting God to Talk Back, as he explains how Jesus teaches a whole new way of approaching and dialoguing with God about the things in life that matter to Him most as we live for Him. Includes a verse-by-verse analysis of Matthew 6:9-13, prayer exercises, and practical applications to help readers progress on their spiritual journey.
We all want to experience unimaginable blessings and God's power in our lives--this is where it all begins.Talk with God about the things that matter to Him, and He will talk back.