TIME FOR NEW GOALS
"Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers" (3 John:2)
Do you have a goal (God's mandate)? "We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails" (Prov. 19:21). "Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get" (Prov. 20:18). Are you willing to take the steps necessary to accomplish that goal? I believe the LORD wants to re-charge you today with fresh hope and vision. He doesn't want you to perish because of sickness in any area of your life. There are many such areas that need constant scrutiny.
A partial list includes:
- spiritual health
- mental health
- physical health
- financial health
- emotional health
- relational health
- vocational health
One of the Bible's greatest examples of setting a goal and striving to accomplish it is seen in the life of the Apostle Paul. He said he didn't count himself as already possessing his goal, but he was determined to forget the past and reach forward. (Phil. 3:13) From his writings we know that he did press forward toward his God-given goal; all the while he was expecting his (God-designed) reward. (Phil. 3:14)
We must set our own goals as directed by God - or someone else will set them for us. To achieve any goal, we must first focus. We hear this over and over, but ignoring the need to focus will not change the critical importance of doing so.
To begin, we must do what Paul did. We have to forget the past. Memories of past failures can become strongholds in our minds that paralyze us. Have you ever tried something that failed? Failure is part of our educational process. Despite temporary setbacks, we must continue until we succeed. The inventor, Thomas Edison, when questioned about his unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb, is reported to have said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
If we fail to focus, we can and often do create various disasters with immediate or future consequences. As a child in science class, I learned that if you place a magnifying glass between the sun and a combustible material, then tightly focus the sunbeam on that material, the focused light will generate enough heat to cause a fire. Concentrated sunlight (energy)starts fires. Diffused sunlight (energy) may warm, but it will not create fire. A definition of "diffuse" is: to spread out over a wide area in many directions. When working to achieve our goals, We must stop diffusing. The Apostle Paul says, "°but this ONE THING I do" (Phil. 3:13). Focus is the secret to reaching our goals.
We are the only ones who can take responsibility for our focus. Wisdom tells us to guard our heart, for out of it are the issues of life. (Prov. 4:23) We must take the guarding of our gates seriously. We all know that wrong relationships can cause major distractions.
How do we get started?
Begin with these two things:
- We cannot accomplish any goals without the direction and the power of the Spirit of God. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts" (Zec. 4:6).
- We continually need the Word of God before us to guide us. "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN you shall make your way prosperous, and THEN you shall have good success" (Josh. 1:8).
Let this upcoming new year be the greatest year you have ever experienced. Look over the list in the beginning of this message. Pick one area. Master that area then proceed to the next while continually asking God for the power to accomplish the goal. STAY FOCUSED.