Tuesday, March 6, 2018

While I’m Working on My Goals, God Is Working on Me

In review of Philippians 3:12 it says, “I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (CEV).

Bottom Line:
Keep on running and struggling to take a hold the prize Christ offers as you follow him.

What this means to me:
I’m no means there, but with Christ in my life I can follow his example and keep on moving forward to take a hold of the ultimate prize he offers.

In Philippians 3, Paul tells us that he doesn’t want to indicate that he had already achieved or reached perfection. But only that he presses on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. He tells us that he is focusing on one thing: forgetting the past and looking for what lies ahead, He is pressing on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus made plain to him.

In these passages Paul says that his goal is to know Christ, to be like Christ and to be that Christ has in mind for him. This was the goal that absorbed all of Paul's energy. It is also a helpful example for me. I should not let anything take my mind off of the goal of knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, I must lay aside everything harmful and forsake anything that may distract me from being effective for Christ.

Because my hope is in Christ, I can let go of the past and look forward to what God will help me become. I have no need to dwell on my past, instead, I can grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on my relationship with him now.  I can remember that I'm forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. I can look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of my hope in Christ.

Yesterday I looked at three reasons why I need to set some goals. Here are three more reasons why goal setting is so important that even Jesus set goals for himself.

First, I need to set goals because they give me hope to keep moving and to endure.
Job says, “What strength do I have left that I can go on hoping? What goal do I have that I would want to prolong my life?” (Job 6:11 GW). I have to have a goal to keep me going. A goal doesn’t have to be big to motivate me. For instance, if I had to have surgery, my first goal in recovery could be to sit up in bed. Then I might work toward standing up and then later walking down the hallway. All of those are very small goals, but they’re all important, because getting from where I am to success. It isn’t one big leap. It’s many small steps. A goal doesn’t have to be big to be important — it just has to encourage me to carry on.

Second, I need to set goals because they build my character.
The greatest benefit to my life will not be my accomplishments but rather what happens inside me while I’m moving toward my goal. What I’ve learned is that God is more interested in my character than he is in my accomplishments. While I’m working on my goal, God is working on me. He is building my character, and that’s what’s going to last for eternity. That’s why Paul says in Philippians 3:12, “I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (CEV). It takes energy, effort, and purpose to reach your goal, and the result is that you become more like Christ.”

Lastly, I need to set goals because good goals will be rewarded. Proverbs 11:27 says, “If your goals are good, you will be respected” (GNT). When I give my life to a good goal, it brings honor and builds a legacy on Earth.

The real reward in setting good goals is going to come in eternity. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step” (NLT). Paul was a purpose-driven goal setter. I need to be that, too, so that I can win the prize that God has prepared for you in Heaven.