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Friday, March 2, 2018

The Three Things I Need to Reach my Goals

In review of Proverbs 16:9 it says, “We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it” (The Message).

Bottom Line:
We can plan, but it’s God who makes it possible.

What this means to me:
I can make my plans, but it’s the Lord who determines my steps.

The first part of Proverbs 16 explains that I can make my own plans, but it is the Lord that gives me the right answer and steps. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. If I commit my actions to the Lord, my plans will succeed. The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster. Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest. I can make my plans, but the Lord determines my steps.

The final outcome of the plans I make is always in God's hands. In doing God's will, there must be a partnership between my efforts and God's control. He wants me to use my mind, to seek the advice of others, and to plan. Nevertheless, the results are up to him. Planning, helps me act God's way. As I live for him, I should be asking for guidance as I plan, and then act on my plan as I trust in him.

I can rationalize anything and prove that I'm right. Before putting any plan into action, I need to consider: Is this plan in harmony with God's truth? Is my attitude pleasing to God?

There are different ways to fail to commit whatever I do to the Lord. I can commit only superficially, saying its for the Lord, but in reality it only being done for myself. I can also give God temporary control of my interests, only to take control back the moment things stop going the way I expect them to be. I can commit my task fully to the Lord, but put forth no efforts, and then wonder what I'm not succeeding. I must maintain a delicate balance: trusting God as if everything depended on him, while working as if everything depended on me.

God uses the activities of wicked people to fulfill his good purposes. God is infinite and we are finite. No matter how great my intellect, I'll never be able to understand him completely. I can accept by faith that he all-powerful, all-loving, and perfectly good. I can believe that his is not the cause of evil. I can trust that there are no loose ends in his system of judgment. Evil is a temporary condition in this world. One day God will destroy it completely.

Pride on my part whispers, "my way is best." It is resisting God's leadership and believing that I am able to live without his help. Whenever I find myself wanting to do it my way and look down on others, I'm being pulled by pride. Only when I eliminate pride can God help me become all he meant me to be.

I will tend to do almost anything to win approval. God tells me however, to put my energy into pleasing him instead. My effort to be a peacemaker will usually make me more attractive to this around me, but even if it doesn't, I haven't lost anything. I'm still pleasing God, the only one who truly matters.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it” (The Message).

I get to plan the way I want to live, but only God gives me the power and energy to actually make the transformation. Why? Because God provides the three things I must have to reach your goal and change your life.

First, I need God’s Spirit to empower me. God’s Spirit can help me to make changes I can’t make on my own. It’s not based on willpower; it’s based on God power. It’s not based on trying; it’s based on trusting.

Zechariah 4:6 says, “‘You will not succeed by your own strength or by your own power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord All-Powerful” (NCV).

Second, I need God’s Word to guide me. I believe that the Bible is the owner’s manual for life. The more I read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it, the more successful and fulfilled I’ll be in life. I’m reminded that when Joshua was given the great dream of taking over the Promised Land — a goal that was going to take him the rest of his life — God had these words for him: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8 NASB).

Third, I need God’s people to support me. I will not be able to reach my goals on my own. It takes a team to fulfill a dream! A crowd can’t support me, but a small group can. They know when I’m sick, when I’m having a tough time, when I need a break. I can share my goals and my successes and failures, and they will rejoice with me and encourage me to keep going. I’m going to need that when I make the right kind of goals and pursue them wholeheartedly. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped” (The Message).