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Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Kind of Goals God Blesses

In 1 Corinthians 9:26 it says, “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air.” (NCV)

Without goals, I cannot expect to be any different this year than I was last year. The default in my life will always be more of the same.

Long-term goals keep me moving toward my purpose and keep me from being discouraged by short-term setbacks.

We all have setbacks. I deal with them every day, but those setbacks won’t slow me down if my focus is on something I’m trying to achieve down the road. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9:26, “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air” (NCV).

I don’t want to spend the next year hitting the air (shadow boxing). But just setting goals isn’t the answer. God doesn’t appreciate every goal I set!

These are the kinds of goals that God blesses

  • Goals that bring God honor: The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (NIV). If I’ve got the right motivation, anything can be done for God’s glory.

  • Goals that are motivated by love: God is far more interested in why I’m doing something than what I’m actually doing. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16:14,“Do everything with love” (NLT).

  • Goals that fulfill one of God’s purposes for my life: God put me on Earth to do five things: worship him, be a part of his family, become like Christ, serve him, and share my life message. If my goals help me fulfill one of these purposes, then God will bless them.

  • Goals that are set in faith: My goals must be big enough that they’ll require God’s help to fulfill. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).

  • Goals that are achieved by God’s power: I will not stick to my goals without God’s power. I won’t get healthy on my own. I won’t improve my marriage on my own. The goals that really matter in life can only be achieved with God’s power, not my own.

So I need to take a look at the goals I’ve set for the future. And consider if they are the kind of goals that God blesses?

In summary, winning a race requires purpose and discipline. Paul uses this illustration to explain that the Christian life takes hard work, self-denial, and grueling preparation. As Christians, we are running toward our heavenly reward. The essential disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and worship equip me to run with vigor and stamina. So I shouldn’t just merely observe from the grandstand; and not just turn out to jog a couple of laps each morning. Train diligently, as my spiritual progress depends upon it.