In yesterday’s post, I wrote about Jesus’ setting His face to go to Jerusalem, and I connected the Lord’s determination to carry out His Father’s will with the necessity for us to set goals and fulfill those goals. The Apostle Paul understood the importance of carrying through with goals and he wrote, “Not that I have already obtained this [the resurrection of the dead] or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:12-14). Paul wasn’t perfect; he knew correction was necessary in his life – therefore, he presses “on toward the goal.”
Today, I want to share with you some ways that I am pressing “on toward the goal.”
I need to take a more proactive role in keeping my health in order.
I need to work on my weight.
I have struggled with my weight all of my life. I recently lost about 80 lbs, but being between work and disability has caused a great deal of stress in my life and I’ve been eating to help with the stress. I now have four friends keeping me accountable with my weight, and I’m hoping to add another friend or two in the very near future.
I need to work on my swimming.
I swim just about every day (I’m taking today off because I just have so much to get done). I need to commit to swimming at least a mile every day. Most days anymore I do get that mile in, but I need to swim a mile more consistently.
I need to add weight training to my regimen.
Weight training has the potential of greatly helping my mobility. It’s time I get started
I need to keep some goals in my writing. I have been promising some friends a book on Secular Humanism (tentatively titled: The Christian’s Toolbox: Tools for Helping Your Family, the Church, and Yourself in the Fight against Secular Humanism – way too long and bland, I know), yet I have greatly fallen behind in my writing – I have set a goal of having the book finished by the end of this month. I need to spend more time writing this blog. I also am actively rewriting my book, Accompanied by the Instruments of David: Examining Excuses for Instrumental Music in Worship – some grammatical and other errors need to be fixed.
I have some spiritual goals which I’m actively pursuing.
I need to pray more.
I’m seeking to make prayer a much more natural part of my life.
I need to study more.
I’m seeking to spend more time studying the Will of God.
I need to become more like Jesus.
I’m seeking to allow God to mold me into the image of His dear Son. I want to be kind as He was, I want to love as He did, I want to see people as He did, I want to walk as He did.
I know that I’ve set some lofty goals for myself – there’s absolutely no sense in setting small goals. I want to dream big things and accomplish big things, for my God is a big God.
At one place I was preaching, the elders and I announced a “Bring-A-Friend Day” and encouraged members of the church to bring their family and neighbors to worship and introduce those loved ones to truth taught in a loving way. I set a goal of 200 – a somewhat lofty goal, but one that the church could very easily accomplish. After I had preached a sermon on goal setting and talking about the goal of 200, one of the elders – a fine and godly man – got up and made closing announcements. He said, “I don’t know why Justin set a goal of 200 – We can never make that goal.” We didn’t. That fine elder threw a wet blanket on what I was seeking to accomplish for the cause of Christ.
Don’t let anyone throw a wet blanket on your goals – go forth and accomplish much for the cause of Christ. Next week, we’ll think about specific strategies for achieving our goals. Until Monday, be blessed as you walk with God!