Philippians 3:12 & 14… Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
Before I continue, I would ask each of you to mentally list the most important goal (or goals) you have set for yourself. All of us should have that one most important goal that we would like to someday attain.
Some of you will say they would like to finish college, find a good job, get married, and raise a family. Others might say they want to become independently wealthy. Others might list finding happiness as their primary goal. That dream vacation, or an early retirement with no worries about money, might be atop someones list of goals. While these are all common goals for many of us…if we are Christians, our absolute most important goal in life should be spiritual, and not material.
The opening scripture was penned by the apostle Paul. And from the time Christ struck down Paul (then known as Saul) on his way to Damascus, to be used for God’s glory (Acts 26:12-18), Paul’s goal was to do everything in his power to share the gospel of Christ to as many people as he could. No matter how many trials, physical suffering, and persecution Paul went through in his 30+ years of sharing the love of Christ to those in need…2 Corinthians 11:22-29…Paul never quit in his quest of being conformed into the image of Christ…
Romans 8:29… For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (NKJV)
We see this most important goal of Paul, in the opening scripture which he penned. “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” This lifelong process of being conformed into the image of Christ, is known as progressive sanctification; and it MUST be the first and foremost important goal in the life of any Christian who wants to live a life that God promises to bless in abundance for every good work…
2 Corinthians 9:8… And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (NKJV) (Look also at…Deuteronomy 30:9-10…&…Proverbs 11:25-31)
After the Christian understands and commits their lives to God’s most important goal of learning to be obedient to listening for and obeying the Holy Spirit (Walking in the Spirit)…they will be well underway to being able to achieve almost any personal goal they pursue, as long as it is aligns with God’s will for their lives.
I am reminded of the following scripture penned by the apostle Paul, in…Romans 8:31-32… What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (NKJV)
Today’s writing was inspired by another one of Dr. Charles Stanley’s audio sermons, dated Aug 17, 2013, that is titled…”Goal Setting: The Key to Success – Part 1″… This amazing audio on how the Christian can find success God’s way, can be found @ http://www.intouch.org/broadcast/audio-archives
Heavenly Father, I pray that eyes would be opened by You to the truth found in Your Word, and spoken by Your faithful servant Dr. Stanley. Help all of us Lord, through the power and the conviction of the Holy Spirit…to be able to learn how to set our goals by Your standards. I pray for this fullness of Christ in all of our lives, along with His direction for all of our goals, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…
Blessings in Christ, bruce r mills