Sunday, September 20, 2015

Goals, God's Will and a Good Week

This week, I'm taking time away from the day job to catch up on the fall chores around the homestead.  As I write this post, I have a separate document open so that I can capture things I need (or at least want) to get done this week as I think of them.  That list, after some sorting and filtering, will become my list of goals for the week.  If this week goes like most, I'll feel pretty good if I get 1/2 way from the top to the bottom. 

If I were to be able to sit out on the patio with each of you, share some iced tea and talk about our goals, we would likely end up talking about improvements we want to make, new things we want to try around the homestead, and maybe some financial goals or career goals. We would surely have some family goals and some thoughts on what we want to do as we get older and start slowing down.

It is unlikely for most of us, me included, the first goal I would bring up would be a spiritual goal, but that is God’s goal for us. While it's great that we strive to care for those material things over which God has made us stewards, our first goal should always be to become more and more like Christ.

Romans 12:2  - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

I love these verses with encouragements that come with a promise.  IF you make it your goal to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, THEN you will be better equipped to know His will in the other areas of your life.  That's worth reiterating:  As we strive to become more and more like Christ, we find that the other goals we set for ourselves are more aligned with His.

Spiritual goals will not be our only personal goals, but every personal goal should aligned with God’s spiritual plan for our lives.  Jesus Himself, in the context of teaching us not to worry about having clothes or food, offered the same encouragement:

Matthew 6:33  - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Just is it's going to be tempting to measure the success of my week on the number of goals I have checked off my list, it's easy to measure the success of our lives by the tangible things we can count.  But that's not the way God counts success.

Do I want to be successful?  Of course but, if we really believe what he tells us, the key to being successful is to forget how the rest of the world defines success and to align our wills, our GOALS with God's.

Readers of Hoosier Country Home know that I always sign my posts with Col. 1:9-12.  That passage is my prayer for all who have taken the time to read and share my thoughts, my experiences, and a bit of my life.  It speaks to knowing and acting on God's will for our lives.  I'll include it in full here, and will continue to sign Hoosier Country Christian with that same scripture reference. 

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 

Now that's a path to real success and a real good week. 


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