Something on my heart today is the resistance you experience anytime you are moving towards a goal in your life. We all should have goals. Set a goal; revive your soul. I was thinking of the importance of setting goals. By doing this, you can revive your soul. We get to where we are going through the same cycles and of going through the motions in our life, in our work, in our relationships, in our marriages, in our friendships and even in our relationship with God. It’s like we put ourselves and our relationships on “autopilot”.
I was thinking of the importance of setting a goal. A goal can re-energize us. For example, you should have a goal related to your health. Maybe you’re not at the place in life where you can exercise 30-45 minutes per day. Sometimes small goals can lead to bigger goals. But you have to start out with a goal. Where do you want your health to be in the next month, 6 months or a year from now? Sometimes it’s as easy as standing in front of the tv and marching in place for five minutes. Do that every day and work up to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes. It’s kind of like the “snowball effect.”
Do you have any financial goals? Do you want to save towards your future? Do you want to begin practicing generosity more often? Would you like to give to the Lord’s work? Sometimes you have to be willing to start small and work your way up.
How about goals in your career? It’s important that we set goals for our personal careers. The Bible talks about this. The Apostle Paul said to press towards the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus. He urges us to be more like Christ. It’s good to set goals for your career. I had a goal to be in ministry and I thought about how I would achieve that. I knew I would have to attend Bible School. Then, I felt I was called to be a pastor, so I had to get involved in a good church and begin to serve. I did this in Albuquerque, NM. I volunteered — I was a home fellowship leader and then became a Singles Pastor for 10 years. My next goal (call it a Holy Ambition – I wasn’t trying to climb the ladder but I knew I had to show myself faithful in different stages of my ministry) was to be an Executive Pastor. I knew I was gaining experience so that one day I could be a Sr. Pastor. Low and behold, 15 years year ago this past weekend I became the Sr. Pastor of this great church, Trinity Church, here in Lubbock, TX.
Once you’ve achieved your goal, it doesn’t mean you stop setting goals in your career. Do you have any career goals? Maybe it’s to get through high school, college, or your post grad work. Then what’s your goal? What’s the dream career you want to have? Once you get there, you have to continue to set goals. Continue to set goals that challenge you.
For those of you that would like to be married, you set that goal — to one day get married. Then in your relationships, you have to set goals. This is so you don’t get stagnant and stay in one spot.
Spiritually, we should set goals. Remember, I started out saying – “set a goal; revive your soul.” There’s something about moving towards your goals in life. It’s important to set spiritual goals: to pray every day, to spend time in God’s word consistently. For some of you, a goal may be to read through the Bible for the very first time. Maybe it’ll take you two years. Most people have reading plans where you can do this in a year. These are important goals.
Once you’ve set a goal and begin to move towards it, there can begin to be a force of resistance that starts working against you. It seems like the closer you get to achieving your goal, the more resistance you will begin to experience. We see this even in the life of Jesus. The closer He got to His Heavenly goal (Jerusalem) and dying on the cross for us, the greater the spiritual attacks and resistance He had to push up against. So sometimes if you are facing resistance in your relationships, your marriage, at work, in the pursuit of your career, your educational goals, your financial goals, or generosity goals, you’re going to face resistance. There are going to be some headwinds. That could be a sign you’re getting closer to fulfilling those goals. Keep in mind the old saying, “Persistence wears down resistance.” I want to encourage you, whatever your goals may be, continue to be persistent because it will wear down the resistance. I was thinking about Nehemiah in the Old Testament. The closer he got to finishing his goal, to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem (completed in 56 days!), the greater the resistance. Greater were the attacks from the people, greater the attacks from within, greater the scandals, but he had to push through the resistance.
I want to encourage you, if you are encountering some resistance in the pursuit of your goals, I want to breathe life into those goals and those dreams. That resistance isn’t a bad thing necessarily. It can be what helps strengthen us and develops character. It can actually better prepare us to step into our bigger self when we actually reach those goals. Once we reach those goals, we begin to set new ones.
So, set a goal and revive your soul! Remember, persistence wears down resistance. I pray God’s best over you.