How To Set Your Goals

They tried to go…but the Spir­it did not per­mit them.” Ac 16.7 NKJV

We’ve all been giv­en indi­vid­ual gifts and goals in life, and God is the giv­er of both. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spir­it is spir­it” (Jn 3:6 NKJ\/). When you have a desire that’s “born of the flesh,” don’t expect God to ful­fill it. It’s okay to admire and learn from gift­ed, suc­cess­ful peo­ple, as long as you don’t try to dupli­cate them. It’s okay to emu­late their good char­ac­ter qual­i­ties and seek their input as long as you go to God, the archi­tect of each of our lives, and ask Him to show you His blue­print for your life. Even though David’s desire was to build the tem­ple, God told him his son, Solomon, would ulti­mate­ly build it. David’s job was to raise the mon­ey and mate­ri­als for the project. If you’re a “make-it-hap­pen” sort of per­son, that kind of think­ing will go against your grain. So read this and think about it: “they were for­bid­den by the… Spir­it to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithyn­la, but the Spir­it did not per­mit them. So pass­ing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Mace­do­nia… plead­ed with him, say­ing, ‘Come over to Mace­do­nia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, imme­di­ate­ly we sought to go to Mace­do­nia, con­clud­ing that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Ac 16:6–10 NKJV). So let God set your goals and you’ll be head­ing in the right direc­tion.

Before you were born I set you apart.” Jer 1:5 NIV

(1) Ask God to tell you who you are. Book­store shelves are lined with vol­umes of books telling us that we can be any­thing we make up our minds to be. And while there’s some truth to that, it’s not the whole truth! A dog may believe it can fly, but if it tries to, it will go ‘splat.’ A fish may believe it can bark, but it’s not going to hap­pen. Bot­tom line: Dogs and fish may pray, believe, claim, con­fess, and try all they want, but they won’t suc­ceed. Why? Because God will only empow­er you to be what He called and equipped you to be. He told Jere­mi­ah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appoint­ed you as a prophet to the nations.’ ‘Alas, Sov­er­eign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, I am too young. You must go to every­one I send you to and say what­ev­er I com­mand you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will res­cue you,’ declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘I have put my words in your mouth’” (vv. 5–9 N l\/). When God equips you with one tal­ent, He does­n’t give you a five-taIent assign­ment, and vice ver­sa (See Mt 25:14–15). And here’s the great thing: The one-tal­ent per­son and the five-tal­ent per­son will one day stand before Him and hear the com­men­da­tion: “Well done, good and faith­ful ser­vant” (Mt 25:21 NKJV).

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own under­stand­ing.” Pr 3:5 NIV

(2) Trust in God more than in your­self. That does­n’t mean you should go through life doubt­ing and sec­ond-guess­ing your­self, or being afraid to move in case you make a mis­take. When you rec­og­nize and embrace God’s plan for your life, you tap into the pow­er you need to ful­fill it. False humil­i­ty will hand­i­cap you spir­i­tu­al­ly, men­tal­ly, and emo­tion­al­ly, and keep you from mov­ing for­ward. When God called Jere­mi­ah to be a prophet, he protest­ed, “I am a child” (Jer 1:6). But lis­ten to what God told him: “Say not, ‘I am a child’” (v.7). As sure­ly as “the tongue can bring death or life” (Pr 18:21 NLT), you must learn to speak God’s Word over the vision He has giv­en you. Yes, it’s a mis­take to think you can play God’s role or that He will play yours. But once you under­stand your per­son­al assign­ment and tap into His pow­er, you can start believ­ing for suc­cess, regard­less of what obsta­cles may stand in your way. When you know you’re in the will of God, doing what He told you to do, you can stand con­fi­dent­ly on these Scrip­tures: “Not by might nor by pow­er, but by My Spir­it,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zec 4:6 NKJV). “One man… shal| chase a thou­sand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised” (Jos 23:10 NKJV). “ln the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul” (Ps 138:3 NKJV). You’re not alone today-God is with you!

I will give men for you, and peo­ple for your life.” Isa 43:4 NKJV

(3) Depend on God more than on oth­ers. That does­n’t mean you don’t need oth­er peo­ple. You do. When God calls some­one to do a job, He calls oth­ers to stand along­side them. God’s promise is: “I will give men for you, and peo­ple for your life.” So ask Him who belongs in your life. In Exo­dus chap­ter 17, as long as Moses held his hands up, Israel’s armies pre­vailed in bat­tle, but when his hands grew tired the bat­tle went the oth­er way. So Aaron and Hur stood by Moses and held up his hands until vic­to­ry over the Amalekites was com­plete. You need peo­ple who know how to hold up your hands and strength­en you. Paul wrote, “I have no one else like Tim­o­thy, who gen­uine­ly cares about your wel­fare. All the oth­ers care only for them­selves… but… Tim­o­thy has proved him­self” (Php 2:20–22 NLT). In fact, Paul took an entire chap­ter of the Bible to acknowl­edge and thank all those who made it pos­si­ble for him to suc­ceed in his call­ing. He writes about peo­ple “who risked their own necks for my life, to whom I not only give thanks, but also all the church­es” (Ro 16:4 NKJV). Some of us are stub­born and self-cen­tered; we sub­scribe to the phi­los­o­phy, “It’s my way or the high­way.” We burn through peo­ple, leav­ing wreck­age in our wake. Don’t do it! When God sends gift­ed peo­ple into your life, acknowl­edge them, respect them, train them, moti­vate them, and reward them. When you do that, not only will you ful­fill your goal, you will cre­ate a win/win for every­body.

My rel­a­tives stand afar off.” Ps 38:11 NKJV

(4) Dis­cern who belongs in your life and who does­n’t. One of the tough­est parts about reach­ing your goal is dis­cov­er­ing that some of the peo­ple clos­est to you don’t share it or want to be part of it. You can spend years try­ing to con­vince them. You may even be able to buy their short-term loy­al­ty, but even­tu­al­ly they’ll leave you, often break­ing your heart in the process. Paul wrote, “All those in Asia have turned away from me” (2Ti 1:15 NKJV). “Demas has for­sak­en me, hav­ing loved this present world” (2Ti 4:10 NKJV). Can’t you hear the heartache and dis­ap­point­ment in his words? And when God gives you a great goal, you may expe­ri­ence the same thing. Some­body said, ‘In pros­per­i­ty our friends know us; in adver­si­ty we know our friends.” How true! When dis­as­ter blind­sided Job, he said, “All my close friends abhor me, and those whom I love have turned against me” (Job 19:19 NKJV). David’s expe­ri­ence caused him to say, ‘My rel­a­tives stand afar off.’ Solomon in his wis­dom sums it all up: “Con­fi­dence in an unfaith­ful man in time of trou­ble is like a bad tooth” (Pr 25:19 NKJV). The truth is that peo­ple who don’t respect your goal will detract from it. You can min­is­ter to them and try to encour­age them with words that strength­en and bless, but if you insist on hold­ing on to them, like an infect­ed tooth, they will end up hurt­ing you. Jesus told His dis­ci­ples, “if any­one will not wel­come you or lis­ten to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet” (Mt 10:14 NIV). In order to reach your God-giv­en goal, some­times you have to do that.

Write down the rev­e­la­tion and make it plain.” Hab 2:2 NIV

(5) Put your goals in writ­ing. God told the prophet Habakkuk, “Write down the rev­e­la­tion and make it plain…so that a her­ald may run with it. For the rev­e­la­tion awaits an appoint­ed time…Though it linger, wait for it; it will cer­tain­ly come and will not delay” (vv. 2–3 NIV). Note the word “delay,” because it’s not one we par­tic­u­lar­ly like. God can give you a vision overnight, but usu­al­ly it won’t be ful­filled overnight. You’ll face dis­ap­point­ments, dis­cour­age­ments, and delays. Because your vision always costs more than you esti­mat­ed, and takes longer than you planned, it can become “blurred” by your cir­cum­stances and emo­tions. That’s why it’s so impor­tant to write it down and keep it in front of you! Why did God tell Abra­ham that his chil­dren would be as numer­ous as the stars in heav­en? Because stars are some­thing you can phys­i­cal­ly look at and count. “Where there is no vision, the peo­ple per­ish [lan­guish and waste away]” (Pr 29:18). The word per­ish sug­gests some­thing that’s slow­ly decay­ing, and that’s what hap­pens when you don’t keep your God-giv­en vision in front of you. If you’ve dreamed of los­ing weight, — post a pic­ture that inspires you on your refrig­er­a­tor. if you dream of one day own­ing your own home, stick a pic­ture of it on your bul­letin board. And if your goal is to give a cer­tain amount to God’s work, write a check for that amount and place it where you’ll see it every day. With a clear-cut writ­ten goal, you’ll always know where you are and remem­ber what God has called you to do.

Source: The Word For You Today – SupperChannel55, Orlan­do, FL, pub­lished on Octo­ber 12–17.