W2D5 - Goals

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in
Christ Jesus" - Philippians 3:14.

This verse gives you the anatomy of a goal. The first concept is that a goal helps leaders to press on. That means there is something pressing against the organization - resistance to change, economic concerns, uncertainty - and the goal helps the leader and her team press back with greater force and energy so progress can be made. Goals harnass energy and that energy can be used to overcome the inertia and obstacles that oppose change and achievement.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Is your team clear on the goals you are pursuing? Are you clear and precise? Do you have goals to help you 'press on'? Meet with your team, your family or maybe just spend some time alone and determine if you have the kind of clarity of goals and direction that has everyone pulling in the same direction. If not, then it's time to go back to the vision and set goals to help achieve that end.

Pearl 361: Thorns and Thistles

TOPIC: Goals and Fruitfulness

"Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned" - Hebrews 6:7-8.

Productivity and fruitfulness are constant themes and expectations in the Bible for those who know the Lord. God has changed the "soil" of your heart. You have "rain" falling in your lifeGod's grace, mercy, creative inspiration, and insight. Along with those, you are exposed to the insight and encouragement of God's word. Therefore, you have a mandate to produce a crop useful to the Lord and others. There's no better way to ensure you produce a regular crop of fruit than to set and persevere in your goals that are specific and marinated in faith. What are your goals for next year? For the next five years? For the next ten? What has God put in your heart to do? Can you be diligent to produce it?

Lord, I don't want You to consider me 'useless ground' because I produce thorns and thistles, weeds instead of fruit. My objective is to produce a crop that will impress even You (if that's possible). And I don't just want to achieve easy-within-my-reach goals, but ones that require my complete faith and trust in Your provision and help.

Pearl 356: Tree of Life

TOPIC: Goals and God's Plan

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" - Proverbs 13:12.

There are undoubtedly many things in your heart, many things you have said you would like to do one day. In the words of the wisdom writer, you have a longing. When you set a goal and achieve it, you find life and that life is similar in terminology to the tree of life that was mentioned in the Garden of Eden. So when you set and reach goals, you are cooperating with God's original plan for mankind to exercise dominion over the things of earth. If you don't set goals, then you are deferring your hope and you will be heartsick, and that can lead to physical illness as well. As you approach the new year, why not take some time today in the midst of your busy schedule and set some goals?

Lord, I want to function as you created me to do, and part of that is to achieve the things that are in my heart to do and be. I understand that goal-setting is not optional in that process, so I commit to put down in writing the hopes I have in my heart and work diligently to make them happen.

Pearl 351: Next Year

TOPIC: Goals and Balance

"A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth" - Proverbs 17:24.

Goals help you focus on something that's important to you and then help you stay focused. Without them, you tend to either daydream - which in this verse is described as your eyes wandering to the ends of the earth - or replicate what you already have and do every day, without any growth or change. Can you name a few goals you achieved this past year? Can you identify some on which you made significant progress? What about next year? What are your goals for the coming year and beyond?

Lord, I want to be realistic, but also set faith goals beyond my reach but within my capability of achieving with Your help. Help me to strike the proper balance of stretch and reality. Thank You for what I was able to accomplish this past year, but next year I want more, and will start to plan for that more right now.

Pearl 348: Holiness and Fruit

TOPIC: Goals and Productivity

"For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" - 2 Peter 1:8.

The Greek words for ineffective and unproductive are defined as being lazy, shunning the work that one has to do, and not yielding the fruit that one ought to produce. Your knowledge of and relationship with Jesus should enable you to be fruitful and goal-setting is one means by which that productivity can come to pass. What's more, your holiness should be increasing if you expect to be effective and productive. Are your holiness qualities helping you bear good fruit? Are your goals helping you produce this fruit? What new goals can you set that will stretch your faith and increase your productivity as you grow in your knowledge of God?

Lord, I don't just want to be holy, but holy and productive in Your will for my life. I have things in my heart I have been hesitant to express and pursue. Help me overcome my hesitancy to commit to a course of action through goals and then once I do that to persevere to see the goals accomplished.

Pearl 340: Bold Goals

TOPIC: Goals and Speech

"This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel" - 1 Samuel 17:46.

You would have to admit that David was specific, graphic even, when he described his goal when he confronted Goliath. He acknowledged God's help but then painted a specific picture of what he was going to do, and the eventual outcome was exactly what he described. He knew his ability with the sling and was confident that God endorsed his course of action and would be present to help him fight the giant. How clear are your goals? Do you have kind of clarity and specificity David's had? What is preventing you from having that kind of confidence that leads to a clear description and speech?

Lord, I love this story, but I'm not anxious to replicate it in my own life. David put himself on the line with such a bold proclamation and I'm often afraid to do that. What if I fail? What if I say the wrong thing? Help me, Lord, to deal with my fears and then boldly proclaim what I believe You will help me accomplish.

Pearl 212: Immeasurably More

TOPIC: Goals and Results

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably
more than all we ask or imagine, according
to his power that is at work within us, . . ." - Ephesians 3:20.

God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or think, but only with the power that works in you. If there is no power in you, then there is no God-produced immeasurably more. No matter how big your thinking, you cannot think in terms bigger than God. This means that no matter what goal you set, you should expect to exceed whatever you intended to be the end results. Is there power at work in you that can release God's power? Do you expect to achieve and exceed your goals? Are you thinking big enough for God?

Lord, I want to see You do more than anyone expected. For that to happen, I know You must use me. That means I can limit Your effectiveness and work. Help me to see and remove those areas where I am blocking your immeasurably more capabilities, and then set goals expecting exceedingly abundant results.

Pearl 211: Self-Prayer

TOPIC: Goals and Prayer

"I pray that out of his glorious riches
he may strengthen you with power
through his Spirit in your inner being" - Ephesians 3:16.

Perhaps you have a prayer list that contains many noble and worthy prayer goals. Here we see that Paul prayed for others to receive this empowerment, now how about you pray this for yourself! You cannot empower someone else or achieve your purpose and goals without this kind of energy, so go ahead, build yourself up and pray for yourself. While you pray for others, do you pray for yourself? What do you pray? Are you hesitant to pray that God will build you up and make you strong in His might? What will you accomplish with this power?

Lord, I pray that out of your glorious riches You strengthen me with power through Your Holy Spirit in my inner being. I pray that I use this power to set and achieve lofty goals for Your glory to further Your purpose and Kingdom on the earth in my part of the world. Amen!

Pearl 210: Goal Power

TOPIC: Goals and Energy

"I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power" - Ephesians 3:7.

The word for 'working' here is the Greek word for our English word 'energy.' That's what you need, what you should be looking for, if you want to achieve lofty goals with supernatural results: God's power. This power is available to you when you serve your purpose and see it as a gift from God. Then you decide to make the most of your purpose by setting goals that take you out of your comfort zone and beyond your natural abilities. Do you remember a time when this energy flowed through you? What were you doing? Do you sense divine energy working in and through you right now? What goals have you set that require this kind of supernatural power?

Lord, I need this goal power working in my life, for otherwise my life is mundane and boring. Yet with You, it can be exhilarating! Help me to tap into Your energy through lofty goals that energize me because those goals glorify You and help me fulfill my assigned purpose.

Pearl 209: Power

TOPIC: Goals and Divine Help

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has
called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his
holy people, and his incomparably great power for us
who believe. That power is the same as the mighty
strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the
dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly
realms, . . ." - Ephesians 1:19-20.

You need God's help to see that you have tremendous power available to you as you carry out your life's purpose and pursue your goals. What kind of power? It is the same power that God exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and then seated Him at His right hand. Now that's power - power that cannot be stopped and cannot end. Imagine that you have the same Spirit living in you who raised Christ from the dead and then go draw on that same power to achieve great things for God. Do your eyes need to be opened? Are you effectively drawing on the power that is yours in Christ? What can you point to that shows this power at work in your life?

Lord, I am underliving my life, for I have not learned how to make the power in today's passage part of my daily routine. I am sitting on a great generator and I am only drawing on enough juice to run a hot plate! Open my eyes to realize the power and then help me use it that great power to do great things for You.