Pearl 198: Legacy

TOPIC: Goals and Results

"And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, 'God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place'" - Genesis 50:25.

Joseph set a goal that could not be fulfilled in his lifetime, and that was to be buried in the Promised Land and not in Egypt. The good news about working on your goals today is that, when you entrust them to the Lord, He can see them through to completion, even after you're gone. Therefore, you can write, compose, build, teach, and create today in faith, for the One who lives forever will oversee your work and bring it to completion and distribute or draw attention to it as He sees fit. Are you setting goals in faith? Are you willing to work today and entrust the results to God for fulfillment after you're with Him? What effect can this mindset have on your work now?

Lord, I like the thought of working today for something that will outlast me, something I may not see fulfilled in my lifetime. That sets me free to work, trusting you for the results. My only job is to be obedient; You will take care of the results. From now on, I will work and set goals with eternity in mind and view.

Pearl 197: Kingdom Rule

TOPIC: Goals and Impact

"Roll your works upon the Lord
[commit and trust them wholly to Him;
He will cause your thoughts to become
agreeable to His will, and] so shall
your plans be established and succeed" - Proverbs 16:3 AMP.

God is not trying to trick you, or entice you to do something that is outside His will for your life. He is working with and through you to extend His kingdom rule in every area of life, including education, the military, entertainment, business, government and of course the Church. He is directing His will through your plans for each and every one of these areas of life, and HIs involvement will insure your success and fulfillment. Are you fighting against what is in your heart to do because it doesn't seem spiritual enough? Do you have a vision for one of the areas of life mentioned above? What goals can you set in those areas that will make a difference for God and the people you will serve?

Lord, I have a lot of ideas, but some don't seem spiritual and I have struggled to know which ones are in line with Your will. Now I see that they may all be! I won't really know until I set a goal and pursue the end result. So I will relax and trust You, confident my ideas aren't tricks from our enemy, but treasures from my Father.

Pearl 196: Thoughts

TOPIC: Goals and Guidance

"Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed" - Proverbs 16:3 AMP.

If your heart is set to do God's will and you sincerely and diligently seek Him, He will cause your thoughts to align with His will without fail. After all, God isn't trying to trick you or lead you off a cliff so you'll stumble and fall. He wants you to do His will. So doesn't it make sense that He will use the brain He created in you to lead and guide you? And of course ,your brain is where your thoughts live, so God will use your thoughts to direct and guide you. What thoughts have you consistently had that you put off because you're not sure they're from the Lord? Can you see today that they may very well be His way of directing you? What difference will that understanding make in how you set your goals?

Lord, I confess that I've been afraid of my own thoughts! Instead of seeing that You direct them, I've been cautious, assuming they were a trap and not a source of guidance and direction. Thank You for your patience and faithfulness as I ignored Your presence and work in my mind. No more!

Pearl 195: Moving and Doing

TOPIC: Goals and God's Help

" . . . for the Lord will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared" - Proverbs 3:26.

Your goals get you moving and doing. While you don't know all the obstacles that are ahead, the Lord does. He is at your side and will direct and secure your steps. With that kind of Helper, you should be bold and confident as you set goals and step out. Where have you been tentative and cautious, fearful you would make a wrong step so you have made no step? Are you moving and doing, or tentative and hesitant? What steps can you take today and this week that will move you along the path of your goals?

Lord, I reflect on my life and You have always been with me to guide my steps. There is no need for me to be fearful now. I commit to moving and doing without fear or trepidation, knowing that You are right by my side as a partner as I step out to achieve my goals.

Pearl 194: All Talk

TOPIC: Goals and Productivity

"All hard work brings a profit,
    but mere talk leads only to poverty" - Proverbs 14:23.

Believers are people of the Word, therefore what you say is important. Yet if you are not careful, however, you can talk about what you are going to do, and feel like you have done something because you are sincere. Yet talking is not the same as doing, plain and simple, and sincerity is not the measure of your effectiveness. Are you a good talker but poor doer?  Have you been tricked into thinking making a sincere wish is enough to please the Lord and fulfill your purpose? Can you see how goals can keep this all-talk-and no-do tendency from taking hold in your life?

Lord, I don't want to be all talk and no do. Deliver me from thinking that, because I have said "One day I will do this" or "I hope to go there some time," I have actually done something. While I know you value sincerity, I don't want sincerity to take the place of bearing fruit for You.

Pearl 193: Good for Something

TOPIC: Goals and Holiness

"It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right" - Proverbs 20:11.

It is not holiness alone that will set you apart, it is what deeds you perform out of your foundation and context of holiness and right conduct that complete your sanctification. And how can you perform well in the midst of your holy living? You guessed it - set some goals! And if you are going to set them, then set them high, beyond your reach, goals that can only be accomplished with God's help. What is on your goal list at the present time? Do you need to update that list? Are your goals 'stretch' goals that are just beyond your ability to perform with what you know today?

Lord, I want to be good for something and not good for nothing! Help me to focus my efforts not only on being holy, but also by doing holy as I set some godly, lofty and faith-filled goals. I know you can do the impossible, and it's time You did it through me and my efforts.

Pearl 192: Excess Success

TOPIC: Goals and Productivity

"He took his stick in his hand and chose
for himself five smooth stones from the
brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag
which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling
was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine" - 1 Samuel 17:40.

David's goal was to kill Goliath, but he took five stones with him. Was he prepared just in case he missed? No. It seems Goliath had four brothers and/or sons, so David was ready to exceed his goal and take them all out. He did not plan on missing, for he took one stone for each family member. Now that's faith! Do you have this same kind of confidence when you set goals? Do you consider that God is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all you can ask or think, so you can actually exceed your goals? What preparations are you making for the excess success?

Lord, You are a mighty God and I am Your servant. Therefore since I can do all things through Your strength, that relationship makes me a mighty servant! I want to act like this kind of servant and set goals that I will achieve and exceed.  From now on, I will pursue and expect excess success where my goals are concerned.

Pearl 191: Go It Alone

TOPIC: Goals and Experience

"And David said, 'The Lord who delivered me
from the paw of the lion and from the paw
of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand
of this Philistine.' And Saul said to David,
'Go, and may the Lord be with you'" - 1 Samuel 17:37-38.

David knew how to draw on the power of his past successes to propel him into new ones. He had already faced other giants, so this slightly larger one would just be another testimony when David brought him down. What's more, David had to go it alone, for Saul offered no support, advice or backup, except to try and have David fit into his two-sizes-too-big armor. Yet David was not alone, for he knew that God was with him from past experience and God was not about to fail him. Do you know how to draw on your past successes to encourage you to new ones today? Do you have any past success stories? Are you waiting for others to help you but realize now that you may have to go it alone?

Lord, You have brought me this far and I have already faced some giants and been victorious in You. These new giants will meet the same end with Your help. What's more, I have been waiting for others to help me, using that as an excuse for inactivity. I will no longer do that.

Pearl 190: An Expert

TOPIC: Goals and Obstacles

"Then Saul said to David, 'You are not able to go
against this Philistine to fight with him; for you
are but a youth while he has been a warrior
from his youth'” - 1 Samuel 17:33.

First David had to face opposition from his older brother, then he had to deal with the opposition from a a so-called expert, this time the king who had a lot more experience in battle and war. Saul looked at what he knew and what he knew limited his perspective. So sometimes, the lack of the 'truth' can set you free as it did for David in this instance. Where would an expert opinion tell you not to go where your goals are concerned? Where is your lack of experience actually helping you as you formulate your action plan? Whose expert voice do you need to consider but not take too seriously?

Lord, nothing is too difficult for You, so if You have commissioned me to do something, then You are all I need. I don't want to be stubborn and not listen to others, but I don't want Your elegant dream for my life to be foiled because of someone else's lack of vision or doubt. Set me free from what people think.

Pearl 189: Fear Rut

TOPIC: Goals and Leadership

"David said to Saul, 'Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine'" - 1 Samuel 17:32.

David was concerned over the effect Goliath had on the people, since he saw them gripped with fear. He went to Saul, the leader in title only who himself was  fearful, and that made David the true leader in this situation because he had the courage to set and pursue the goal of taking down the giant. When you set a goal, it can be for the benefit of others who are stuck in their own fear rut and can't get out. Your goal can help them set one of their own or inspire them to action. Also, when you set a goal, it sometimes makes you a leader whether or not you have the title, salary, or authority of the position. Where are you willing to act while others are paralyzed with fear? Are you willing to be the leader when no one else is leading? What do you have courage to do at this point in time about a need or problem you are encountering?

Lord, I know what it's like to be in a fear rut and I want to help others escape their own ruts. The best way I can do this is to set a bold goal to help us all escape. I'm not afraid of leading whether or not people recognize my leadership or give me the authority or credit. I will set goals for Your glory, goals that meet a need and help others in some tangible way!