Stephen Strang: “What God-inspired goals do you have for your life?”
Fulfill Every Bit of Potential God Has Given You
The Holy Spirit’s power and presence can change everything in our lives. People are desperate to experience this power and to do so at a great level. But the culture discounts most things that have to do with being a Christian, and many lukewarm believers downplay the Holy Spirit’s power as unimportant.
The last two thousand years of church history is full of men and women who have done great things for God through the power of the Holy Spirit, beginning with the apostles. But what about today? Who dares to believe in God in new and fresh ways? Who will be fully led by the Holy Spirit? Who will move in His gifts and demonstrate His fruit so His presence is evident in our lives?
A Neglected Key to Living Boldly in the Spirit
I firmly believe one key to living more boldly in the power of the Spirit is something rarely discussed in Christian circles—setting goals. Business people emphasize it, but to many sincere believers, goal-setting isn’t spiritual. Yet if we are to have a dynamic life in the Spirit, we must include this important concept. It’s as someone once said: If you want to see miraculous fruit in your life, you must have faith as if it depends on God and work as if it depends on you. Goals help us focus our efforts as we pursue God’s vision for our lives.
We should believe God for new mountains to climb and new visions to pursue. That is how we grow and develop our faith and move from “glory to glory.”
Once we have let God birth a vision into our spirits and have determined to implement it no matter the cost, then we must decide how we are going to accomplish it. This is where goal-setting becomes a critical tool. In fact, over the years I have found this has been key in seeing God’s vision unfold in my life.
Setting a goal is like focusing sunlight with a magnifying glass. When your life energy is shining on a pinpoint, you can start a fire. A goal poorly set is better than no goal because if you have a goal of any kind, you’re at least going somewhere, even if the destination is not carefully mapped out. Writing down spiritual, family, professional, self-improvement, or fitness goals often will set in motion the habits necessary to achieve them. The mind moves in the direction of its dominant thoughts, and what you measure and monitor improves.
When Jamie Buckingham challenged me to think of what I would do if I knew I could not fail, I realized how small my dreams had been and how much I was limiting God. I made a decision to change. Now I consciously try not to limit God, even though I am sure His plans for my life go further than I imagine.
The apostle Paul had the vision of going to Jerusalem and then on to Rome. He didn’t consider that he would make those visits as a prisoner, but that’s how it came about. Often, God must delay the fulfilling of a vision or desire until He has prepared us to be people who can handle it with grace and humility. It is not God’s nature to give us greater visions and accomplishments if they will work to our destruction. Instead, God allows us to be hammered into the shape of a vessel that can gracefully contain the vision.
What God-inspired goals do you have for your life? Are you a scientist or doctor who can set a goal of finding a cure for a disease? Are you an entrepreneur who can pledge to give several million dollars to a credible mission organization? Are you a board member or pastor who can start a program for the poor in your city or network churches to meet the need? What would you do if there were no boundaries on your imagination or budget?
If you haven’t had big goals and dreams before now, I pray you will learn to set goals and give them deadlines. Keep in mind that when you stand before the Lord, He will hold you accountable for the talents, resources, and dreams He bestowed upon you. You stand to lose nothing by going for God’s highest plan for you, and on that day when He says to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” you will know that you attempted and accomplished much for your Savior.
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