Not every goal that you can set is a good goal. Not every goal is a goal that God’s going to bless. So, you want to set goals in these seven areas over the next seven weeks, you want to set these in your life, but you want to set the kind of goal that God is going to bless, God’s going to give you the power to do.
So how do I know the kind of goal that God will bless? Let me give you three questions. When you get ready to set a goal you want to ask these three questions:
1. WILL it HONOR GOD?
That’s the first question you ask. Will this goal honor God? What kind of goal would honor God? What kind of goal brings glory to God? Any goal that causes you to trust him more, to depend on him more, to love him more, to love other people more, to serve God, to serve others, to be more unselfish. Those are going to be good goals.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:20 “God paid a great price for you. [Look at the cross] So use your body to honor God.”
Are you using your body to honor God? Or are you using your body for pleasure, for selfish reasons? Use your body to honor God. Circle that.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “When you eat or drink or do anything, always do it to honor God.” Everything can be done to honor God. You can take out the garbage to honor God. You can wash dishes to honor God. You can clean out your car to honor God. Or your closet. You can study for a test to honor God. How? By doing it with the right motive – out of gratitude. And for the right motivation – I want my life to bring honor to God so I’m going to be the best I can be for God’s sake.
Will this goal honor God? The Bible says this “We make it our goal to please him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9.
2. IS IT MOTIVATED BY LOVE?
That’s the second question you ask when you set a goal for your finances, your health, your relationships. Is this goal motivated by loved?
God is not going to bless a goal motivated by greed – I want to make a lot of money. God is not going to bless a goal motivated by competition – I want to be better than that company. God is not going to bless a goal motivated by envy. God is not going to bless a goal motivated by greed or grief or guilt or grudges. He’s not going to honor a goal that’s built on worry or fear or anxiety. God is not going to bless a goal that’s motivated by materialism or by ego or by pride.
But when you set a goal out of love – God, I want to do this because I love you and I want to love other people – God’s going to honor that because it’s all about love. Life is all about learning how to love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 “Everything you do must be done with love.” Everything. 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Love must be your highest goal.” That should be the number one goal in your life – I want to learn to really love. I want to learn to love unlovely people. I want to learn to love the loveless and the unloved. I want to learn to love people who are hard to love. That’s being like God.
Why is it important for you to have goals that are based on love? Because if you set loveless goals, you’re going to treat people as projects. You’re going to run all over them to get to your goal. You’re going to run over your marriage, you’re going to run over your friends, you’re going to run over other people climbing up the ladder of success. God says, No. You’ve got it all wrong. It’s not about accomplishments. It’s about relationships. It’s about learning how to love.
3. WILL IT REQUIRE DEPENDING ON GOD?
Will this goal require depending on God? Remember I said earlier, Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” If you don’t have a goal that requires faith then it’s not a pleasing-to-God goal. Romans 14:23 “Everything that doesn’t come from faith is sin.” If you have a goal that’s so small it doesn’t require any faith to do it, it’s a sin. Whatever is not of faith the Bible says, it is sin.
Look at this verse, Proverbs 16:9 “We plan the way we want to live but only God makes us able to live it.” I love that in The Message paraphrase. That’s what we’re going to do during Fifty Days of Transformation. You get to plan the way you want to live. This series is to help you make the rest of your life the best of your life. We get to plan the way we want to live. But, it says, only God gives us the power, gives us the energy, gives us the ability to actually do it. To make the transformation. Why? Because God provides the three things you must have to reach your goal.
Three things you must have to reach your goal, three things you must have to change your life.
· I NEED GOD’S SPIRIT TO EMPOWER ME
Zechariah 4:6 says “You will not succeed by your own strength or your own power but by my Spirit says the Lord.” I need God’s Spirit to empower me to make changes I can’t make on my own.
· I NEED GOD’S WORD TO GUIDE ME
I need God’s Spirit to empower me; I need God’s Word to guide me. This book, the Bible, is the owner’s manual for life. The more you get this book into your mind, your heart, your life. The more you read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, the more successful, the more fulfilled, the stronger you’re going to be in life.
When Joshua was given the great dream of taking over the Promised Land and it was a goal that was going to take him the rest of his life, God had these words to say to Joshua. Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book [That’s the Bible] of the Law on your lips. [In other words, talk about it all the time.] Recite it by day and by night, [That means memorize it so you can quote it] that you may carefully follow all that is written in it; [That’s the premise; here’s the promise] THEN you will successfully attain your goal.”
If you ever intend to be in business for yourself you ought to memorize that verse. In fact, it’s a good verse for everybody to memorize. Keep this book of the law in your heart. Read it, memorize it, live it, practice it, study it. That you’re careful to follow it, obey it.] Then you will be successful. You will attain your goal.
That is one of the greatest promises of success in the Bible. That promise didn’t come from Tony Robbins or some self-help guru. That promise comes from God. You will successfully attain your goal. How? If you become a man of the Word or you become a woman of the Word, all you need to know about life is in this book right here. I need God’s Spirit to empower me and I need God’s Word to guide me.
The third thing I need is
· I NEED GOD’S PEOPLE TO SUPPORT ME
You will not be able to reach your goals on your own. I haven’t been able to reach my goals on my own. It takes a team to fulfill a dream. You need other people in your life. This is why we suggest that everybody in our church family be in a small group. You’re never going to feel like a part of our church until you’re in a small group.
A crowd can’t support you. But a small group can. Three, four, five, six other people. They can know when you’re sick. They can know when you’re having a tough time, when you’ve had a bad day. A crowd can’t support you but a community – a small group can.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says this “By yourself you’re unprotected. [That means like in a football game. You’re unprotected. You’re out there running down the field by yourself. You don’t have anybody to block and tackle for you. There’s nobody out there to protect you. If you’re not in a small group you don’t have any block and tacklers. You don’t have anybody that’s going to speak up for you, stand up for you. By yourself you’re unprotected…] But with a friend you can face the worst. [Boy! Did I learn that this last year!] And a group of three is even better because a rope braided with three strands is not easily snapped!”
What do you call three people meeting together? A small group. That’s what it is. Jesus said “Where two or three are gathered in my name I’ll be in the midst of them.”
From Rick Warren's Transformed Campaign