New Year, New Beginnings!
This is the time of the year when we are beginning to establish goals to master our personal visions. To kick down doors and to overcome obstacles. We are focused, we are pumped, and we have all our affirmations aligned to keep us on track. For the past twelve weeks, I have been reading and meditating on Philippians 3:10. I have read the scripture in different translations and journaled its meaning. Each time, I have received something different as I evaluate my determined purpose.
“For my determined purpose is that I may know Jesus. That I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving, and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly. That I may in the same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection, which exerts over believers, and that I may share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness.”Philippians 3:10 (AMPC)
Progressively, Deeply, and Intimately Acquainted
To progressively become deeply and intimately acquainted with Jesus is a gradual and increasing process of yielding my mind and heart to be transformed by His word. So that I may take the paths which He has prepared, and to walk in them living the good life which He has already prearranged for me. It is developing the mindset to exert the power to destroy every thought, word, or deed that exalts itself against the true knowledge of God. As I am constructing my goals, I do not want to do so without Jesus. Or, outside of the plan that has been established for my life. I want to follow God and achieve my goals with a purpose.
This year, I am not going to be quick to check off the boxes on my list. A checked box holds no weight if there isn’t progressive growth and sustainability. God is wanting to work deeply within our hearts to transform us according to His wisdom and truths to accomplish His will. He doesn’t want us to aimlessly wander through life without Him.
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to proverty.”Proverbs 21:5 (NLT)
When good planning is combined with an intimate relationship with Jesus the harvest will be plentiful. Dependence and reverence for God are essential to receiving wisdom on how to effectively set goals. A good plan requires SMART goals that are Christ-centered.
Specific, Meaningful, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
“Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.”Proverbs 1:23
God is inviting us to seek Him for guidance. He is so willing to pour out his heart to share His thoughts with us. In prayer, specifically, ask God for direction and wait for him to respond. It is our responsibility to be patient and willing to listen. We can not rush the process. Because, when we become impatient, we open the door to the spirit of pride. Pride entices us to take matters into our own hands.
Prayer helps to define and illuminate your path. The goals we set become ineffective when they lack sufficient direction.
“Plans succeed through good counsel.”Proverbs 20:18
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
When we establish goals based upon the context of God’s counsel, they become meaningful and glorify Him. God provides guidance based upon the embodiment of His word. We must consistently examine motives for setting goals.
What is the purpose of your goals? Have you established goals that will bring glory and honor to yourself? Or will your goals honor and glorify God?
Establishing meaningful goals includes making God a vital part of everything that we do. By doing so, He will guide us in accomplishing His will and make our paths prosperous.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
“My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you on straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions, don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.”Proverbs 4:10-13 (NLT)
When we walk according to God’s precepts and continuously run to him, we will reach our goals more quickly and efficiently. Psalm 139:13-18 affirms that God’s purpose for you is already planted inside of you. However, we are notorious for attempting to control what happens in our lives. This type of over-influence also creates opportunities for us to be led down the wrong path. We allow images to create ideas of what we want and our emotions impact how fast we expect to get it. We tend to get impatient and fail to surrender control unto God and trust that God will meet our deepest needs.
“The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man’s gift makes room for Him.”Proverbs 18:15-16
Everyone has certain talents or God-given gifts. Evaluate how your goals are relevant to the purpose and gifts that God has bestowed upon you. For a goal to be relevant it must be realistic and represent the purpose God has graced you with. Using your talents for God can help you find purposeful work and share God’s love with others.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
“God determines our steps.”Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)
Timing is everything and everything will happen according to His perfect will. If you find yourself getting impatient or wanting to move ahead of God, take a moment to reflect upon your determined purpose. It is essential that we submit to His timeframe and will. Because in due season we will reap a mighty harvest if we do not give up.
God’s perfect timing does two things:
- It grows our faith and produces endurance. Leading to spiritual maturity and inner peace. (James 1:2-8)
- Provides the ability for us to increase our trust in Him. Our trust makes certain that He, and He alone, gets the glory and praise for our success.
Journal Your Goals
Powerful things happen when you journal your goals! Journal the conversations that you have with God, be honest about your endeavors, concerns, and potential shortcomings. Identify and write down scriptures that will help you to stay on track. Writing creates accountability. Bottom-line-up-front, if you are not focused and doing your own thing due to a lack of clarity, you will have a tough time accomplishing your goals.
You are ready to set your goals when you have accepted God’s invitation to receive his counsel!Shatoya P. Aylor, Virtuously Unveiled
Connect With Me in VU Journaling!
If you would like to receive support during your journaling journey please connect with me in my Scripture Journaling Group, VU Journaling. This month we are kicking off the year with “Seeking Wisdom.”
Our Journal & Bible Reading Plan will focus on what it means to become progressively, deeply, and intimately acquainted with Jesus; and the importance of seeking Him for wisdom. We will discuss the following that are essential for establishing goals:
- Honor and respect towards God (Proverbs 1:7)
- A desire to follow and imitate God as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ; without self-reliance and in the spirit of pride (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Join VU Journaling today! I would love to have you a part of my group.