WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 03, 2023
TOPIC: WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 New Living Translation).
We’ve just entered the second half of this year. Are you realizing the goals you set for the year? Some people did not set any goals at the beginning of the year or they set unrealistic goals. Therefore, they have no goals really to review but only to lament over the economy, politics, and so on that they consider unfavourable.
While it is true that people may be facing challenges making the pursuit of goals difficult, Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 New Living Translation).
Those who set goals, which are threatened by negative factors in society, and those who didn’t set goals or set unrealistic goals, still have six months to make the most of this year. Also, it is proper for those who set goals at the beginning of the year to review or revise them and set achievable goals. Everyone who didn’t set goals or set unachievable goals now has the opportunity to set realistic goals and not waste the remaining half of the year.
In setting goals for yourself or revising your goals, first, find out God’s purpose for your life. In saying that, I assume that you are born again or you’ve given your life to Jesus. If you haven’t given your life to Jesus, I urge you to do that now. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour now.
Your goals should be related to your life’s purpose. I am talking about God-honouring goals. Paul speaks about his purpose in life. “But you know what I teach, Timothy, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is” (2 Timothy 3:10a New Living Translation). Do you know your purpose in life?
People waste their lives, energy, time, and other resources when their goals are out of wrong motives. God is not committed to helping them to realize such goals. Sometimes, God may not even oppose such people in realizing their wrong goals, but if they achieve them, they shouldn’t give credit to Him. He doesn’t need it. Such supposed success is more dangerous than a glaring failure because people are deceived that God is pleased with them because of their success. However, when you derive your goals from your purpose, these goals will transport you to the future God has for you.
Prayerfully receive and set your goals. Don’t pick goals from around you or what your friends and neighbours plan to do. As a child of God, derive your goals from God, not by copying others.
Let your goals not only be what you want to do but what God wants you to do. Let it be what God is prepared to help you to accomplish. So pray about your goals and listen to the Spirit of God.
Spend time with God and listen to the impression in your spirit. What is the Spirit of God moving your heart towards? What vision is God giving you? What steps is God telling you to take? Don’t leave God out of your goals. Saul, after the Lord encountered him on the way to Damascus, asked the Lord what He wanted him to do (Acts 9:6a).
Involve God in setting your goals. James 4:13-16 says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil” (New King James Version).
God does not grant just anything we desire. He is not quick to give us just anything we want. He is concerned about His purpose for our lives and wants us to derive whatever goals we want to pursue in life from that purpose. Some people waste their lives pursuing irrelevant goals.
Be careful that you don’t set high-sounding goals. Don’t set goals that suggest you’re just on an ego trip or out to impress others. Don’t build your castles in the air. You should concern yourself with what you believe the Holy Spirit is moving your heart to pursue in the remaining half of this year. It may not be an entirely new thing. It may be a new dimension of something you’re already doing. Don’t be moved by competitive jealousy, envy, or mere selfish ambition. God is not behind such.
Thank God for what He is doing for others, but face what He has set to do in your life. Don’t be like Peter, whom the Master, Jesus, had to scold because of his curiosity about the future of another. “Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?’ Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’ Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?’” (John 21:20-23 New King James Version).
In other words, Jesus told Peter to mind his business. I ask you, too, to mind your business. Set your goals; don’t be concerned about the goals of others or compete with them. “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 New Living Translation).
You must forget your past if you must press toward your goal. Paul the apostle said, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 New King James Version). Don’t be a slave to the past. Let it not frustrate your destiny.
That something didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean it is destined never to work. Learn lessons from the failure or success of the past, but don’t be a slave to the past. Don’t waste the remaining six months of this year.
Prayerfully set realistic goals and commit yourself to accomplishing them, depending on the Holy Spirit. Let your goals be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26b). Everything is possible for one who has faith (Mark 9:23b). Trust God and fulfil your responsibilities towards actualizing your goals. Pay the price. You shall not fail in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I will not waste the remaining six months of this year. I shall prayerfully set my goals and pursue them. I shall not wait for perfect conditions. I shall make the most of the remaining months of the year. I shall not allow myself to be distracted or discouraged.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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