WHAT GOALS ARE YOU PURSUING THIS YEAR?

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

JANUARY 28, 2024

TOPIC: WHAT GOALS ARE YOU PURSUING THIS YEAR?

BY T. O. BANSO

“I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 American Standard Version).

A goal is “the end toward which effort is directed.” It is also “an objective or target that someone is trying to reach or achieve.” In addition, it is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” The first month of this year ends in a couple of days. What are you going to do with the remaining months? What goals have you set for yourself for this year? What goals are you pursuing?

Where there is no clearly defined goal, people remain stagnant or go astray. Where there is no clearly defined goal, people lack the enthusiasm to do anything great. Where there is no goal, people live aimlessly and can die prematurely. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (King James Version). 

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (American Standard Version). Earlier in verse 13, Paul said, “Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before” (American Standard Version).  

Paul had a goal that he was pursuing which kept him going despite all the challenges that could have frustrated him. His eyes were more focused on his goal than on his problems. He regarded problems as unavoidable obstacles. He must overcome them and get to the destination; he would not give up on the way. And he achieved his goal.

Listen to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27: Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (New King James Version).

Only those who have the kind of mindset of Paul can set godly goals and achieve them. Those who understand the heartbeat of God. Those whose values and desires align with those of God. Those who have faith in God to empower them. Those who have set their face like a flint. Those who have acquired the required discipline and are ready to pay the price to win the prize.

Will you go through this year purposefully or aimlessly? Are you going to believe in God for greater things? Jesus told Nathaniel, “You will see greater things than these” (John 1:50b New King James Version). This year can be your year of greater things if you cooperate with God to give birth to what He has in store for you or wants to accomplish in your life.

God wants you to set and pursue goals that align with His plan and purpose. Don’t fight as one who beats the air (1 Corinthians 9:26). Be certain about the goals you’re pursuing. I’m not talking about the New Year resolutions, which many have already disregarded. Neither am I talking about high-sounding goals that only make one feel good or probably impress others.

I am talking about specific goals that align with God’s will for you and that you believe Him to accomplish within a particular period. These goals could be bigger than you but not too big for God to help you achieve. They are goals you cannot realize by your strength, wisdom, or resources alone but with the help of  God. This is called faith. “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead” (Hebrews 11:1 The Living Bible). 

These goals are not a long list of your wants or aspirations in life. They are God’s priority for you this year. Paul said in Philippians 3:13 that he was focusing on one thing. “No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (The Living Bible).

Jesus said to Martha, “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42 King James Version). Not two or three things but only one thing was supposed to be the top priority at that time and, unfortunately, Martha missed it. You won’t miss it in Jesus’ name. You will get your goals right.

Your goals can relate to spiritual attainment, as it was in the case of Paul that we saw earlier. They could also be issues of interest in other aspects of your life, other than spiritual. They could be in your ministry, marriage, academics, business, and so on. God is interested in your total well-being. He is interested in every aspect of your life. And you need the power of God to attain your goals in every area of your life.

What goals are you pursuing, which you depend on God for their accomplishment? “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes’” (Mark 9:23 New King James Version). Do you believe it? “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible’” (Mark 10:27 New King James Version). Some things may be impossible for you but with God all things are possible.

In the world, they talk of S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals. The Holy Spirit can help you to set S.M.A.R.T. goals beyond what your intelligence alone can strive to do. A God-inspired goal is achievable even when it seems unreasonable to you or others. God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 22:29 New King James Version). Nevertheless, you must do your part, which includes avoiding distractions, being well-focused, paying the price, and being diligent.

Proverbs 21:5 says, The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage, but everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty” (Amplified Bible). The chapter continues in verse 20, There is precious treasure and oil in the house of the wise [who prepare for the future], but a short-sighted and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it” (Amplified Bible).

To achieve your goals, you need discipline. The Apostle Paul talks about how he disciplined his body to achieve his goal. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27 New Living Translation).

Some people were not able to realize their goals in the past because they slept too much, talked too much, played too much, ate too much, spent too much, etc. They must discipline themselves this year to achieve their goals. Paul achieved his goal. He said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7 New King James Version). You can achieve yours, too.

TAKE ACTION!

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: Holy Spirit, help me to set and pursue the right goals this year. Deliver me from distractions and help me to do all I should do to achieve my goals.

(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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