What three goals would you set for your life if you knew that you could achieve them? Would any of them be spiritual in nature? The apostle Paul was one of the most goal-oriented people in the Bible, yet he understood which pursuits were the most important. His chief ambition was to know Christ, His resurrection power, and the fellowship of His suffering (v. 10).
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:7-14)
We’d all do well to adopt these goals, but they sound so broad. How do we put them into practice? First, it’s important to comprehend that a goal is a purpose or direction toward which we work. This concept is fairly easy to understand when we’re talking about specific objectives like going to bed earlier or losing ten pounds, but what steps would you need to take in order to achieve spiritual goals like Paul’s?
Success requires choosing steps that are specific, reasonable, and measurable. For example, if you want to know Christ more intimately, you might commit to spending 30 minutes each day praying and reading His Word. After developing your plan and the steps to accomplish it, put your desire into action. If you don’t take the necessary steps, it will simply remain a wish. No one develops intimacy with Christ through good intentions; it takes commitment, diligence, and perseverance.
If you feel as if your faith is lacking vitality, it may be that you’ve become spiritually lazy. No one intends to slip into complacency. But unless you set some specific goals and work to achieve them, you’ll drift through life and miss the greatest accomplishment of all–learning to know Christ intimately.
Source: Dr. Charles Stanley