I know, I know...I said on Monday that “tomorrow” I’d give you some thoughts on setting spiritual goals. But this week, I’ve been thinking. Setting direction, planning, and establishing goals are all part of effective living. Strategizing and then taking specific action is vital to accomplishing those goals. But the "why" is equally important as the "how."
In the excitement of moving forward, sometimes the motive of the heart often goes unchecked. In our minds we are easily convinced that our action plan is the right way - especially if things are going well. Yet an impure motive is never pleasing to the Lord. Asking the question, "Why am I doing this?" helps us remember that the ultimate measure of accomplishment comes from the Lord.
Are you trying to get in better shape so that you’ll be more effective in your life (to be nourished) or do you want the attention of others (to be noticed)? Is your goal vitality or vanity?
Do you want to grow spiritually to honor the Lord or to gain recognition? Will your spiritual training please the Lord or puff yourself up?
All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2
So today, let’s work on developing the reasons for change... Why do I want to go there? Why do I want to make the change? What is the motive? What is the purpose? We need to be living for a deeper motive, operating from our hearts, not just our heads! Smart businesses develop mission statements. Arriving at that statement is usually a process and that process begins with asking some heart questions. Questions like: What is the purpose of this enterprise? What do we want to accomplish? What is the end-game?
In business, if its just profits that drive the machine, then ethics, morals, and integrity will probably be negotiable. But when a business is centered around a deeper purpose... a desire to meet some need or provide some dedicate service, then profits will follow. The same principles are true in our personal lives.
We need to develop a personal mission statement... We need to determine “why” we’re doing the things we’re doing. In health, if its just “to attract” others, then it’s a moving target and momentary at best! We’re all aging and the Bible even says this - "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting...” Proverbs 31:30
But, if you determine that you want to be healthy emotionally, physically, spiritually for a deeper purpose... then you might just be on to greatness! When we explore the purpose for which God put us here and we develop into all that He intended, our lives, our relationships, our physical health with be greatly enhanced!
So what are some reasons for getting healthy physically and spiritually?
Maybe for your legacy? Maybe you need to stop today and say, “the choices today will impact my kids for years to come!” I want to be here when my girls are old enough to marry (when they’re 40 or so) ;-) I have an amazing picture in my mind of my children getting married, ONE DAY! I want to walk them down the aisle and celebrate with them! I don’t want to develop chronic problems that would take me out of that picture! I want to be healthy enough to enjoy playing with my grandkids. I want to be able to serve the Lord well into the future.
Spiritually, I want practice disciplines (prayer, Bible meditation and memorization, solitude, journaling, fasting, etc) to align myself with God’s purpose for me. I want to know Him and make Him known. I want to bring Him glory and honor. So, I begin to set spiritual goals... And I WILL tell you how I do that tomorrow!
For articles and resources on spiritual disciplines, check out http://biblicalspirituality.org
Assignment: Determine why you want to change some area of your life. Write it down! Write your top two or three reasons in each area that you want to work on: health, finances, spiritual development, relationships...
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You for a mind that is capable to plan and strategize. Thank You for the energy to take action. Thank You for a heart that longs to serve You. Keep my motives pure so that my actions will bring glory to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!