What is the most important relationship in your life? If it is God, do you want to learn how to quit wishing for a stronger connection and get one? As Christians, our heart’s desire is to draw closer to him every day, but we find when we look back many times we have hit a plateau where we have quit growing.
But before you get all down on yourself or praising yourself for where you are – remember growing closer to God and becoming more Christ-like is a lifetime process. Our ultimate goal will not happen overnight. We must take steps to make this happen. Otherwise, it is just a wish that most likely won’t come true.
Last week we talked about, “The Best Way to Secure Goal Success” by making sure you don’t skip the ten steps. Click here to read. As I stated all goals are good but starting with a Spiritual goal is paramount in the life of a Christian.
How Not to Fail at the Most Significant Goal
So how are we going to make sure we do not fail at the most crucial goal of our life? The answer is pretty apparent – we must come up with a plan and take steps to ensure our success. After all, how many of you have wished you read more books, lost weight, traveled more and yet each year things remain the same?Why? Is it because you did nothing to move in the direction of your goal? We must plan for it.
So to begin, we must start with two questions.
- Is God your most important relationship?
- Do you want to grow closer to God and become more Christ-like?
Personally, I find my closeness with God can be a little challenging to decipher. I need some tools. When we base our growth and intimacy with God solely on our feelings, the measure can be inadequate. For me when walking through deep waters, I am tight with God. We are inseparable. When I have to depend on him for my every move, I have no doubt we are growing close. I feel in step with him.
But then as things improve I sometimes question, Am I close to God? Have I quit growing in my walk to become more Christ-like? Those are the times when I must switch from feeling to knowing. After all, feelings are not facts.
So if God is your most important relationship and you want to grow in your faith, let’s proceed with making the most important goal you could make for 2018 – A Spiritual Goal. It is a two-step process starting with taking an inventory and moving to set the target.
Step 1 – Take a Spiritual Inventory
Did You Grow Closer in the Most Important Relationship?
How can you know where you are headed if you haven’t a clue where you have been? A spiritual inventory can be a great tool, but it will take time and require some pondering and listening to God’s voice.
Join me in looking back a year ago – are you closer to God, the same, or further away? As we know in all relationships most likely, they are either growing closer or further apart. Can we expect anything different from God?
As you rate yourself be honest, don’t just look at today but the entire year. Do keep in mind a low score does not mean you have failed in this area. Take prayer for example; if I have given myself a two, it doesn’t indicate I don’t pray enough or I don’t do it right, it just means over the last year it didn’t change or grow. Maybe it is good just the way it is, or maybe God might want to change it this year.
Step Two: Set a Spiritual Goal with Planned Steps
How to Grow Closer in the Most Important Relationship
Take time to contemplate with God what his will is for your life is in 2018. Remember, God does not usually work on our schedule, and we are searching for what he wants – not our desires but his dreams and plans. Leave room for God to change them; spiritual goals are not set in stone.
James, the apostle, teaches us in James 4:13-17 quite a few nuggets of wisdom.
- It is good to have goals however God must be at the center of them. We must hold them loosely and leave room for God to change them. We have no idea what the future holds.
- Waiting for the perfect time is not a smart way to grow closer to God. We must begin making steps in the right direction; our time is not guaranteed here on earth.
- James also points out when we know what we should do and don’t do it – that is the same as sin.
What about When We Can’t Hear God?
Sometimes it is hard to know precisely what God wants from us or for us. We are listening, but it is not clear. Well, I believe he would rather see us pursuing a spiritual goal that might need adjusting rather than doing nothing at all.
If you find yourself struggling to determine what a goal might be here are a few ideas: Being still with God, enhancing your relationship with him, learning more about him, showing Christ’s love to others, fellowship, knowing his word better and many more things.
As we see in Habakkuk 2:1-4 we must live by God’s vision not our own. It is so important to have ” God Goals.’ not “My Goals.” Choosing the spiritual goal God wants for us will take time and space. We must quiet ourselves to hear what God wants for us.
Remember setting small spiritual goals each year is a way to move in the direction of becoming more Christ-like and to draw near to him. Go back to last weeks post, “The Best Way to Secure Goal Success” and make sure you apply the ten steps to your spiritual goal.
Together let’s get to the end of 2018 and say with confidence “Yes, our most important relationship grew closer!” Please join me in “Embracing a Spiritual Goal for 2018.” I am right there with you. My heart’s desire is to draw closer to him and become more Christ-like in 2018.
Have you determined your goal yet? If so, please let me know in the comments, and I will lift you up in prayer. I have to admit I am still working it out with God. What I hear him saying seems so out of character for me, but then again he is God, not me.
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