Setting goals and chasing dreams. It’s part of what makes life challenging and fun!
Ever set a goal you weren’t sure you could reach? But you knew you had to try.
Several months ago, I set some goals that seemed almost impossible. At least in my mind.
My mind may doubt it. But my heart believes these goals can be accomplished and that dreams can come true!
Why does my heart believe?
Because I truly feel that these dreams are from God and that He planted them in my heart for a reason!
Philippians 4:13 tells me that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
I believe it.
Will it be easy? Almost certainly not.
Is it a sure thing? No.
But will it be worth it? You bet.
The outcome of these dreams coming true would be that I would have more time and resources to serve the Lord more effectively in the ways He is leading.
I just have to have faith that if it is His will, and I do what He asks, it will happen.
There’s only one problem. If I get so caught up in the dream itself that God is no longer at the center of everything in my life, there’s a problem.
So this morning, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit and had to check myself. I realized that I had not been praying as much and not spending as much time in His word.
Ouch. Ouch. And OUCH!
It stings when we have to be corrected, but He corrects us because He loves us. (Hebrews 12:6)
He desires that relationship with us. It’s for our benefit, but He takes please in our time together as well.
Isn’t that amazing? That the God of the universe wants to spend time with us?
I am glad He loves me enough to get my attention and get me back on track!
Anything we put ahead of our relationship with the Lord is an idol. So it’s easy to see how a goal that we want so desperately to achieve can become just that.
Even when God Himself gives us the dream, it cannot come before Him.
We may be pursuing good things for all the right reasons, but it is worthless if our relationship with Him is not top priority.
I’m not preaching to the choir here, I am speaking strictly of myself. But maybe I am not alone.
Have you ever found yourself drifting from Him because you were so caught up in doing something for Him?
I think of those lines from one of my favorite hymns… “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above” and “Let thy Grace Lord, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee”.
So how do we do it? How do we keep our hearts focused on Him?
I don’t think we can in our own strength. But He is strong when we are weak, and we can look to Him to keep us on track.
We can do this through prayer, studying His Word, and by maintaining relationships with other Christians who will hold us accountable.
Our goals had better line up with His plan for our lives. If not, we’re in trouble. Ask the Lord to open doors that He wants you to walk through and shut doors that will take you outside His perfect will.
Prayer is about relationship, so talk to Him about everything. All the time.
You know how sometimes when you don’t talk with someone often, the conversation can feel a little stilted?
Well, the same thing can happen with our prayer life.
Although God is our Father and He loves to hear from us, we can feel awkward with Him when we don’t talk to Him enough. (Been there, done that.)
So keep on praying and keep the lines of communication open.
Search His Word for direction and encouragement.
The Bible is a wonderful source of wisdom, as well as God’s love letter to you!
In it, you can find direction, encouragement and whatever you need for whatever you are facing.
Filter your goals and dreams through the lens of the Word, and you can’t go wrong!
Daily Bible study keeps you connected to the Lord and His expectations for living the life He has in mind for you.
You can find accountability through the wise counsel of other believers.
We all need accountability partners. People you can trust to call you out on it if you seem to be drifting off course.
Nobody liked to be called out. But I would much rather be called out on something than to get myself in a mess.
You can look to family, church members, or better yet, participate in small Bible study and prayer groups where you keep each other focused.
After all, iron sharpens iron! (Proverbs 27:17)
I am so thankful that God gives us dreams and motivates us to set goals. I just want to make sure that all my dreams and goals are a part of His perfect plan.
Through prayer, Bible study and accountability, we can keep the focus on Jesus, making adjustments to our plans and goals as He directs.
I know that He knows and loves me best, and that He knows much better than I do what is good for me. I don’t want to be anywhere other than the center of His will, fulfilling His calling on my life.