GOAL SETTING–THE KEY TO SUCCESS
7). But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8). Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. 9). And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10). That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11). If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12). Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I also am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13). Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14). I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
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). We’d all do well to adopt these goals! But, 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!