Pressing Towards the Goal

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14

Do you ever feel like you are constantly going in circles? Using a lot of energy but not getting anywhere?

As we enter into a New Year, we set out to make new plans and set new goals.  We often want to make so many changes that we become overwhelmed in the first few weeks of the year that we eventually return to our old ways of thinking and doing. Our enthusiasm quickly fizzles and by the end of the year we are feeling depressed for what we haven’t accomplished.

Motivation and hope is the most important thing to hold onto during the year. I truly believe that’s why the majority of people get stuck, get off track or simply quit.

Most people try to make preparations and major decisions in their own power but they do not realize that they need guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. It takes prayer, stillness, worship and relationship with the Lord to supply spiritual power to make the changes that you anticipate.

Unfortunately, we have a fast food mentality and expect things to work instantly. Text messaging, Wi-Fi connections, social media communications have spoiled us. Patience is no longer an option, but with God it is the ONLY option. He requires us to have patience. Through time we are molded into His character. “I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:6

I recently read a book that contained brief chapters. I finished the book on December 31st to be exact. I believe that I was motivated to complete the book at record speed because of the short chapters that it provided.

Instead of setting such high goals at the beginning of the year, we should try setting attainable, short term goals that should be reviewed on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Don’t worry if you mess up or fall off your schedule. Just start over. “It is the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed because His compassion fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23

Our biggest resolution should be striving to be better than the day before. Don’t carry the burdens of last year. Even though there are things that have not changed as of yet, try to have a new, fresh perspective. Things will eventually shift because nothing in life remains the same. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corth 5:17

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Old things have passed away, behold I am doing a new thing.”

 Use each day to work towards your goals, but take time to rest. Resting is essential to productivity. You cannot think clearly if you are constantly running on empty which also requires a healthy diet. When you align your mental, physical and spiritual self, you will regain fulfillment and peace. A balanced life is essential for victorious results.

If you have consistency, determination and resiliency, you will see the fruits of your labor. Preparation, organization and delegation also plays a big part in managing your goals and plans. By the end of the year, you will experience transformation in ways that you could never imagine. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil 1:6

“For I know the plans that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jer 29:11

Renewing Your Mind

As we anxiously wait for the first day of summer, let us not forget this is the perfect time to reflect on the goals we set during the beginning of the year. We are halfway through 2010. Let us not to forget to evaluate our lives and what we plan to achieve by the end of the year. We are always reminded during Spring to clean out the clutter, so we may receive new things.

Let us not forget to clean out our minds which include bad memories and habits, defeated thoughts and attitudes or anything else that may be holding us back from receiving what God has promised us as His children. “Behold, I am doing a new thing. Old things have passed away. Behold, I make all things new.” II Corth 5:17

Refocus on Priorities

It’s important to take time to reflect on your life in a positive way. Don’t beat yourself up for goals that you haven’t attained just yet. But, just learn to refocus on priorities and set small goals to work towards what you desire to achieve.

Build a Support System

Also, you must pay close attention to your social environment. You should build a strong support system of family, friends, neighbors, classmates and church associates.

What type of people do you surround yourself? Make sure you are surrounding yourself with positive people who will inspire, encourage and motivate you. Pay attention to the details of the heart of people that you interact with on a daily basis. What are their motives or intentions? Are their actions and words positive or negative? Take note of their behavior and decide whether you choose to be around them. You are valuable and so is your time.

You should spend time expanding your mind. If you don’t enjoy reading, make it a point to watch a movie or documentary that will give you a different perspective on life. You need to refresh your mind. Water your mind with knowledge and watch it grow. In scripture it states, “My people will perish for the lack of knowledge.” So, don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who think differently than you do. Expose yourself to new cultures, races, creeds, religions or non-religious people. Be open to new ideas, opinions and thoughts. You can have a healthy conversation without having a debate or argument. That’s what makes life interesting. You do not have to agree with the person, but please make sure you respect them.

Guard Your Heart and Thoughts

It’s important to guard your thoughts. It’s so easy to dwell on negative emotions or words that will eventually influence your mind and behavior. Be mindful of what you allow to enter into your mind. There are many negative influences that surround us in the world and it doesn’t take long for a negative seed to be planted in your mind which eventually takes root. It’s much like weeds growing among beautiful, green grass. Weeds tend to multiply quickly and destroy the view. If you feed your mind junk, that’s exactly what you will eventually believe or think.

We are constantly influenced by images, words and stereotypes that influence the way we think. We have been so programmed that we often do not really learn to think for ourselves anymore. Don’t rely on gossip or rumors, but confront the source to get the correct information. Let’s be conscious of what we choose to listen to since this has a strong impact on how we see ourselves and others and can eventually influence our overall behavior.

Fill your mind with God’s word. It’s the most important thing you can do to withstand the attacks from the enemy. The only way to win the battles that come against you is to put on the armor of the Lord. To overcome the storms of life, you must read and study God’s word. It’s filled with power, truth, protection, guidance and His promises. Through daily mediation on God’s word, you will start to build faith, strength and courage to overcome the challenges and obstacles that you face. Through prayer, you will build a relationship with the Lord and will be shielded through your trials and tribulations. Even though bad things will still happen, hold onto your faith. You will have to endure many tests in life. Keeping your heart and mind grounded in the word of God, will eventually lead you to the harvest He has prepared for you.