Time just keeps marching on…we’re at the beginning of Q2. It never ceases to amaze me how life seems to be moving at warp speed. With that said, now is a really good time to check in on your goals. Are you still on track to achieving your goals, or have you abandoned them?
If you’re in the latter half and want to get back on track with pursuing your goals, ask yourself these 5 questions. When you’re answering these questions, please be honest. Lying to yourself is only going to hurt you and delay your ability to achieve your goals.
- Are you delighting yourself in the Lord?
Now if you’re like a lot of other people and myself, I’m sure you quickly rattled off a ‘yes’. However, I want you to take a step back and really examine your life using the Bible as a standard–not by society. God says in Prov 37: 4 that you will “…get the desires of my heart by delighting myself in the Lord.” Pay attention to the order in which blessings are gained. The key to unlocking our goals is by pleasing God first. This is why so many Christians aren’t experiencing the abundant life Christ came to give us. I’ve experienced this firsthand.
There was a viral trend not too long ago started by Black women regarding the concept of wanting a soft life. There are a variety of videos ranging from serious to funny regarding this subject. But there was one video I saw that I remember seeing right before the New Year that made me laugh. This woman was on the phone with God trying to place an order for how she wanted life to treat her for the upcoming year. She said, “I the soft life package this year. I’m not enjoying the trials and tribulations one.” The skit was about her going back and forth with God. I wish I could find that video because it was hilarious. My point in sharing that story is for us to focus on it from a more serious perspective.
Sometimes, many of us, myself included, ask God for the soft life package, but we’ve never put in the mental and physical work to place ourselves in a position to receive it. We constantly allow ourselves to be surrounded by toxic people, we’re careless about consuming content that will further instill fear and impatience, which will eventually create a negative mindset within us. We convince ourselves that we have to pay more attention to the physical realm rather than the spiritual realm. This is not how we delight ourselves in the Lord.
We should not ignore God’s not-so-subtle reminder in Mat 6:33 that if we “…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in this world that you solely focus on what you see. If all you see is what you see, then you are not seeing all there is to be seen.
God is the ultimate multitasker. Our lives are just one piece in a gigantic puzzle. When we’re diligently working on the attributes of Christ (the majority can be found in Gal 5: 21, Matthew 18, James 1, 1 Cor 16 and Deuteronomy 31:6), we must never lose sight of the fact that our main purpose is to transform into Christ’s likeness so we can easily fit when God wants to add us to our place in the puzzle.
Some of us, myself included, were slow to realize that we don’t have to do everything in our own strength. If we take God up on his offer to turn our problems over to Christ, our burdens will be light, and we can finally find peace.
I don’t know about you, but as I get older, I’m more intentional with how I choose to redeem my time. I welcome the shortcut that God promises to those who take Him up on it. I make time to read His word every day and examine my life to see if I have the attributes of Christ. Some of Christ’s attributes will be more difficult to gain than others, depending on our level of commitment to gaining them.
Just remember that the timeframe and ability to receive your blessings are contingent on your dedication to gaining and maintaining Christ’s attributes. This is how we delight ourselves in the Lord. Delighting yourself in the Lord is a way of life, not a checklist. When you view life from this perspective, this will, without a doubt, prompt you to seek God’s will before you make a decision. This brings us to our 2nd question…
- Did you seek God’s guidance?
I’m very ambitious. I’m always challenging myself, so I’m constantly creating goals. My goals aren’t selfish. Many of my personal goals will oftentimes benefit those around me. Yet, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve created goals without getting God’s seal of approval. I just assumed since the goal was something good and I wanted to achieve it, that God would just automatically bless my endeavor.
Wrong! In James 1:5, the Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” If we invite God into the conversation when we’re making decisions, He will provide us with insight that there may be lessons we need to learn first before we start pursuing the goals we wish to achieve.
The worst thing you can do is achieve a goal outside of God’s will. In case you’re wondering, yes, you can achieve goals without God. Just take a look at the celebrities. Many of them have the fortune and fame they thought would bring them happiness. Yet, they don’t have the joy, peace, and happiness they thought they would experience. In fact, the effect tends to be the opposite. They are so focused on trying to maintain their fortune and fame that their lifestyle ends up being a curse.
Some folks get so wrapped up in their desire to achieve their goals they want to do so at all costs and make rash promises to God like Jepthah. Then realize the desire they wanted to have wasn’t worth the price they paid to gain it. Check out episode 227 for more details, but just know that I’m not trying to go out like that, either.
Again, I don’t ever want to achieve my goals outside of God’s timing. I want to make sure that we’re aligned on my blessings so He will give me the wisdom to get and maintain the blessings He has in store for me.
Now, waiting for your goals to materialize is going to take a lot of patience and faith, which leads us to our third question…
- How are you putting your faith into action?
You’re delighting yourself in God’s word, you’re aligned on the goals He wants you to achieve, so now it’s time to get to work. Some of the goals that God places in our hearts seem impossible. We immediately come down with a case of analysis paralysis. Meaning, we’re so inundated with fear and confusion that we don’t move. We’re just standing there because we’re so afraid to make the wrong move.
Contrary to popular opinion, your goals are not going to magically manifest. In 2 Cor 5:7, the Bible says, “ For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Did you catch that part that says walk? God requires us to move toward our goals by following His lead.
As Christians, we can take comfort in the fact that God will cause all things to work together for our good. This includes your mistakes, which you will, without a doubt, make because you are human.
Without getting into too many details, I’m working on two fairly audacious goals right now that I never in a million years dreamed was possible for me to achieve. This little voice inside of me has been prompting me to do this for years, but I wasn’t sure. I prayed about it, God blessed me with a godly mom who helped reinforce that these were endeavors that I should pursue.
I prayed about it, made SMART goals (check out the website for more details), and got to work on taking action. Just to clarify, my actions are essentially me doing my part to show God that I’m willing to do the work that He wants me to do to make my goals come to fruition.
Once God saw I was willing to take the steps toward our aligned goals, He has shown up and shown out. God has sent me the people and resources I need to achieve my goals. As long as you believe God is who He said He is, he will always reward those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6).
Without a doubt, once you start making progress towards you’re going to face all sorts of obstacles in Satan’s attempt to prevent you from achieving your goal. So when you face opposition, “You need to ask yourself, number 4…
- Are you speaking life over your goals?
In Prov. 18:21, the Bible says, The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Your words are literally creating your future. If you’re constantly listening to negative thoughts and internalizing what the world says about you and not embracing the fact that you are a child of the most High God, it’s no surprise that you will have a low self-esteem.
To this day, it makes me so angry when I think about the dreams that I left sitting on the shelf because I chose to believe the negative words of people whose behavior and actions had proven they didn’t have my best interest in mind. In some way, shape, or form, I let those words get to me.
I made a promise to myself that I will never, ever let that happen to me again. I’m very quick to identify folks whose opinions I will embrace, those I’ll take with a grain of salt and others who will forever remain on the pay them no mind list. I’m intentional with the activities I participate in and the content I consume. You’re not going to find me scrolling on Instagram or Facebook for hours on end. When you do that, it means that you’re not working on your life.
I’m hardly ever on those sites. I’m all about living my life rather than watching someone else live theirs. It’s a lot easier to achieve your goals without all the “noise.” When it comes to achieving your goals, it’s best to work distraction-free in silence. Doing so will enable you to confidentially answer the last question…
- Do you have the stamina to make it to the finish line?
Depending on the size of your goal, you will get discouraged. Especially if you’re facing numerous obstacles. The key is not to grow weary when you’re doing good (2 Thes 3:13). It may feel like it’s taking too long for you to get to the finish line, so you’re starting to get tired.
This is why Paul tells us in Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Being mindful of the fact that when we rely on Christ and not our feelings, we are positioning ourselves “… not [to] be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
When you gain Christ’s attributes and diligently strive to behave like Christ, you will cross the finish line in style ( Gal 5: 21, Matthew 18, James 1, 1 Cor 16 and Deuteronomy 31:6, Rom 12: 9-21,
Hopefully, going through this exercise inspired you to revisit the goals you abandoned or create entirely new goals.
Regardless of where you may fall in the mix, I want to challenge you to make sure you have goals that fall within these three areas:
The first goal should be a spiritual one. Listen, you don’t need me to tell you we live in a fallen world (Gal 5:19). The only way we can live an extraordinary life is with Christ. The way we live our lives may be the only Bible people will read.
A spiritual goal will not only bless you but place you in a position to be a blessing to others. Are the chapters you’re creating in your life going to prompt people to want to learn more or less about Jesus? It’s ok if you can’t answer that question right now. However, I want you to choose a spiritual goal that will place you in a position to respond confidentially in the future.
Your goal should coincide with the legacy you want to leave behind. How will you let your light shine, so others can find the road that leads to Christ? For me, it is this podcast. It still blows my mind to see the reviews, messages, and connections I‘ve made via this podcast.
Clearly, I wasn’t talking to myself. I’m glad I didn’t let Satan win that battle. Achieving this goal actually prompted me to go after my two current audacious goals I’m working on right now.
Another area you should have a goal in is health. God said that our bodies are our temples (1 Cor 6:19). We only get one body. I’m doing my best to maintain mine. I’m not saying this to brag, but I get told all the time that I don’t look my age. I get asked all the time how this is possible. Other than the obvious, focus on God and stay away from toxic people, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, or do drugs of any kind. I am team #healthyliving. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not going to be in a position to help anyone else. The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41). I don’t want to be so tired mentally or physically that I end up delaying my ability to achieve my goals.
Last but not least, your third goal should be focused on your career. This is a topic that I don’t feel is discussed enough from a woman’s perspective. I’m very ambitious. This a characteristic that is oftentimes praised when you’re a man but frowned on when you’re a woman. I know God plans for me to prosper, give me hope and a future (Jer. 29:11), so I’m never going to allow some insecure man to prevent me from cleaning out the warehouse full of blessings I know God has in store for me.
I know many of us work in the corporate world, but I want us, especially women, to think about our career goals outside of the corporate world. It was not built with women in mind, so I completely understand if you want no part of working with and within the Good Old Boys network. Trust me, I certainly don’t, but you have to know how to play the game and properly leverage your 9 to 5. I go into how to accomplish this feat in episodes 201, 197, 199, 184, and 185…..
If I were to ask you now about your goals, I hope you’re feeling more empowered to create and have the strength to achieve them. Remember, it’s never too late to go after your dreams. God said that He will “…restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” In other words, I’m going to help you redeem the time that you have left.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more than willing to allow God to intervene on my behalf so I can make progress toward achieving my dreams while inspiring others to chase their own.
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