While You’re Working on Your Goals, God Is Working on You
By Rick Warren
“I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (Philippians 3:12 CEV).
Yesterday we started talking about reasons why you need to set some goals. Today we’re going to talk about three more reasons why goal setting is so important that even Jesus set goals for himself.
You need to set goals because they give you hope to keep moving and endure.
Job says, “What strength do I have left that I can go on hoping? What goal do I have that I would want to prolong my life?”(Job 6:11 GW). You have to have a goal to keep you going.
A goal doesn’t have to be big to motivate you. For instance, if you had to have surgery, your first goal in recovery could be to sit up in bed. Then you might work toward standing up and then later walking down the hallway.
All of those are very small goals, but they’re all important, because getting from where you are to success isn’t one big leap. It’s many small steps. A goal doesn’t have to be big to be important — it just has to encourage you to carry on.
You need to set goals because they build your character.
The greatest benefit to your life will not be your accomplishments but rather what happens inside you while you’re moving toward your goal.
God is more interested in your character than he is in your accomplishments. While you’re working on your goal, God is working on you. He is building your character, and that’s what’s going to last for eternity.
That’s why Paul says in Philippians 3:12, “I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (CEV). It takes energy, effort, and purpose to reach your goal, and the result is that you become more like Christ.
You need to set goals because good goals will be rewarded.
Proverbs 11:27 says, “If your goals are good, you will be respected” (GNT). When you give your life to a good goal, it brings honor and builds a legacy on Earth.
But the real reward in setting good goals is going to come in eternity. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step”(NLT). Paul was a purpose-driven goal setter. You need to be that, too, so that you can win the prize that God has prepared for you in Heaven.
Talk It Over
If you’re discouraged today, set some new goals. What is something that you can work for that will motivate and encourage you each day as you move closer toward your goal?
What are some of the things you’ve learned about yourself and about God as you’ve worked toward a goal?
How do you want God to work in your life? In what ways do your goals reflect what you hope God will do and what you expect him to do in and through you?
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May it help you learn to love even the most difficult people in your life.
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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