This past week, we had a Connections Team retreat. I had the opportunity to lead the group in a devotional that morning to start off our time together. Well, one of the items on the agenda for the day was to discuss our 2019 goals. As we were planning for our time together, I started thinking about this past year and how it really was a year of setting some BIG goals for myself.
The biggest goal I set for myself this past year was to run a half-marathon. The minute I signed up for it, I knew I had to put the work, time, and effort into it in order to accomplish the goal. So I got right to work. I found the perfect training program for my schedule and made the effort to go out and run, even on days I didn’t really want to. But what I didn’t expect throughout the whole thing was how spiritual the entire experience was going to be. God met me so many ways, whether it was in times of praying while I ran or the worship music I was listening to. Some days it was as simple as a butterfly crossing my path to remind me that God was giving me the strength and determination to keep going. I remember the day of the race just how excited I was. I had put in the work, the time, and the effort, and felt like I had finally arrived. As I crossed the finish line, I realized that although I had put in the work and effort, it was in fact God who had sustained me and helped me to accomplish this goal I had set for myself.
Setting goals is a great habit to get in. It gives us a focus and a purpose, as well as a target to move toward. But without God, we will not accomplish these goals. These goals aren’t about us; they aren’t about building up our “kingdom.” Rather, they are for the glory of God. We will put the work, time, and effort into it, and can even be proud of our accomplishments, but if we never make God a part of the process, we are laboring in vain. We always have to keep Him as the focus. We always have to allow Him to direct us as we move forward. We have to be okay if He leads us in a slightly different direction than we had originally planned. What is important is to always keep God in focus and allow Him to lead us every step of the way. And at the end, when we have accomplished our goal, we will know it was only through the power of God that we achieved that goal. May you set goals with one purpose and one purpose only, to prove the power of God and to give Him all the glory, because you know you couldn’t have done it without Him.
Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
Psalm 127:1-2 NLT