Anyone who knows me knows that I love to “process.” I have journals that are full of ponderings and prayers from years of living. Recently, as I’ve reflected on the process of goal setting, I’ve realized that it can lead our hearts into worship if we let it.
Kevin Hurt, a pastor at a family member’s church, gave a sermon recently on “Finishing Well.” He referenced 2 Timothy 4:6-8,
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”
Combining my musings and the pastor’s points, let me share with you how I believe that the goal setting process can also be a place of worship for me and for you:
In these verses, Paul’s process of looking at his life is much like the goal setting process. First, he recognized where he was (being poured out and ready to depart), then he saw where he had been (in a fight and a race requiring faith), and, lastly, he focused on where he was going (home to a righteous Judge).
We can emulate Paul and…
1. Adjust our mindset to embrace the current calling God has for our lives. Maybe we are in a holding pattern, maybe we are in a learning curve, maybe we are in a time of change, or perhaps we feel stuck in our current situation. Wherever you and I find ourselves today, we can worship God as Paul did by embracing our identity in Christ and accepting His current design for our daily life.
2. Repent and accept God’s restoration. As Paul reflected on his past, he saw that he had fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. Conversely, Paul could have focused on his history as a persecutor of the church and then as a sometimes-controversial church leader. By choosing to accept God’s grace and atonement in his life, Paul was able to be at peace with his past and see God’s hand in it. If we are God’s children, we can live free from regret and worship Him for the way that He works ALL things together for our good and His glory! (Romans 8:28)
3.Finally, we can set our goals with the knowledge that the earthly things we accomplish this year are only temporal and that God’s heavenly assessment of our choices will be far more fulfilling than any goal that we may or may not achieve along the way. His economy is vastly different from our own, and His measurement of our success is so much more important than the world’s measurement of our success. Worship Him for His righteousness and justice and omniscience as you set your goals!
Things will happen this year to disrupt the path we think we are on. Interruptions will take time and may frustrate you and me in the achievement of our goals. May we find that the process of surrendering to where God has us, acknowledging His redemptive grace in our lives, and worshiping Him as the only true Judge allows us freedom to pursue our goals, even when there are twists and turns in the road.
May God’s peace encourage you as you pursue financial wisdom and depend on His Truth.