Back in December, I received some slacks as a Christmas gift. To my disappointment, the slacks didn’t fit. So, I set a goal to start losing weight. At the beginning of January, I jumped into it headfirst, and, I am happy to say that I have lost around 40 pounds.
Recently, I had a conversation with a close friend about this achievement. I realized then, and continue to realize, that by giving this goal to God, He gives me the strength to power through. Sure, I do all the exercises and make all the decisions about what to cut out of my diet, but it was that God-given strength that ultimately led me here.
So, what goals do you want to achieve in life? Learning a new language? Learning an instrument (might I suggest the trumpet?)? Moving upward in your job? It will take hard work, yes — but as Christians, we need to realize how much God will play a part in achieving a goal like this.
Just how much, you ask? Well, let’s take a look at some scripture.
As a base mark, let’s use Philippians 4:6.
“…but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
The base mark then is to pray to God and present this goal to Him. Nothing too hard, nothing too convicting either. Something like:
“God, thank you for bringing me this far in my life. Help me to (insert specific goal here), and help me to use this goal to further your kingdom and to find a way to use it for your glory. Amen.”
Next is giving God control while achieving that goal. This may seem like it’s hard to do, and — it is. We often approach our goals as if we can achieve them without God’s help. Maybe not intentional, but we tend to rely on our own strength, wisdom, and experience. Then a setback happens, a slap in the face, a wall, a roadblock to the end. That is when you realize you rely on your own strength.
First of all, don’t worry if this setback happens. You always stumble on a step when trying to get up the stairs, so it happens; It’s natural. Second of all, don’t be discouraged. Remember what it says in Joshua 1:9.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Second, do what it says in Deuteronomy 31:6.
“Be not dismayed, for I am with you. I will not fail you or forsake you, wherever you go. Be strong and of good courage.”
The point of those two verses is to say to not be discouraged if you have a setback. God’s not going to love you any less, and he will still be by your side, no matter what.
Third of all, just ask God to get you back on track, and He will. Keep God in the center through prayer. For example, I pray before and after every workout, not only to bless the workout but also thanking him for getting me through.
Finally, after all the hard work, thank God for getting to that goal, or at least getting more progress toward it. Remember what it says in Philippians 4:13 (which I would argue is the most tattooed bible verse of all time…)
“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”
You couldn’t have done this without the strength of the Lord, or his guidance and direction, so thank Him for that.
To conclude, God will get you to your goals in life, you just need to ask Him, keep your faith throughout the process; yes, even through the setbacks, and thank him once you have achieved that goal.
Jesus tells us in John 15:5 — “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” What a great reminder to help us keep God in the center of our work. You CAN achieve the things you want to do if you keep this in the back of your mind.