Well OK. I’m a little slow on the fast forward part, but you have to admit I’m within tolerance since it’s still Friday – and it might even be pre-noon. So Happy Friday!
Last Friday (yes, a bit late to the party) my accountability partner, Coach Kim, and I finally got together to strategize about our goals for 2016. Strategize sounds a lot more audacious than simply “talk” right? So we got met at our central office (the local Biggby) to strategize about what we hope – make that PLAN, to accomplish this year. This is our second year of bonding as friends and partners in keeping each other on track with our desires to complete the tasks God has for us to do. What I love about the Bible is that there’s a verse for everything.
This is technically the 4th week of January and so far my goals are skittering, not thriving. 1Thessalonians 5:24 is a pretty good argument for pesky little voices that speak doubt instead of confidence. “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” Before I wrote my goals, I prayed and asked God what he wanted me to accomplish this year. God his faithful, he will do it – and I have to do my part too.
Goals aren’t the focus though. The real focus is on what we do moment to moment, day to day to someday say, “I did it. I did what I said I would do.” There are numerous goal setting methods and planners that are excellent tools to help achieve our goals. But the reality is, none of those tools will work without our own effort and without God’s blessing and approval. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Planning is good. Working toward completing things that will achieve our goals is good. God will do his part and we must do ours. Yesterday, my mind was building a mountain of all the things I could be doing if I wasn’t confined to a moving vehicle for six hours. I almost let the enemy of my soul rob me of my highest priority goal for this year. Peace. My goals for this year are stated in a way that will lead to a life of P.E.A.C.E. I’ll share them if anyone is interested, but you have to know that I had no peace while I fretted about Task Mountain.
There’s a verse in Philippians that says, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious for anything …. I was becoming anxious. In the moments that I could unwind and just enjoy the time away from Task Mountain, my mind was racing ahead, Fast Forward Friday to what I had no control over. The rest of that passage in Philippians 4 says instead of fretting, doubting, debating, and worrying, stop it! Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, tell God what you need, ask him for what you want. This was a gift of time – free to renew my mind and stop dwelling on what I couldn’t do, and focus on what I could do.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed right now. In this moment, there is just too much. Believe me. Every person who breathes knows that feeling. Can I share something with you? Stop where you are and give your mountain to God. I promise you that even though the tasks won’t evaporate like magic, neither will you fear avalanche. You know back in ancient days before machinery and technology, men and women did some pretty amazing things. How did they do it? The God we have today is the same God back in the days of Moses. Exodus 35:31 “He has filled him with the Spirit of God—with skill, with understanding, with knowledge, and in all kinds of work, “
Remember when I said I love that the Bible has something to say in every situation? Here’s hope for every situation, even for what you need to get done or want to finish today. “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.” 2 Corinthians 8:11
Fast Forward Friday, the all-out effort to end this week looking back with a feeling of accomplishment. We all love that feeling, don’t we? But if you didn’t get it all done, look for the joy in unsuspected places. You might have given the gift of your time, offered help to a neighbor, comforted a hurting friend, spent extra time praying for others, or invested in relationships. 2 Corinthians 12:19 says it beautifully, “We are speaking in Christ before God, and everything we do, dear friends, is to build you up.”
Our lives intersect with so many people, what we do affects another, our relationships matter, what we do makes a difference. We are accountable whether it’s a formal pact or not. Our most important relationship is with God and our highest degree of accountability is to him. How would our lives be different if every day we asked God, “How well did I do in living my life for you today? Did I do what you wanted me to do?”
Just something I was thinking about.