Have you ever set a goal for yourself, but as the going got tough you wearied and quit? Perhaps you were met with resistance from other people and rocking the boat was uncomfortable, too uncomfortable, so you chose their approval over your vision. Maybe the work required was too much.
I think about that quote, “The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.” (Alexander Chalmers 1800’s) I’m not sure if Alexander loved Jesus, but I think his words complement the truth of our God.
You and I were created to love and called to become more like Christ as we live out God’s unique plan for us. Becoming. What a beautiful word. It’s who we are on this side of heaven.
To become is to dream, to reach, to pursue, to grow.
- Becoming is a process of knowing exactly who I am, my current reality.
- Becoming is seeing the beauty and abundance Jesus has for me.
- Becoming is depending on God as I go after Him and his call.
Call it a goal, a vision, a mission, or a dream. We are created to move forward. It is that “something to do” and “something to hope for” that doctor, turned writer, Alexander Chalmers spoke of years ago.
Goals are our steps forward, our hope for growth. Like a butterfly breaking through its cocoon enclosure, it is work, a struggle, purposefully pushing through to beautiful newness. The process of pushing through is necessary. If we do the work for the butterfly, it cannot fly. Its struggle is necessary.
Newness awaits. Jesus stands on a higher place with his hand outstretched saying, “come higher with me.”
C.S Lewis wrote in The Last Battle, ““I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”
What next step, what goal, what vision is right there in front of you? You know in your deepest places this new thing waiting for you. You heard from the Lord. This vision is clear. Maybe even commanded in his Word.
What’s holding you back?
- fear of failure
- doubting your vision
- hard work
- approval of man
- lack of faith in God to fulfill his role
- lies of the world
- push-back from your people
I’ve found that most of our goals that we set are not generally something impossible to reach. Most simply require work and often a necessary change in paths, methods, and thinking. If we want a different outcome we have to do something different. True?
The struggle is real. The work of change and pushing forward is hard. We can feel completely exhausted and be tempted to seek reprieve or even tempted to quit. Life before this vision was easier. But is easier truly what you desire, or do you want to push through to newness? Do you want to turn back or move forward?
How do we keep going? How do we take one more step forward when the climb is so steep, and the wind in our face threatens to knock us backward? Tumbling back down to the bottom almost seems better than reaching the summit. It is just so hard.
Before you are tempted to stop short of God’s best, your own best, and before you miss the absolute thrill of abundance, stop and remember what’s at stake. What will life look like if you don’t keep going? Do you believe Jesus wants victory for you? He’s there, waiting on a higher precipice ready to pull you up to the heights with him.
I love the t-shirt that reads, “I can. I will.” As believers, perhaps we should include a tagline that reads, “If I am abiding in Christ.” It’s his power working within us, fueling us to endure, to persevere. If it’s his will and his power at work, how can we fail?
Here are some little reminders for our tired hearts, aching muscles, and fatigued resolve. If your deep desire is to reach that goal or realize that vision, this is for you.
- Write your goal on your mirror, in your car, in your Bible, on your chalkboard to remember the vision God has given you.
- Hang on. Encouragement is on the way. God isn’t leaving you alone. He will send words of hope, motivation as you need it. Listen for his voice through the words of others saying, “keep going.”
- Reaching your goal is not a race. Don’t compare your progress to that of others.
- Break your goal into smaller action steps. What steps must be taken in order to reach your ultimate goal? Focus on the next step. Just do the next thing.
- Stay connected to your power source. Abide in Christ each moment of each day allowing his Holy Spirit to fuel your steps.
- Celebrate. As you journey up that steep mountain, celebrate along the way when you experience small victories.