So, as some of you may have noticed and others of you probably didn’t notice, I had no new post last week. I went on vacation without my computer, and though I had every intention of writing and scheduling a post before I left, I forgot to do so. Since, I’m usually fairly good at creating a reminders for myself so that this sort of situation does not happen, I found myself in a rather unusual predicament.
Sunday night, I was sitting enjoying a quiet evening at a Vrbo when it occurs to me I have no blog post scheduled for Monday. The part of me that likes to be responsible to meet goals immediately started thinking how I could solve this problem. I figured I could probably stressfully manage to type something out on my phone and post it, but then the thoughts occurred to me. Am I scrambling to get this post done right now because God wants this post done right now or because I feel like I need to get this post done for God?
This question got me thinking about goals, because to me holding to a deadline and getting a task accomplished when I say I’m going to do it is very important. (Not that I always succeed in this, but it’s a goal I consider worthwhile, even godly.) But what if stressing over and scrambling to post to my blog in the middle of a vacation was actually me place the checking off of a goal as my primary focus rather than the pursuit of God?
I know, this gets a bit complicated because God’s goals can and should become our goals, but let me rephrase this into where I went with it: pursing a relationship with God should always be more important and is very different from pursing accomplishments for God. The goals we have and pursue should not come before and define our relationship with God. Rather our relationship with God should define and result in us having His goals.
I think too often in Christianity, we set out to love God but instead of allowing God to direct us and define the goals we pursue, we instead make a check list of how we plan to be good Christians. Then we approach God through that check list of goals. We get focused on doing Christianity like giving a tithe, going to church, praying for others, etc. while meanwhile we neglect first and foremost to pursue an actual relationship with God.
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” ~Titus 3:4~
Noticed the order? It’s not goals (good works) first and then God. It’s God first and then His goals.
Challenge: When you feel pressured and stressed out trying to accomplish a goal for God, please pause and make sure it’s actually God and His goal that you are going after and not just a goal on your own check list. God’s goals are good and profitable, our own goals have no such guarantee.