Alignment between Your goals and God's goal could be the missing ingredient in Your personal growth pursuit.
We finished last week wondering how our goals work in with the change that God has and is working in us through Jesus Christ. The question is - How does my goal setting (for my fitness, career, finances, relationships, etc.) work in with the salvation plan that God is working in me and the world through Jesus Christ?
We may - if you're like me - find that God has changed us "over here" whilst we have a life filled with all kinds of effortful pursuits and goals "over there". That's a life lived jumping between two tracks, but is it what God's salvation is all about?
Perhaps a helpful way to move our conversation forward is to ask, "what is God's ultimate goal for all of us?" This question is helpful because it actually leads to two follow up questions:
Are my goals, whatever they may be, aligned with God's ultimate goal for all of us?
And where can I identify misalignment, and what is causing it?
A Personal Admission
I have found goal setting hard over the years. I'm great at setting the goals and plans that I want to grow in. And they are quite often elaborate, extensive, and inspiring. But what I've found over the years is there is a slow fade as live builds pace and complexity over the course of each new year. What started out as strong and passionate goal and growth focus becomes haphazard, two-steps forward and one-step backward kind of stuff.
A couple of years ago I just gave up on goal setting altogether. It's not that I didn't and don't want to grow. It's just that my system wasn't working, and I'd tried a fair few.
As I have continued to grow (God works His own growth plans for our lives, irrespective of what we plan to do or otherwise), I have reflected on my goal-setting challenges and aimed to learn from my many frustrating attempts at a goal setting process. And I have come to what I feel is a significant insight:
I need alignment between my pursuits and God's purpose!
Like a champion team can beat a team of champions...
Have you heard the saying quoted above? "That a champion team will beat a team of champions"? There are actual examples of a champion team beating a team of superstars.
The wisdom of the saying is that a team of well-connected, aligned, and skillful players can beat a team of exceptionally skilled but superficially connected players. The link between my goal setting and this saying is this:
My goals have tended to be a team of champions. Not well-connected. Not aligned to God's bigger picture. And yet quite exciting prospects on their own.
It has only recently dawned on me as that is the case. As I say, I haven't abandoned growth, not at all. I've just laid down my own efforts at goal-setting and paid attention to the big goal that the Lord has had for me. But I've had the niggling frustration of this one thought - there are areas I am more or less aware of that I want to improve, grow, and develop intentionally in, and I just don't get to. Without proper focus!
And this is where the alignment factor has become a new insight for me to start to work with!
God + Us (A Champion Team)
God and His goal for the world certainly must come first if we are serious about our salvation, and serious about pursuing this life for the glory of God. But what I realise is I need to align my hungers, passions, and pursuits with God's ultimate goal for my life and this world. And with such alignment, my pursuits cohere with His overriding goal. And what was a team of champions becomes a champion team of goal pursuits.
Research + Reflect Task
So what is God's ultimate goal for my life and this world? We'll explore this together next week. But why don't you do some research and reflection this week, for yourself, on what you would discern this to be? Ask some people around you that you know are serious about their pursuit of God's purpose for their lives.
And further, do some reflecting. What areas of your life would you like to improve in? Grow in? Develop intentionally in? Don't judge them as aligned or misaligned before you list them. Just allow yourself to be free in your thinking and desiring. This gives you an honest self-assessment to work with.
Next week, we're going to ask and answer the question we've just posed, and look at how you can work through misalignment issues to get to a place of alignment and coherence between your goals and God's utlimate goal.
Pressing into this grace-empowered reboot with you.
Written by Ps. Rob.