I. We Glorify God by Achieving Godly Goals
A. Godly Goal seeking is a mark of maturity
(which means that those who aren’t stretching for spiritual goals are…)
Phil 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching/stretching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind;and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
B. Goals are Necessary for Walking in Wisdom and Doing the Will of God
Wisdom = choosing the right objectives and the right way of obtaining them
Eph 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk/controlled with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled/controlled with/by the Spirit, (wine gives a distorted escapist view of reality)
Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. (exchanging temporary moments for eternal treasure)
Romans 14: 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
C. Goals are necessary for living soundmindedly
(Arete=virtue=life governed by objectives rather than passion/emotions)
Titus 1:8 hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 2:6 exhort the young men to be sober-minded
II. We Mistakenly Try to Glorify Ourselves by Not Pursuing Godly Goals
A. Following Impulse/Feelings/Desires rather than the Holy Spirit
(thus by default our/Satan’s will rather than God’s will)
Pr 18:1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddles with all wisdom.
Phil 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame——who set their mind on earthly things.
Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts/desires; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.
19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
B. Unthinkingly following Habit/Tradition
Mk 7:7 And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Worth and value come from being a “good” person (as defined by the culture) rather than pleasing God.
C. People pleasing rather than God pleasing
Ac 18:20 When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not
1Cor 15: 32…If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" 33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Jn 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work
Mark 1:35 in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
2Sam 5:18,22 And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
E. Following Satan/world
Eph 2:2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response
- How can someone have a written plan to fulfill their earthly purpose of glorifying God, and then ignore it for dumpster diving?
- Why do people resist sound-minded, purposeful living? What will be their consequences? How can you help them see the light?
- What role do the character traits of diligence and perseverance play in achieving godly goals? Is laziness sin?
- What do we lose when we chase after temporal power (security/significance), pleasure and possessions?
- What does the set of goals and objectives you’re following reveal about your desires and values? How will it play in eternity?