The Best Goal of All

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Goals are good.  We don’t accomplish much without them.  It might be getting a good grade or a bonus or raise at work, meeting performance deadlines, being a good parent, being in the Guinness Book of World records, losing ten pounds, staying sober one more day, consistently reading the Bible and praying daily, finding a spouse with whom to share life, stop smoking, being more available for your children, or being debt free.  Goal setting is common, even if unspoken and unrealized.  Almost everyone does it whether they know it or not.

Goal-speak in the Bible is rare.  Most Bible translations only use the word between 4 and 8 times in the entire Bible.  But, it was there in other ways.  King David’s desire to love and serve God is well documented.  Many of his actions look as though they were goal driven.  Moses’ commitment to fulfill God’s call is unquestioned.  His steps had timing and outcomes in them.  That sounds goal-like.  Esther’s sacrificial aim to save the nation is clear and moving.  At least one goal was there.

The one, however, that moves me most is that of the apostle Paul as he said, “So we make it our goal to please Him . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:9).  On one hand, that seems the most achievable.  Our goal is not to save the entire nation as Esther did.  Our goal is not to move a million people to the promised land as Moses did.  Our goal is not to defeat an advancing army as David did.  Our goal is simply to please God.

On the other hand, it might seem unachievable.  Please God?  This mess of a person?  One prone to error and misjudgment as well as riddled with mistakes?  How do we pull this one off?  The very person who relies upon God’s regular forgiveness and consistent grace is supposed to please him?  Yes!  As a surrendered child of God, with God’s Spirit living inside of us, we are capable of not only knowing his will, but doing it.  And, it is the expectation that we will by God’s Spirit because it is not us, but the Spirit of God living in us (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:24) that is powerfully at work in those humbly submitted to him.

Pleasing God is a good goal.  It is the best and most achievable goal IF we are submitted to and reliant upon Him.  It is the most difficult of all goals if we attempt to achieve this without the Spirit of God living in us- convicting, forgiving, filling, directing and empowering.  However, if we are open to his correction and direction, this is a great and achievable, daily goal.  It requires a simple daily prayer to launch toward its achievement.  “God, may your will be done in my life today that I might please you.  Forgive me.  Fill me with your Spirit and love.  Lead me to understand your will and empower me to do it.”  Then, look out!  He will do it.

 

Matthew Thomas
By Matthew Thomas

In my sixth decade of seeing God work simply increases my faith. Born in California, raised in Washington, ministered in Washington, Oregon, Canada, Philippines, Idaho and now all over the world has given me reason to believe and praise. My wife, Marlene and four children (Luke, Mitch, Samuel and Charese) give me reason to give deep thanks. My eight beautiful grandchildren (Jalen, Jordan, Katelin, Andrew, Eli, Callia, Asher and Mikaela) give me reason to see that grace reaches beyond our immediate present into our un-conceived future. Serving with a great team in the Free Methodist Church makes me a blessed person in a blessed place, serving with blessed people.

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