My Life Goals
A “life goal” is a short expression of what someone wants their life to be about. It serves as a guiding light for the “course” of their life, as well as for the “destination” they hope to arrive at by the conclusion of their life.
Very few people would ever set out on a holiday without any idea of where they’re going or how they’re getting there. Rather, people tend to select certain, final destinations for their holidays, which can also include a number of “waypoints” to stop at along the way to their destination.
The same should be true for Christians during their spiritual journey of being transformed into the image of Jesus. (Which is God’s predestined plan for every believer.)
Identifying Life Goals
Questions to help clarify personal life goals
Considering final destinations (and waypoints along the way), here are four appropriate questions for all believers to think about. Thinking about answers to these questions can help clarify life goals and strategies for achieving those goals.
- How do you want to “be found” when you stand in front of the Lord at His return?
- What accomplishments or successes do you hope to have made in your life?
- What character qualities do you want to have that accurately describe who you’ve become in your mind and heart and spirit?
- What specific words of praise—about who you are and what you’ve done in your life—do you hope to hear from Jesus?
Those are good questions, right? Have you ever thought of them before?
To be completely honest, I’d never thought of those myself, before I was in the process of literally typing-while-thinking just now! I mean, I have had life goals and plans—which this section is all about. But, I don’t think I’ve ever thought about goals and plans from the specific perspective of how they’ll impact my literal meeting Jesus, face to face.
My Life Goal at 29
“Using my spiritual gift of exhortation to ‘present every man complete in Christ.'”
I shared in a prior section about my Christian mentor, Marvin Robbins. Marvin was the one who first encouraged me to select one or two Bible verses which would serve as a life goal for me. He explained that it’s important for true disciples of Jesus to have a defined, specific, life-long goal.
By that time in my Christian life, I’d already learned that my spiritual gift was exhortation, or encouragement. So, it seemed to me that an appropriate life goal should have a direct link to my spiritual gift.
After searching through various New Testament books for a while, I finally came to Colossians and found this.
28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
This initial life goal was primarily focused on helping believers learn accurate Biblical doctrine to enable them to become “complete in Christ,” which is to grow into being mature Christians. Often, the way the Holy Spirit worked through my gift was in my sharing Bible verses with someone to encourage them about a particular situation they were in. At other times, it was by sharing Bible verses to try to correct someone who wasn’t accurately understanding God, or His truth.
But during this time, I still had what I now understand to be a somewhat simplistic understanding of how it is that people can be motivated to continue in their pursuit of spiritual maturity—to become “complete in Christ.”
An Initial Transition in Thinking
Understanding the concept of glory
Four or five years ago, God began a work in me to focus my attention on these questions:
- How it is that Christians are most effectively transformed into the image of Jesus?
- Is it by faithfully committed obedience?
- Is it by more accurate understanding of God’s Word?
As I meditated on those questions, three passages kept speaking to me: 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2 Corinthians 4:4–6, 1 John 3:2–3.
2 Corinthians 3:18
18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:4–6
4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
1 John 3:2–3
2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
The “mirror” in 2 Corinthians 3:8 is the Word of God. As we continually gaze into that mirror, what we more clearly see is the “glory of the Lord,” which 4:4–6 calls the “light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ” and the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 1 John 3:2–3 basically says the same thing. There’s great value in longing to see—face to face—the glory of Jesus.
As we continually look into God’s Word, intentionally looking for the Gospel to reveal to us the glory of Jesus, which reflects the actual glory of God, there’s a supernatural, transformative process that happens through the Holy Spirit, as we’re progressively changed into the image of Jesus.
An Second Transition in Thinking
Understanding the role of the glory of God
A more recent transition in my thinking has happened as God has directed me to consider a followup question, “Why does seeing and appreciating God’s glory accelerate the process of maturity in believers?”
Meditating on this question led me to understand the following progression (which I also shared on my home page).
As we gaze into the glory of God revealed in the Bible, we more fully appreciate the nature, character, purposes, plans and works of God on our behalf. As we continue to abide in His Word, intentionally searching for greater and greater visions of Who God is, the more awesome and wonderful He becomes to us, the more we appreciate His love, the more we naturally fall in love with Him, and the more surely we’re transformed into the image of Jesus.
A bigger and more accurate view of God and His gracious work in our lives and His immeasurable love for us, naturally develops in us a more intense and reciprocal love for Him. He becomes our true treasure. He becomes our true “life.”
A Simple Example
The traffic in Bali, Indonesia can be—and often is—truly horrible. Seriously. It’s often a huge headache to have to get on the road to go somewhere.
Not long ago, I had gone to a local grocery store for some things and was on my way home. My route required me to cross a very busy street to get to the smaller road which led to our house. The traffic—as usual—was very heavy, and there was a solid line of cars in the opposite lane which were preventing me from turning onto that smaller road to our house. All of a sudden, someone in a car in the oncoming traffic literally stopped and the driver waved for me to cross in front of him.
That small, kind act brought an immediate smile to my face as I gave that driver a very thankful wave back. Plus, there were also these immediate thoughts, “Wow that was nice. I should also look for opportunities to be nice to others like that driver was to me!”
Here’s the point of this story. Anytime we perceive someone doing something loving for us—no matter how small the act is–we automatically have a reciprocal desire to also do something loving back. The larger, spiritual lesson I’ve learned is this:
The simple secret to loving God is to consistently, consciously, focus our attention on seeing all His expressions of love for us—especially as they’re revealed in His Word.
My Revised Life Goal at 66
“Using my spiritual gift of exhortation to direct believers to behold the glory of the One True God in the face of Christ.”
The results of those two transitions in my thinking has brought about this revision in my life goal. This version still has the same end-point objective—to help believers become “complete in Christ.” But my life goal at 66 now also includes an understanding of how the process of transformation best takes place, and also includes a plan for the specific things I can do to facilitate that process in other believers.
If we learn to constantly look for the glory of God… revealed through Jesus… as we study God’s Word…we’ll also more clearly recognize and appreciate the expressions of His immeasurable love for us. And, the more naturally we’ll express our reciprocal love for Him.
Implementing My Revised Life Goal
Creating instructional and devotional materials to “ignite” the following progression
Based on how I now understand the orderly process—or, progression—for how Christians grow to spiritual maturity, I intend to design and produce instructional materials which will encourage and assist Christians to:
- More intentionally look for the glory of God as they study His Word
- More progressively see the glory of God revealed in the Bible
- More fully appreciate God’s greatness, goodness and immeasurable love for us
- More naturally and deeply fall in love with God
- More faithfully obey God and and more consistently experience life transformation
- More consistently experience joy, peace and spontaneous worship as His children