Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Would you consider your life pursuits to be pleasing to the Lord? Today we evaluate, set, and achieve godly goals.
The Success God's Way series continues. I want you to turn, if you will, to First Samuel chapter seventeen. I want to give you a little background about what this chapter is all about.
Because we'll take this whole chapter and I won't read it all. This is the account of David facing Goliath. So let me give you a little background of what's happening. The armies of the Philistines are camped on one side of the valley. The armies of Israel are camped on the other side. And now for forty days this big giant Goliath has come out and he's challenged the armies of Israel.
And he's challenged anyone who will come out and fight him. And here's the deal he makes. He says, if I kill you, then you will serve the Philistines. You kill me, we will serve Israel.
And so this has been going on for forty days. And Saul, the king of Israel, is afraid. His army is afraid.
Everybody's afraid and nothing's happening. And so sooner or later they're going to attack. Well, Jesse, who is David's father, and remember that there were eight of those boys. And three of them are in the battle line with King Saul. And so Jesse says to David, he says, David, I want you to take this food, cheese and so forth to your brothers and check on them and see how they're doing and then come back and tell me. So David does exactly that. He comes up to the battle line. He begins to find out what's going on and talks to his brothers.
And in the midst of doing so, out comes Goliath and makes one of his speeches about what he's going to do to the nation of Israel and how he's challenging them. Well, with that background in mind, what I want to do is to give you the ten steps to reaching your goals. And let me say, first of all, this does not mean that every time you have a goal, you have to go through all of these ten steps. But one thing is certain, because some goals are immediate.
That is something you have to do today or tomorrow, whatever. But goals that are worth really finding in life and goals that are worth discovering and goals that are worth accomplishing and achieving in life, it takes more than just the day and just tomorrow. And so we're talking about those goals that we set not only immediate goals and those short-range goals and long-range goals, but remember that we're talking about the goals that God gives us. God-given goals fall in this category. You see, because a God-given goal, it must be this. The continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants me to be and accomplishing the goals that God has helped me to set. And so we think in terms of what success is all about, that's what success is all about. Becoming the person God wants us to be and accomplishing those goals that God has helped us to set. And so we think in terms of a goal as an aim, a purpose, an objective toward which we have directed our energies and our strength. And so with that in mind, let's ask the question, what are the steps that will help me reach those goals that God has helped me to set in life?
The first one is a clear picture. When David came upon the scene and he heard Goliath beginning to challenge the nation of Israel again and listen to what these other soldiers were saying, he got a very clear picture of what the issue was. And that is that the nation of Israel is being challenged, the very God of Israel is being challenged, the king was being challenged, and the armies of Israel were being defied by one giant. So the goal was very clear to David. That is, kill Goliath. Very simple, very plain.
Because to do so would demonstrate to the other enemies that Israel had and would have that the God of Israel is God and will give them victory. And so as he looked around, he listened very carefully to what was going on, listened to the taunts of Goliath. That goal began to crystallize in his mind. This man had to be destroyed. This man had to be killed and found out this had been going on for 40 days.
This couldn't go on for 30 more days, 60 more days, 100 more days. This had to be done and it had to be done as quickly as possible. His goal was crystal clear in his mind. The second step is this, and that is a consuming desire to accomplish your goal. Now you say, well, what do you mean by consuming desire? Well, I simply mean this. It can't be a ho-hum sort of a, well, I'd like to. Well, I want to. Well, I've been thinking about it. One of my dreams in life, there has to be some feeling in it.
There has to be some ferments in it. There ought to be a passion, a sense of energy, a divine motivation on the inside. I believe this is a goal that God has helped me to set and therefore I want to achieve this and I'm excited about it and I want to do whatever's necessary to get it done. And what happens is something begins to happen on the inside of you.
And that is, what happens is you begin to have a consuming desire. Now, if you have confidence based on who He is within you, based on what God has promised you. Listen to what the apostle Paul said. He said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Was that some egotistical boast?
No, it was not. What was it? It was an expression of an inner confidence that was absolutely unshakable writing this in a prison cell. He said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Why?
Based on a relationship with Christ, based on past experiences and based on the truth of what He knew about God. And I think many, many people lose it right there. They say, well, I think I can. Well, I certainly hope I can. Well, I know I've seen other people do this, but you know, after all, I'm really not anybody special, and I really don't have all that many skills. And I'm sure there's some other folks who could do it better. So what?
That's not even the issue. The issue is what does God want you to do? What does God want you to accomplish? That is the right attitude. Confidence, listen, not egotism based on self-strength, but listen, confidence based on the living presence of the living God within you. Whatever He calls you to do, God has decided. He's already set His mind. As the Scripture says in the Psalms, God is on your side.
He will enable you to accomplish whatever it is God has led you to set for a goal for your life. Now, number four, that is the course of action. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, let's look to see what David did, for example. He didn't just decide, well, I'm just going to go kill Goliath. No, I believe David thought through this very carefully. He listened to him and he watched him. So here's what David said.
What's my course of action? Well, first of all, he knew that he had to have Saul's approval. Saul was the king, whatever he said when. So in speaking with Saul, he first of all had to convince Saul that he could do it.
Step number one there. And then he had to deal with this whole issue and Saul said, I want you to use my armor. No, I can't use your armor because I'm not used to that. That wouldn't fit in the way I would do it. This man is, he's armed to the hilt.
Well, but you see, I don't operate that way. And if I'm going to do this, I have to do this the way I believe God wants me to do it. So he had to refuse his armor. Then he had to go to the creek and find himself the right stones, five stones he picked up.
Probably nice and round and ones that fly through the air real fast. And so then he decided, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to let old Goliath come out there and make one of his challenges. And then when he makes his challenge and tells us what he's going to do to us, then I'm going to tell him what I'm going to do to him. And I'm going to get him so mad, so angry, and so intimidated by me, since I'm not out there with, I have no sword, no shield, no armor barrow.
All I have is a stick that is a staff of a shepherd and my slingshot. I want to get him so upset and so angry, he's going to charge. When he charges, I'm going to charge and I'm going to have him off guard because he's going to be angry and so intimidated by this little runt, I got him.
That is exactly what he did. Very important that you have a course of action. The fifth goal or the fifth step here is a calendar of events. Well, you say, what do you mean a calendar of events?
Simply this, if you don't have some time limits, it's not going to get done. One of these days, we're going to redecorate the house. One of these days, we're going to start saving money and put our kids in college. One of these days that we're going to buy us a new car. One of these days, we're going on one of those big vacations.
One of these days, one of these days, one of these days. That's a dream. That's an idea. That may be some fantasy of yours that you're on to somewhere.
That's not a goal. It's got to be crystal clear. And so here's what happens. When you put a date down by it, everything in you begins to move. And what happens is, listen to this carefully, your conscious mind and your subconscious begins to go to work. When you are consciously thinking about one thing, your subconscious also has the antennas out and you'll come to this thought and that thought and things will click in your mind that you thought you hadn't thought about before. What's happening?
God is using every facet of your being to enable you and to help you to accomplish the goal that you've set. And so whatever the goal is, there are specific steps and those specific steps need some kind of a date on them or else what will happen is you'll get discouraged, you'll lay it aside and that goal will no longer be a goal in your life. I cannot tell you how very important it is that you have a course of action and that you also not only have a course of action but that you have a calendar of time. When do I want to get this done?
How long do I want to give it? Well, number six, and that is cooperation. Now think about this for a moment. I don't know personally of very many goals in life that you and I can accomplish as lone rangers. And once in a while you'll meet somebody who's going to do it themselves.
They're going to do it their way all by themselves. Now there are some goals you don't want to tell anybody about until either you're a long ways into them and see success close by or there may be a few goals in life that you keep to yourself. Certainly there are some things that you can certainly accomplish alone but not very many.
And certainly no real big goals in your life. For example, if you have goals that involve your family, you need that cooperation. You have goals that involve your business, you need the cooperation of the employees. You have goals in ministry, you need the team there.
They have to realize that this is something that, this is of God, this is what we want to do as a body. And so therefore it's wise to find people around you who can help you accomplish that goal. Very important that we think in terms of this whole idea of cooperation. Then of course, number seven is consistency. What do I mean by that? Simply this, you don't start something and stop it. You set your eye on the goal and you do not let someone else seal it from you because they're wavering somewhere else. When I think about that, I'm thinking, when I think about consistency, I'm thinking about, hey listen, that you set your eye on the goal, you have a determined fixed purpose.
Very important that you and I are consistent because otherwise we're going to drift. And so all these clamoring things that demand our time and our attention and our energy, if you don't set your eye on the goal, if it's not some kind of a passion inside of you, if it's not something you really and truly want to achieve, if it isn't worthy of your concentration, your thought and your time, you won't do it. Now I would never say to somebody, you set your eye on your goal apart from God, no. If it is a God-given goal, your eye must always be upon Him to help you keep your eye on the goal, as that is accomplishments in your everyday life. He must enable you and strengthen you. And so having your eye on your goal is not a conflict because your eye ultimately is on the Lord God seeking His direction for your life and how He wants you to achieve that.
He is so willing to give us so many wonderful ideas if we will stop to say, okay, what can I do at this point? I certainly do not want to be drifting. I don't want time to be wasted.
I don't want resources to be wasted. I don't want my mind to get cloudy. God, focus my attention and just seal me to what you want me to accomplish. There are some big goals in your life. If they're worthy goals, you have to keep your eye on them or else you're going to lose them and if you get your eye off of them and it's very easy to do that, you're just going to drift off and say, well, you know what, that was one of those big goals I had at China. But somewhere along the way, I guess I just laid it down.
Why? Because either you didn't have the motivation to begin with, either it was not worthy of, it did not deserve your time, deserve your energy, deserve your thought and deserve your focus and listen, deserve your being steadfast, then you lay it down. All right, goal number eight. Very important goal and that is controlling our emotions. Controlled emotions is a very, very important essential part of reaching our goals. Now, here's what happens to us oftentimes. We let people with their pettiness, she thinks.
How in the world does he think? Who do they think they are? And they're people who are just petty and they're critical. They can't stand to see you getting ahead in life.
And so what do they do? They want to tear you down instead of saying, you know, I see how you're being blessed. Show me how to get blessed like that. You know what they want to do?
Let's get him down here in the mud with me so I won't have to look at that and be intimidated by it. Friend, listen, don't let people intimidate you about anything. You know why? Because you are a child of the living God. Almighty God, Jehovah God, the Son Jesus Christ lives on the inside of you in the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.
You don't have to bow down to anybody in intimidation because of their wealth, their status, their fame, their fortune, nothing. You are a child of the living God. And what happens to us? We listen to other people. People steal our dreams when we listen to all their negative attitudes. And then there's some people who steal each other's dreams by deliberate, willful, negative, caustic, undermining, belittling remarks. Well, I don't know who you think you are, but I can tell you right now it's the stupidest thing I ever heard of in my life. I thought you had more sense than that.
I mean, man, where's your brain? Have you ever done that to somebody? Have you ever done that to your kids? Listen, child comes up in a crazy, mixed up, fouled up world like we live in and they've got good goals for God's sake.
And for their sake, encourage them. Dad's betting on you. Think you can do it. You know what? Even though you know they're going to fail, they need your encouragement. Because you know what? All of us have failed at things at times. We've all been defeated at times. But you know what?
Thank God for the people around us who said, you know what? That's okay. You didn't get it that time. You'll get it next time. You'll make it. Just hang in there. Don't give up. Don't quit.
It makes no difference. We need to be encouragers, not defeaters. Encouragers. And everybody likes encouragement. Let's say, for example, you're going through some difficult time or you're facing some goal in your life and things are looking a little tough. And what do you want most of all?
You want somebody to either put their arm around you or put their hand on your shoulder and say, you know what? I believe in you. I just want you to know I believe in you and I'm rooting for you.
I'm praying for you. I believe you can do it. I believe you can accomplish that.
What does that do? That builds up your sense of self-esteem. We, listen, not only ought we to be reaching goals, but we ought to also be willing to help other people reach their goals.
I believe that if a person is committed to helping other people reach their goals, there's going to be more help than you would ever dream that comes to help you meet your goal. Well, number nine, and that is the courage to act. Well, I certainly don't have to say much about David here because he had all the courage necessary.
He walked out and faced Goliath by himself, took his sling, one shot that did the job, killed him, cut off his head, and the army of Israel attacked and destroyed the Philistines. He certainly had the courage, not just courage in Saul's tent, but he had courage when he stood alone facing this giant. Now, fear is a paralyzer, fear of failure, fear of what other people are going to say. Courage, that is the willingness to take a step. When I don't know where that step's going to leave me necessarily, I just know what the goal is. I don't know what I'm going to have to face, but I'm willing to take this step no matter what. My reaching the goal is worth whatever I have to deal with in life. Courage, where do I get that courage? One of the best places to get it is reading the Word of God to see how He helped others in the Scriptures through their difficulties and through their trials and their obstacles by reaching their goals. Getting on my knees and asking God to give me direction and guidance. One of the ways we get courage strengthened is by the encouragement we set of other people. Well, the last one, and there are probably other things we could say, but certainly a conscious dependence upon God. Now, that's what He wants.
God wants us to depend upon Him, but if you'll notice the first nine of these wasn't just dependence. It was something we have to do, an attitude we have to have, steps we have to take in order to see those goals accomplished. Now, you say, well, how would I start? Well, let me ask you this. What do you want to happen to you when you die? Well, if there's life after death and as you Christians say, I want to go to heaven.
Well, I can tell you that is a very worthy goal. You ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins. You accept the Scripture that He is the Son of the living God and that His death at Calvary on the cross paid your sin debt in full. And that if you're willing to acknowledge that He is the Savior and you're willing to receive Him as your personal Savior by faith, that moment you are saved and from that moment for all eternity you become a child of God.
Only God knows what He will do in your life if you will let Him, let Him set the goals in your life and put to practice these simple ten but absolutely essential principles if you're going to accomplish anything in your life that is worthwhile. Thank you for listening to part two of How to Reach Your Goals. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
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