Pastor Paul's Perspective


Setting Spiritual Goals

At breakfast this morning with a group of men from West Pines, we talked about goals. Goals that we have in our lives in a variety of categories. We have goals for our health, our finances, our family, our careers, our educations, and even our patience (or lack of . . . ). Goals help us achieve those things that we think are important. At least, important at the time.

I must admit, I'm a goal setter. I set goals for 1 year, 3 years, 10 years, and long-range goals. Sometimes I reach the goal and sometimes I don't. But goals help me push myself to achieve something worthwhile. Someone once said:

"If you aim at nothing, you're sure to hit it every time."

So I aim at something. I aim at a goal.

But here's what my peeps (men's breakfast club) and I learned:

1. We are way more likely to set non-God / non-church / non-spiritual goals than we are to set more spiritually significant goals. (i.e. having a goal to earn a Master's degree but not having a goal to lead someone to a personal relationship with Jesus) 

2. When we do (rarely) set spiritually significant goals, they typically have more to do with gaining knowledge than doing what Jesus did. (i.e. setting a goal to memorize John chapter 1 but not setting a goal to wash the feet of my peers at work)

This Sunday, March 3, we will be looking closely at Philippians 3:7-16 where the Apostle Paul speaks of "pressing on".

"I press toward the goal for the prize . . . " (3:14)

"Press toward" is a term associated with running a race to win the prize. (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-27) Paul is pressing on to win the prize. He is running with a goal in mind, not running just to run. Paul's running is not physical - it's spiritual. And his goal is spiritual as well. Paul presses on to reach the goal and the goal is Jesus - now and in the future.

Paul wants the prize of Jesus. Knowing Jesus. Experiencing the excellence of Jesus. Knowing the power of Jesus. Knowing the suffering of Jesus. Conforming to Jesus. NOW!!!

Yes, Paul wants to WIN by pressing on so he can know Jesus. Now, in this life.

But Paul has heaven in view as well and he runs - he presses on - to know Jesus now AND in eternity.

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He (Jesus) is able to subdue all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)


You see, Paul was running - "pressing on" - not only to win the race and gain the prize now. Paul had eternity in mind as he ran his race called life. Always pressing on to win, to reach his goal - a spiritual goal.

See Hebrews 12:1-2 for some more insight on how to run to reach the goal. The goal being Jesus Himself.

See you Sunday,
Pastor Paul

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