Recently I was asked what my future aspirations are, personal goals and what did I want for my future. I could not answer the question at the time and needed to reflect on that. So many people make vision boards of the things they want in their life; their finances, their dream homes, holidays, sporting goals, career goals, heath goals, losing weight or hill walk certain places, the list can be endless for each person. Others use the SMART targets template to plan out their goals, while others use mind mapping to plan their future aspirations and there are many more strategies you can google to help you get to the desired intention for your life.
During a time of bible study and prayer; I felt an inkling the Lord asking - ‘What are your spiritual goals and aspirations?’ How many of us make a ‘Spiritual Plan’ for our spiritual goals and aspirations? The scripture that came to mind was Colossians 3:1-2 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” This scripture really challenged me because it is so easy to get caught up on the things of the physical world around us and achieving a desired outcome in the world. Jesus reminded us in Matthew 26: 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” and Romans 8 and Hebrews 11 remind us it is impossible to please God without having the Holy Spirit and without faith. I felt provoked in that moment; where do I want to be with Jesus in 5 years' time? What are the strategies to get there, and what was I going to plan into my diary to intentionally grown into my full God-given purpose.
Let us not forget the words of Paul in Romans 14 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter ofeating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.”
There is so much on our plates these days, all our responsibilities of daily life, family responsibilities, career aspirations and general workload, chores and then the challenges and trials that come; not to mention the things that concern us in the environment, economic and political pressures. The truth is that we can’t withstand the push and pull of all these things without Jesus being the foundation of all we hold. As a single parent of a teenager and a toddler, it can be a challenge to find the time to get a quiet moment to spend with the Lord. So, this is why it is so important for me to plan it into my diary, otherwise other things will creep in and make themselves a priority. I have found that since I started giving specific time for things like bible study, prayer, fasting, fellowship, etc. I am becoming more consistent and not just with my time with the Lord but in other areas of my life.
For example, I am seeing the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5 starting to sprout more abundantly; peace, joy, gentleness and love. I hope that this inspires you to go deeper into Jesus, deeper into reading your bible, deeper into prayer and fasting and worship, and I leave you with these two verses:
James 1:4 “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” Amen.