As I get ready to set my 5% Spring Challenge Goals for the challenge beginning March 17, I want to honor God as I continue to care for his creation (Rom 12:1) after losing 103 lbs and maintaining healthy BMI primarily in the 22-23 range.
Romans 12:1 -- I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Building God-honoring goals incorporates the following strategies:
1) Believe (Mark 10:27 and Philippians 4:13),
2) Wait (Ps 27:14),
3) Write (Hab 2:2 and Is 30:8),
4) Partner (Ecc 4:9-12),
5) Change (Ephesians 4:22-24, John 8:10-11, Proverbs 23:29-3), and
6) Follow-through (Proverbs 22:13-15)
1 BELIEVE AND BE STRONG.
What an awesome God we have! (Mark 10:27 and Phil 4:13) May your faith be strong. (Heb 11:1)
Mark 10:27 -- Jesus glanced around at them and said, "With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
Philippians 4:13 -- I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
Hebrews 11:1 -- NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
2 LEARN TO WAIT AND LISTEN.
Not all goals will bring instant success. When the scale doesn't move as hoped, I can appreciate that a non-scale victory is waiting to be revealed. Whether the goal is about weight, giving, money, or reward it is important to remain in dialog (prayer) with God, God will sometimes say, "wait!" (Ps 27:14) "be still" (Ps 37:7) "patient!" (Job 6:11) "prosper" and have "hope" (Jer 29:11)
Psalm 27:14 -- Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalm 37:7 -- Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
Job 6:11 -- What strength have I left, that I should wait and hope? And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient?
Jeremiah 29:11 -- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
3 WRITE YOUR GOD-HONORING GOALS.
Post your goals where you see them often.
Habakkuk 2:2 -- And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.
Isaiah 30:8 -- Now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be as a witness for the time to come forevermore.
I try to write SMART goals in that they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
4 PARTNER WITH A GOOD FRIEND OR LOVED ONE(S). Here, your SparkFriends can be instrumental in helping you stay focused. Use your Status line to ask for help. Encourage others through your huddles.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 -- (9) Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; (10) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (11) Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? (12) And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
5 CHANGE IS GUARANTEED. Take your focus off the sin (ie keep your back to the buffet line, a strategy I use regularly).
Ephesians 4:22-24 -- (22) Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; (23) And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], (24) And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
John 8:11b -- And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more."
Proverbs 23:29-31 -- (29) Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness and dimness of eyes? (30) Those who tarry long at the wine, those who go to seek and try mixed wine. (31) Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the wineglass, when it goes down smoothly.
6 FOLLOW-THROUGH, FOLLOW-THROUGH, FOLLOW-THROUGH. The following scripture answers three common excuses we may use while reaching our God-honoring goals: 1) I'm too scared to start (Lion in the road), 2) I'm too tired to start (stays in bed), 3) I'm too tired to finish (Oh me!--distressed and weary)
Proverbs 22:13-15 -- (13) The sluggard says, There is a lion in the way! A lion is in the streets! (14) As the door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man [move not from his place] upon his bed. (15) The slothful and self-indulgent buries his hand in his bosom; it distresses and wearies him to bring it again to his mouth.
Based on this criteria, as learned initially from a set of sermons by Pastor Mark Pavola, I plan to update my SparkPage in the next day or two with my God-honoring goals for the 5% Challenge.
Feel free to share your advice for building great goals.