How long has it been since you analyzed your spiritual goals and direction? Alan Rickman once said “I’ve never been able to plan my life. I just lurch from indecision to indecision.” I suppose that at times all of us could relate to Alan’s predicament of indecision. What should you do if you find yourself in a spiritual rut? What if you find yourself in a spiritual holding pattern of growth? Worse yet, what if you are distant from God and growing further even now? Consider these suggestions.
Make Up Your Mind. A spiritual plan begins with a conscious decision to serve God. While Satan would want you to wallow in indecision, God wants you to get off the fence and make a conscious informed decision to serve him. Get in the game! Joshua told the people to make a decision—choose this day who they would serve (Josh. 24:15). In making this decision you’ll want to avoid Satan’s allure to do evil. Sin will entice you. Satan is a master at making darkness appear as light (Is. 5:20-21). Instead, you must overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21). When you make a concerted decision to prioritize the king of kings, you will put his kingdom first and move in the right direction (Matt. 6:33).
Clean up Your Spiritual Diet. Jesus is called the bread of life (John 6:35, 48). He came to give spiritual water so that we could never thirst again (John 6:13ff). God wants you to hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6). Spiritually, Satan will fill your life with all sorts of spiritual junk food. It is savory, but deadly (Heb. 11:23-26). When you eat the fruit of sin you’ll suffer with guilt, anxiety, turmoil and ultimately spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). Instead, choose the fruit of the spirit that nourishes now and forever (Gal. 5:22-23).
Settle in on a Particular Goal. In targeting in on a specific spiritual goal take a look at your spiritual armor (Eph. 6:13-20). How equipped are you for battle? Satan knows your every weakness and is ready to exploit you, lay your weaknesses wide open and lead you plundering toward destruction and death. Analyze your belt for truth, breastplate for righteousness, shoes for the gospel of peace, shield for faith, helmet for salvation, and your ability with the sword which is the word of God? Did you find weaknesses and deficiencies? If so, write down what you have found. These are worthwhile spiritual goals.
Make and Work a Plan for Achieving Your Goal. Once you have clearly identified a goal, carve out a clear plan for achieving this goal. Goals are rarely achieved by passive interest. Get busy! Get disciplined! Try to identify measurable endpoints of success on your path to the goal. These endpoints must be realistic. If you struggle with knowledge of the word, begin with a daily Bible reading plan. Take pride in finishing a chapter, book, section or select reading over a period of time. Pick up a Bible dictionary to look up unknown words and a concordance to synthesize your study. Write down questions you have as you read and words you don’t understand. Ask a trusted brother or sister to aid in your journey. You will strengthen their faith and bond with God.
Seek Spiritual Variety. Often, people will gravitate towards their spiritual strengths and shy away from their weaknesses. This is how the body is fitly joined together (Eph. 4:16). While it is good to know your limitations, it important to test new waters and get out of your spiritual comfort zone from time to time. As you pursue your goal, don’t be afraid to think laterally and choose a new Biblical method to get to your destination. Remember that no one is born a song leader, evangelist, preacher or elder’s wife. These skills are acquired with time and discipline. Discipline for the moment will be painful (Heb. 12:11), but remember you are on a glorious mission. Don’t let idealism, perfectionism or comparing yourself with some spiritual giant leave you discouraged. Also, don’t let hostile critics discourage you. Allow yourself to respectfully ignore them. You are on a mission! Do your best to be faithful to the Lord in achieving your goal. It is a high calling you are running after (Phil. 3:14).
Rejoice in Achieving the Goal. When you reach your goal, thank God for drawing you close to him. Know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58). You are running so that you can obtain the prize (1 Cor. 9:24). Rejoice in the lord, stay faithful and one day the ultimate crown will be yours (Phil. 4:4, Rev. 2:10).