Some will lead a little life. And that’s fine, I guess.
Some will have a little fun, buy a little home, work a little job and enjoy little hobbies.
I know this can sound a little arrogant and even a bit judgmental, but instead of pulling back I think I’ll take this thought a little farther. Some people are simply wasting away their lives. A purposeless week, a pointless month, an empty year continually tolerated will inevitably lead to a wasted life.
Sure, you can enjoy a mediocre life. This life can be enjoyable to anyone who lives on this beautiful planet (Mt. 5:45). But is your enjoyment the chief end of your existence? Do you exist merely for the purpose of personal pleasure, or is there a better way to live?
1. Discover your Purpose
You are a perfectly designed creature, shaped by a master craftsman. God did not create you out of leftovers. God did not spend time designing you so that you could live a “normal” life. I believe in a personal God (Lk. 12:7) who knows you, loves you and has a wonderful plan for you. Think about it, if He has taken time to count the hairs of your head, doesn’t it make sense that He likely has a plan for your life? So, discover your purpose. Get to know your creator through His Word, His church, and his people this year. Read your Bible to see His thoughts on your life. Attend your church to hear from the minister God has given to you. Build relationships with other Christians who are on a similar journey and will be able to help you discover God’s purpose in your life.
2. Dream Big
“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” – Jon Wolfgang von Goethe
I’m looking forward to seeing the new movie Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks, not because it stars Tom Hanks and not because it’s about the production of Mary Poppins but because it features the story of one of America’s biggest dreamers, Walt Disney. I don’t think its fair to call me an Apple fanatic but I do love their products. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Pro. These incredible products were all the result of a big dreamer named Steve Jobs. For what are you reaching? For what are you working? For what grand design did God Himself mold you to accomplish? What amazing feat will you do in order to bring glory to Him? Mediocre lives begin and end with mediocre dreams.
3. Defend your Priorities
You’d better be okay with it! Get ready for it. It’s bound to happen. There will be those who question your priorities. They won’t understand why it is you put such an emphasis on what you do. They will question your motives, methods and results. Forget them and defend what is most important in your life. For me, my number one priority is my personal relationship with Jesus. I spend time with him daily in prayer and study. I worship Him in song, charitable giving and healthy living. I am led by His Spirit (Jn. 16:13) and seek to live by His example. My second priority is my family. My dear Heather, followed by my 3 children, are only placed second in comparison to God. They are more important to me than my ministerial calling, extended family and life’s legacy. In the truest sense they really are the essence of my ministerial calling and life’s legacy. Third on my list would be my pastoral calling. God made me to be a pastor in Las Vegas. There are billions of Christians, thousands of pastors but only a few hundred pastors in Las Vegas. I’ve been called to be one of those. Moreover, I’m the only lead pastor at Southern Hills, this I see as my third priority. There are currently 650 people who come every sunday to this local church. I study diligently in order to present helpful sermons. I pray much in order to intercede for them. I exercise and eat well in order to give them many years of service. What I do in my ministry, I do for them.
Though my dreams may get big, they will never go beyond the joyous boundaries of my priorities. For they direct me. They clarify my existence. They simplify my schedule. They remind me what is truly important. My priorities are what save me from living the mediocre life of the typical and forgettable modern “success” story.
4. Declare S.M.A.R.T. Goals
They say a goal without a plan is merely a wish. Jesus spoke of an architect who didn’t plan out his building project and a general who didn’t plan out his war in Luke 14:28-32. Here He condemns the individual who attempts to accomplish great things without planning ahead. Therefore I suggest that you set S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2014. Using this plan has helped me tremendously and I want to share it with you.
Specific – Ask the question: What do I want to accomplish? This step provides clarity & simplicity in goal setting.
Measurable – Ask the question: What is the Next Step? This step provides practical direction.
Attainable – Ask the question: How do I accomplish this? This step is about scheduling. Put the next step in your calendar and don’t cancel it.
Relevant – Ask the question: Is this worthwhile? This step points back to your priorities. An accountant could have the goal to become Guild Master level 28 in WoW by March 1st, but is that a truly relevant goal to his priorities?
Time-Bound – Ask the question: When will this be accomplished? This step will give your goals a sense of urgency.
On Wednesday I will follow up this post with a Practical Resolution Check-List
What resolutions are you making for 2014? Comment Below: