Intro: Goal setting is an important part of preparing for the future. When we set goals, we are declaring our desire for character growth and personal development. Perhaps this growth involves a job objective, a new skill, or a project we hope to complete. Goals are about forming a strategic action plan and following through with it.
Setting goals for our spiritual lives is also essential. God’s children should always have a righteous action plan to advance the work of the Kingdom with our King. It would be great if every person on earth was interested in righteous goals, but let’s never forget Satan comes with a devious action plan to advance wickedness in the world. He wants to stop the advancement of righteousness. Therefore, we experience a collision of goals (righteous vs. wicked) all the time—this what makes up the spiritual battle.
A spiritual goal might involve an increase of faith, deeper confidence or trust in God’s Word, more authority in the Spirit over our thoughts, speech, and actions that work to guide our lives, or a greater level of commitment to the Lord in serving. There is no end to the spiritual goals we could be inspired by the Spirit to pursue. Faith calls us to hang onto our goals no matter what is happening in our lives at the time. Fear is not from God and we must believe the Lord is guiding our lives into a future and a hope (Jer 29:11).
So, how should we view the work of the world through people who are devious in their goals? Let’s be real and honest; some people have evil goals that flow from a depraved heart. In time, that depravity is revealed. Certainly, those wrong-minded persons can make life pretty difficult for the people seeking to live righteously before the God of all justice. The world may seek to pervert the course of justice, but no one can successfully conspire against us—the redeemed—when we are under the protective wings of God. He knows everything that is happening around us and what affects us. If a person chooses to live deviously, they have to deal with the arrows of God, because He is sovereignly working to defeat evil. What goes through my mind right now is gratitude, because I want to be lovingly held and protected by God not defeated by Him. Being on the wrong side of God (righteousness) is a picture of what is to come when every evil goal meets its demise.
King David understood the spiritual collision of goals, so, he prayed. We must do likewise!
Psalm 64 (NLT) A psalm of David.
O God, listen to my complaint. Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.
Hide me from the plots of this evil mob, from this gang of wrongdoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent, attacking suddenly and fearlessly.
They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps in secret. “Who will ever notice?” they ask.
As they plot their crimes, they say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning.
But God himself will shoot them with his arrows, suddenly striking them down.
Their own tongues will ruin them, and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
Then everyone will be afraid; they will proclaim the mighty acts of God and realize all the amazing things he does.
The godly will rejoice in the Lord and find shelter in him.And those who do what is right will praise him.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the assurance that nothing—no work of evil—can hinder your plans for me. No weapon formed against your children will prosper. Thank you for striking down evil-doers. We lift our voices to rejoice and praise you, today! In Jesus’ name. Amen.