Updated: Jul 9
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:14
Do you ever feel so scattered you can’t think straight? You’ve worked on twelve different things all day, but haven’t accomplished a thing.
We live in a whirlwind of details and demands. Dishes and paperwork clutter the kitchen. Emails and text messages need a response. Laundry and bills pile up. The kids and the dog need to eat… again. Work needs you. Your family needs you. Everyone needs you.
In the midst of life’s demands, we need God. But how in the world do we spend time with an invisible Father in a world full of visual distractions?
One day. One moment. One goal.
Every day God is calling you to draw closer to Him. He doesn’t want to be another detail in an over-scheduled, chaotic day. He desires intimacy with you so He can reveal the next step of faith He’s planned for you.
So often, we do set spiritual goals, they are just as scattered as the rest of our lives:
Read the Bible and a devotional in the morning, keep a gratitude journal, pray three times a day, serve in the church, teach the kids about Jesus, love our neighbor, and on and on and on….We strive and strive until we sink under the weight of too many goals, too little time.
What if we pushed pause over the next few weeks and focused on ONE goal - just one spiritual practice to focus on every day, on purpose? Author and pastor, John Maxwell taught at a Catalyst conference about the power of focus and intentionality. I loved his story so I rewrote it for us.
A woman with an axe has a choice to make. Her backyard is full of trees. If she thins out a few trees, she’ll have a beautiful view of the mountains. But she’s a busy woman, and only has time to swing her axe five times a day. So she stands in her backyard looking at all the trees. How do you think she should she best use her five swings each day?
She could pick five different trees every day, striking each of them once. Or, she could focus on ONE tree and hit it five times, day after day. Which method will will cause a tree to fall first and open up her view?
Let’s follow her example of focus. What’s one area of your faith you desire to strengthen or grow? Here are some examples to get you thinking.
To know Jesus more, pick one of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John and read one chapter every day. You can write the chapter number on your calendar. (FYI, Mark is the shortest with only sixteen chapters.)
To build your prayer life, set your alarm in the morning, afternoon, and evening. When your alarm sounds, talk to God like you would a best friend.
To grow gratitude to God, label a glass jar “Thank You God!” Leave it in your kitchen with scrap paper and a marker. Before or after every meal, record one gift from God and place it in the jar. Watch how your jar and heart fill up!
Paul’s encouraging words in Philippians 3:14, can be a reminder for us. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Day by day Paul pressed on to know Jesus and become more like Him.
When we intentionally focus on one spiritual goal, we will know Jesus more and grow in His likeness. Instead of having a scattered mind and a cluttered calendar, we can fix our eyes on one goal, and start to see the beauty through all the trees.
3 O’CLOCK CIRCLES
Here are 3 questions you can discuss with someone or in a circle with several others.
1. What’s one area of your faith you’d like to strengthen during this season?
2. Brainstorm a few spiritual goals, then pick one to focus on.
3. Goals have a greater chance of being achieved when we have a trigger to remind us. How could the 3 O’Clock Wake Up Call help remind you of your one goal?
The Power of Giving God Thanks Will Ignite Your Faith and Change Your World!
Thank You for Being a part of the 3 O’Clock Wake Up Movement