"And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed". (Mark 1:35). "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes" (Matthew 11:25). Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. I knew that thou hearest me always". (John 11:41-42).
"I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do; and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made"(John 17:4-5).
"That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered together about the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him pursued him, and they found him and said to him, 'Every one is searching for you.' And he said to them, 'Let us go to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out.' And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons" (Mark 1:32-39).
For a life to succeed before God, it must be goal-oriented. If your goal is nothing, you will accomplish it; that is, you will accomplish nothing! Purposelessness is a disaster. The number one reason why most people fail in life is that they do not have a clearly defined goal for their lives. Because there is no clear goal, they have no clearly worked out method or plan to accomplish their goal and they are, therefore, not able to work out the discipline that is necessary for them to accomplish the goal.
The goal must determine the method that is to be used and impose the discipline that is necessary for it to be accomplished. Goals are indispensable.
A man's accomplishments cannot be separated from his goals. A person's goals make him into what he ultimately becomes. Below are some characteristics of goals.
- Goals must be clear.
- Goals must be specific.
- Goals must be measurable.
- Goals must have a time limit for their completion.
- Methods must be evaluated and the best ones chosen for the accomplishment of the desired goal.
- Goals demand a man's all in order to be accomplished. If a man holds back anything from his goal, he has also decided not to accomplish it. This is the choice between discipline and indiscipline.
- Those who make the most success have only one overriding goal.
- Goals must be large or big enough so as to engulf all small desires. They must be such that when accomplished, they will leave an impact on history.
- The goal of the believer must be so big that nothing short of divine intervention and the putting in of his all, can save him from failure. They must be big enough to legitimately demand a person's everything.
The Lord Jesus had a goal. It was clear. He accomplished His goal before He went back to heaven. He put it as follows, "I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4). The goal of Christ was to glorify the Father on earth. He glorified the Father by accomplishing (finishing) the work that the Father gave Him to do. He had said earlier, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work" (John 4:34). Anything that was truly the Father's will contributed clearly to the one task of accomplishing His work. His work and the Father's will were inseparable. If He did the Father's will every second of His life, He would accomplish His goal, for His goal was accomplished by doing that Father's will every second. Each action then was a part of the whole.
A man may plan to build a fifty-storey building. He must conceive the whole house and draw it out. He must "see" the completed thing in detail and then he must set out to work at it. In order that the building should become what it was meant to be, each portion of the building must be correct. The foundation, wall, roof ... must each be correct. Every brick must be laid correctly. We can take the laying of each block as the second by second activity of a man's life. If each individual block is well-laid, then the building will become what it was meant to be. Individual blocks that are poorly laid, spell disaster for the whole project. No one can say that he is just placing one of one million blocks, and that that one can be wrong provided the rest are correct. A correct structure demands the correctness of every issue. Brethren, this is most challenging. It means that in order that I may accomplish the goal of God for my life, I must be right with God every second of my life. It means that I must be where He wants me to be every second of my life. I must be doing what He wants me to be doing at that second, and I must be doing it the way He wants me to be doing it and for the reason for which He wants me to be doing it. Any time when I am in the wrong place or doing the wrong thing, or doing the right thing the wrong way, or doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way, with the wrong motives, I stand in God's way.
So, to succeed, the overall plan of the house must be drawn and the finished house seen. Then every detail in the building must be carried out according to the specifications of the architect. God is the Master-Architect. He has His overall goal for our lives. We must receive that goal from Him and then we must work hard God's way and accomplish it. We must be in the right place every second and we must be doing the right thing. We must compromise nothing; for compromise will contribute to the collapse of the building one day. It is possible to put the wrong materials and plaster them so that no one knows that they are the wrong materials. It may even look very good. However, when the storm shall come, that which is hidden and false will not only be exposed, it will lead to the collapse of the whole house. All the secret sins and faults that are not dealt with radically may remain hidden for a life-time, but at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where all shall be tested and exposed, those who have built with such materials will see their beautiful, massive structures collapse and they shall go away unrewarded.
God works according to a master plan. He planned world salvation from the foundations of the world. He mapped out everything with precise dates. In the fullness of time, He sent the Saviour, Jesus Christ. In the fullness of time, He will send Jesus a second time, not to save but to reward His own. He has His Kingdom in view. He is working at that Kingdom. He is moving towards it. All events are ordered to lead to it. He will succeed.
Your life must be goal-oriented. You must "see" what you must do. You must put all of yourself into it and be sure that all goes God's way. The goal of Jesus was to do the Father's will and accomplish His work. He, however, accomplished this goal by doing specific things. He preached the gospel. He healed the sick. He delivered the possessed. He trained the disciples. He had a specific programme. He did not make everyone into a specific disciple. He had the seventy-two, then the twelve and even among the twelve, there were the three whom He prepared in a more intimate way. He did not stay in one place until all the sick who could be brought to Him from all that region had been brought to Him. He healed all who were brought to Him at particular times and then moved on to new places. He worked hard at accomplishing His goal. He said that accomplishing His goal was His meat.