I have five spiritual goals this year. I’ll share the first one as a SMARTER goal.
1. BIBLE READING
SPECIFIC: After a couple of years focusing on specific books of the bible, toward the end of 2011 I was anxious to read through the bible from Genesis to Revelation again.
I’ve done so in various ways before. Last July, I realized there is no rush. So I began at Genesis 1 and have been reading one little chapter a day since then. After 6 months, I’m all the way up to Numbers. This will take a while.
MEASURABLE: Reading one chapter per day is measurable. In addition to the reading I also keep a notebook of questions or insights.
For example, this morning, I read Numbers 23. Verse 10 stumped me. Balak had asked Baalam to curse the Israelites. After the talking donkey incident, Baalam sought God’s leading, saying:
“Who can count the dust of Jacob or the number of the fourth part of Israel?”
What’s the fourth part of Israel? That caused me to dig further. The Israelites had been divided into four camps. Balaam was saying that each camp was so large as to not be able to be counted. Multiply that times four and—wowzer—spiritually speaking!
ACHIEVABLE: One chapter a day is almost not enough. But because I have had the habit of reading scripture daily, this goal is certainly achievable.
RELEVANT: Reading scripture is relevant to spiritual goals; even more relevant to living.
TIME BASED: Daily reading.
SMARTER: I will evaluate and reassess quarterly.
Here are my other spiritual goals in shortened version:
2. PRAYER: One benefit to a person being prayed for is that they hear how they are being lifted up to God. When someone asks for prayer, I will be more diligent about praying right then and there—with them.
3. LIVE MY LIFE VERSE with more intention: Esther 4:14
Perhaps you have come [I am here] to royal position [as daughter of King Jesus] for such a time as this [I can be used right now].
4. LIVE AND GIVE WITH GRATITUDE. See my post GRATITUDE for the huge lesson learned at my daughter’s wedding. I believed myself to be a cheerful giver before, but now I’ve learned to be a CHEERFUL—exploding fireworks and flower bouquets—giver.
5. FOCUS ON PROVERBS
A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. (Proverbs 19:13)
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:9)
It is better to live in the desert than to live with a quarelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:19)
It is better to live on the corner of a roof than to live with a quarelsome wife. (Proverbs 25:24)
A quarelsome wife is like the constant dripping of water. (Proverbs 27:7)
A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; (Proverbs 27:15)
I’m not quarelsome. Really.
But toward the end of the day, I am tired. Head-achy. Muscle achy all over. Those pains show up in my body language causing my family to sometimes imagine I’m upset, angry, annoyed.
That’s not way I want the people I love to react to me.
I’ll keep Proverbs in my head this year and try not to be perceived as a quarelsome wife. Proverbs 25:24 is going on my fridge.
Are these goals merely “to do’s”? Maybe, but they will help me focus more sharply on Jesus. I’m also changing my breath prayer this year to simply:
JE [inhale] SUS [exhale].
"Jesus." Sweet. Like Him.
PRAYER: Help us, Jesus do what we can to focus on you. Open our minds and our hearts to your leading. Show us ways to be used by you this year—for your glory. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have spiritual goals to share with us for 2012?