#224 (12/03/06)
Let your goals empower you

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

LAURA SCHLESSINGER
She is a dear friend of the Crystal Cathedral, she’s been here several times in the past, she has a spectacular internationally syndicated radio talk show, she is a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of seven, count them, seven New York Times best selling books. She share with us from her latest book entitled, “Bad Childhood, Good Life: How to blossom and thrive in spite of an unhappy childhood.”

Special Music

Hymn
" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Now is the Time for Faith "
" Challenge Us, Oh God our Father ”

Anthem
" To God be the Glory "
" Beautiful River "

Solo
DEVON GUTHRIE – “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”

The Message

Let Your Goals Empower You is the title of my morning message. And the Bible text is from Exodus 17:9. Moses is speaking.

"Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the mountain, with the rod of God in my hand." (Exodus 17:9)

Recently I was sent the gift of a scepter, with no explanation. It is bronze, very old with the figure of the Christ at the top, so it is from a church or old monastery. It is very special to me, because a scepter is a symbol of authority to the person holding it. Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the mountain and with the rod of God in my hand ... I have the authority to speak. Yes, you become a God-guided, God-motivated, God-managed, and God-manipulated human being when you are focused on a God-given goal.

Let your goals empower you. I have three questions for you:

Question #1: Why do I need a goal? I don・t really have one, why do I need it?

Question #2: How do I get my goal?

Question #3: What kind of goals do I need?

Every power person you know or read about is goal motivated, goal managed, goal directed. My goal to be a minister was given to me when I was four years and eleven months old. Now as I step down as the Senior Pastor of this church I have fulfilled a fifty year goal.

Today, as the Founding Pastor I have new goals and wow, I am excited! I have the biggest goals of my life and they are phenomenal. I・ve been testing them with some of the wisest people I know and they・re empowering me. At the right time and right way you will hear about them. But I have not been so energetic, so enthusiastic, so excited about a goal that I can remember as I am today. They are fantastic and I really speak with integrity when I say let your goals empower you.

If you have no goals, you have no enthusiasm. If you have no enthusiasm, you don・t have much energy ... if you don・t have much energy then there is not a lot of vitality going through your body, mind, soul and spirit. Everybody needs enthusiasm! Everybody needs a purpose in life, everybody needs a goal!

Of all the honorary doctorates I have, there is one that is special to me because it was presented to me from the Orthodox University of Moscow for blending the truth in psychology with the truth of theology. That's what I've been trying to do in my writings and messages. And through my experiences with people, I have developed this strong consciousness: That the goal centered person is a healthy personality, the goal centered person is the person that has drive; the goal centered person is the person who makes a commitment! It is sad when so many people don't have any goals beyond those such as what to eat, what to drink, who is my friend today.

You need a goal, what is it today? Every great person has one ... Moses, who I think is second to Jesus Christ as a motivator in the human race, had one great goal given to Him by God, to lead His people from slavery to the Promised Land.

Read again Moses' words to his people:

"Tomorrow ..."

Tomorrow ...; he says, not today, not someday, but tomorrow, not a week from now, not a month from now, not a year from now, not 5 ... 10 ... 20 years, but tomorrow ... that means I・m living in the now.

:I ...;

"I..." I don・t know about other people, but finally life comes down to one person as far as I'm concerned and that・s "I" How am I taking care of myself? What goals do I set? What beliefs do I embrace? Who will I listen to? What will I read? ...

"I will..."

It・s not I hope...

"Tomorrow I will stand ..."

Not sit, not sleep, not just lie in the sun and soak.

"I will stand at the top of the mountain ..."

Not at the bottom, not half way up, but ... "I will stand at the TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN with the rod of God in my hand."

Today I want to give a scepter to you and every person reading these words. Hold the rod of God in your hand, have the vision of a God-given goal. People will respect you and you will prove that you are credible. Everybody needs a goal! Oh yes, you do!

Question #2 - How do I get my goal? First, you need to get out of your comfort zone. It's astonishing how instinctively we are so afraid of failure and embarrassment that we avoid risks. You will never have the rod of God in your hand unless you take the risks where failure might happen. Pick up the rod of God in your hand and dare to take risks.

Challenge your comfort zone. Last week I traveled to Florida to marry my brother-in-law, my wife's brother. He is very close to me because he and I sang in a high school quartet so we have been friends for 60 years. John was married beautifully to a woman and after 20 years she suddenly died of a heart attack. John found another lady, a beautiful woman, married her. Then a few years ago she got cancer and he tenderly cared for her until her last breath. She passed away about two years ago. Now he is 80 years old and very lonely. He couldn't tolerate the loneliness. If you don't have a goal, you will be lonely, but it takes courage to leave your comfort zone.

When I married my brother-in-law, John, to his new wife a week ago, she too had been married, but her husband got cancer and she tenderly cared for him until his last breath. So when I asked the two of them to repeat the marriage vows after me, "... in sickness and in health .." I added, "You both know how to go through sickness in marriage and you cared for your spouses until the very end."

Before the ceremony John said to me, "People wonder why I'm getting married and I decided I'm not going to live in my comfort zone and be lonely the rest of my life" So John has moved from his comfortable community in Iowa where he has lived most of his life to Florida - a new wife, a new community, a new experience.

How do you get a goal? Dare to step out of your comfort zone. Too many retired people die too soon in their comfort zone. And they don't stay alive very long.

Get connected with God.

How do you get a goal? Get connected with God- Make sure your goals glorify God, and will not embarrass Jesus Christ. Recently I spoke at length with a man who has a different way of life than I have and I can・t believe that God is glorified nor Christ honored by this man・s goals.

Question #3: What kind of goals do I need?

1) Let your goals be meaningful, not necessarily enjoyable, not necessarily pleasant, not necessarily fun, not necessarily free of worry or the temptation to be afraid. No! Let them have purpose and meaning to make a difference for the good and the glory of God.

2) Let your goals be marvelous, then you will catch people's attention. And your goals must have a "wow" potential in them so you can survive the times when your enthusiasm drains out. To achieve some of the goals you will need to keep your enthusiasm alive year after year, decade after decade, in my case, half of a century and I・m not finished. Only if your goals have marvel can you still hang on. They have to have profound meaning and they have to be marvelous. Then people will say, "Do you know what she・s doing next?" Or "Do you know where he・s going to now?" And they・ll always be surprised because you・re a God-connected person and He will support you in your challenges so that you can be enthusiastic until your last breath.

Look for a need no one else is filling, look for a hurt where no one else is helping, look for a mountain that somebody else has ... look for a need. The secret for success is to find a need and fill it. In today・s world, if you know people who say they have everything they need, they do not. No one has as much faith as they should. There are mountains to climb, and everybody you meet has a mountain to climb. Some are avoiding their mountain, but they need to grasp it, they need to set a new goal. You become an encourager to them.

1) Let your goals be meaningful.

2) Let them be marvelous.

3) Let your goals be measurable. Your goal must not be ambiguous that you can・t really define it. The tendency for defensive people is to speak in ambiguities. :I・m going to become a better person next year.; Get specific. Or ... :My goal is to make more money next year, work harder, and be more prosperous.; Be more specific! How much? How will you do it? How will it help you in general? It has to be measurable in all areas of life. It has to be specific.

4) Your goal must be manageable. That is where you need wisdom and common sense. You need to be accountable. Every goal you take should have someone to whom you report with accountability, your spouse (husband or wife), maybe your hero, or your mentor. Goals have profound power. Sp they need to be manageable. You can・t blame others for your failures. In the final decisions, you are charge of yourself!

"Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the mountain with the rod of God in my hand." (Exodus 17:9)

Norman Vaughn, my friend, recently died at the age of 100. What a goal oriented guy he was! He was a young Harvard student with all expenses paid by a very wealthy father. Norman had his whole life ahead of him, when he read in the Boston newspaper that Admiral Byrd was going to lead the first expedition to the Antarctic Pole. This excited Norman Vaughn went to the home where Admiral Byrd lived, knocked on the door, but the maid said, :I・m sorry, you don・t have an appointment, and nobody sees Admiral Byrd without an appointment, goodbye.; Norman did not take :no; because he was reaching for his goal. So he went to the newspaper to find the reporter who wrote the story on the Antarctic expedition and the editor agreed to help him. He called Byrd and Byrd met Norman Vaughn and was so impressed that he said,"Yes."

So this young Harvard student, a native of Alaska, bought dogs and sleds to prove to Admiral Byrd that he could be a dog sledder. Admiral Byrd told him, :It・s dangerous, we may not live, and it・s very risky.; Norman said, :I want to go for it.; He set the goal. To make a long story short, his father said, :You stay in class at Harvard or you・re disowned. If you go with Admiral Byrd, risk your life, no more money from me, not even for your bread and butter.; So Norman had no source of income. He got a job as a waiter at a restaurant and arranged to eat the leftover food from the plates he served. He did that for years to earn food to keep alive. After his expeditions with Admiral Byrd, Admiral Byrd named a mountain at the Antarctica for Norman Vaughn. And at the age of 89, Norman traveled to the Antarctic and climbed his own mountain! Norman, God bless you.

What is your goal? What is a unique goal for you? Measure it with God. Is it meaningful? Is it marvelous? Is it measurable? Is it manageable?

The late Coretta Scott King was one of my dear, dear friends and she has been our guest on the Hour of Power more than once. Her last appearance was only a few months ago. She is in our Hour of Power Scars into Stars Hall of Fame beside another courageous woman, Rosa Parks.

Can anything be more tragic than the way Coretta・s husband, Martin Luther King Jr., died? Grief can fatigue and kill you when you shut off the phones, the calls, the meaning of life without your spouse. But Coretta Scott King set a goal, :How can I perpetuate the best of what Martin Luther King・s life had to offer?; So she never walked away from the challenging goals to keep the King non-violent movement going without him. I was humbled to be invited to give the closing benediction at her funeral this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Coretta Scott King let her goals empower her!

Whoever you are, it is all in your hands. If you are grieving, sick or retired or if you are young and you have never had a vision or goal of what to do in life, if that is where you are, then start by looking at Jesus Christ. He was a goal empowered person! He came to live that He could die to be a Savior to the world. He is my Savior. On the cross, His goal was to die for us, a sacrifice. Let Jesus Christ empower your goals. The tops of church steeples around the world hold a cross. A symbol to all that Jesus Christ turned the world・s minus into an eternal plus, and teaches us that we can do the same. Amen.


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