Wow—let your goals empower you is the title of my morning message. And the Bible text is from Exodus chapter 17, verse 9. The words are by Moses; these are the words, “Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the mountain with the rod of God in my hand.” This is a scepter, I don’t know where it came from, it was sent to me as a gift with no explanation. Where did it come from, it is very old. But the scepter is used by someone who has the authority to speak. “Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the mountain and I will have the authority to speak, the rod of God in my hand.”
The scepter belongs to someone who set a goal, paid the price and reached the top of the mountain. Every one of you listening to me, I don’t care if it’s English or Chinese or Arabic or Russian or Dutch, every one of you listening to me, you have a goal that either you are embracing or you are called to embrace, or God has planned for you to understand and go for it. Everybody needs a goal, because without a goal the past is pulling you, and the future is not pulling you. You got to live in the future, not in the past. I shut the door on yesterday, threw the key away, tomorrow has no fears for me, for I have found today. Let your goals empower you, then your goals are empowering you with the power of the presence of the Almighty God. You become a God guided, God motivated, God managed, God manipulated human being if you’re focused on goals that came to you. Yes, let your goals empower you.
I have three questions that I feel coming to me from this audience. And the first question is: why do I need a goal? I don’t really have one, why do I need it? And the second question is: how do I get one? And the third is: what kind of goals do I need? Every power person you can think of in life has been goal motivated, goal managed, goal directed, I was since I was four years and eleven months old, the goal being a minister. When I stepped down as the senior pastor of this church and therefore the president of the consistory, I had fulfilled a 50 year goal. And when I receive this new medallion as the founding pastor it gives me new goals and I’ve lived it now for one week on the road and boy am I excited.
I have the biggest goals of my life and the goals are phenomenal and I’ve been testing them with some of the wisest people I know and they’re empowering me. And at the right time and the right way you will hear about it, but I have not been so energetic, so enthusiastic, so excited about a goal as I am about this one, it’s phenomenal, it’s 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, and if you don’t have much energy there’s not a lot of vitality going through these beings and meat and bones here and blood and above all through the mind and the soul and the spirit so everybody needs enthusiasm.
Everybody needs a sense that they have a purpose in life, everybody needs a goal. And of all the honorary doctorates I have and I think I’ve got ten or more, I don’t know how many, but the one I treasure the most is from the University of Moscow University and the Orthodox. I think I’m the only American to get an honorary doctorate from Moscow, but it says it’s for blending the truth of psychology with the truth of theology. It’s what I’ve been trying to do my whole life. And I think I’ve got my act together, I think I’m getting there and the top of it is this consciousness that the goal centered person is a healthy personality, the goal centered person is a person that has drive, the goal centered person is a person who makes a commitment, boy is that a loaded word? Commitment. And a lot of people don’t have goals. Except what do I eat, what do I drink, who am I going with, that’s it.
You need a goal, what is it today? Every great person has one; Moses, I mean, oh you’d have to put Moses as second, I put him second, to Jesus Christ as a motivator in the human race.
Now, 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 five, 10, 20 years, tomorrow, that means I’m living in the now, I’m getting at it. Tomorrow I don’t know about other people, finally life comes down to one person as far as I’m concerned and that’s me. 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, 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 and I can say listen to me. I’ve learned something from God. And today I want to give this scepter to every person looking or listening to me, because every person should have that vision of so living that you will hold the rod of God in your hand and when you talk people will listen and they will respect you. Your life has proven that you are credible. Everybody needs a goal, oh you bet.
Second question, how do I get one? Well, the first thing you have to do is get out of the habit if you’re there, of avoiding the comfort zone. It’s astonishing how instinctively we are so afraid of failure and embarrassment that we avoid risks not knowing that the one way of being sure that you will never have the rod of God in your hand is never to take risks where failure might happen. You won’t get the rod of God in your hand if you don’t dare to take risks.
Challenge the comfort zone. Last Sunday I was not here, I went to Florida to marry my brother in law, my wife’s brother who’s so close to us. He and I sang in the high school quartet together, we’ve been friends for 60 years and he was married beautifully to a woman and after 20 years she got cancer and he took care of her with love until her last breath. He found another lady, beautiful woman, married her. She got cancer and he tenderly cared for her until her last breath. She passed away two years ago. Now he was 78 and he was lonely and couldn’t tolerate the loneliness, if you don’t have a goal, you will be lonely.
If you are lonely, get a goal. Why or don’t you? You don’t want to leave the comfort zone. When I married my brother in law John, to his new wife a week ago, she was married once, her husband got cancer and she tenderly cared for him until his last breath. And when I looked at the two of them and said ‘in sickness and in health’ boy you people know how to go through sickness and in heath being married, you cared for your last spouse until the very end. John said to me before he walked up for the ceremony he said, ‘my kids wonder why I’m getting married and I decided I’m not going to live in the comfort zone the rest of my life.’
How do you get a goal? Avoid the comfort zone, he had to lead, to death it’s why so many retired people die so soon, they’re in the comfort zone and it doesn’t keep you alive. How do I get a goal, get connected with God. Look for a need nobody else is filling, look for a hurt that no one else is handling, look for a mountain that somebody else is.. look for a need. The secret of success is to find a need and fill it. And in today’s world, let me tell you one thing, if you say to people I know have everything they need, no they do not. No one has as much faith as they should. Well they seem to have, yes, but there are mountains to climb, and everybody you meet has a mountain to climb.
What kind of goals do I need? Now this is very important. Four points I want to give to you to answer this question, what kind of goals do I need. First, let them be meaningful goals. Listen to me. Hear me, 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, meaning, they will make a difference for good and for the glory of God as you pull them off for Him.
And secondly, let them be marvelous. You’ll catch people’s attention. They must have a wow potential in them cause then you can survive the times when your enthusiasm drains out and to achieve some of the goals you have to keep your enthusiasm year after year, decade after decade, in my case a half a century and I’m not finished. Only if they have marvel, wow, potential can you still hang on. I don’t need to tell you what that is, you have to work that out. But they have to have meaning, profound meaning. They have to be marvelous. People would say, you know what she’s doing next, or you know where he’s going to now? And they’ll always be surprised because you’re a God connected person and He gives you enough challenges so that you’ll be enthusiastic until your last breath.
Third, let them be measurable goals. You have to be able to have a goal that’s not so ambiguous that you can’t even really say where you are today. You know, the tendency for defensive people is to speak in ambiguities; oh I’m going to become a better person next year, come on, get off it. Get specific. Or my goal is to make more money next year, work harder, be more prosperous, come on. Be more specific, how much, what will you do for it, how will it help people, etc. It’d have to be measurable goals, it had to be specific. And then, they have to be manageable goals; that’s where your head stays on straight. Now there are people who take some of this positive thinking stuff and I don’t think anybody’s taken them more seriously than I have the past 50 years or the next years that remain in my life; boy do I take them seriously. Take them seriously means that this ministry in the future, decades to come, is going to reach more millions of people in all countries of the world than we’ve ever imagined.
Jesus Christ was a goal empowered person. He came to live that He could live to die to be a Savior to the world. He’s my Savior. And on the cross, it stands for taking a minus and turning it into a plus, and teaching us that we can do the same. Thank you for letting me talk to you this morning. Amen.