Have you set some goals for yourself? For your career? For your family? For the company you work with? How are things working out? Are there a few positive results you can point to with a measure of satisfaction?
The enemy of our souls would try to convince you and me that even with our best efforts and intentions, we haven’t accomplished anything of significance. The truth is, despite our mistakes and imperfections, some of the goals we have set for ourselves have yielded good fruit — whether those achievements have been major or minor.
Now what? Well, the answer to that question is so basic it almost goes without saying. Even so, we need to talk about it. And that’s the subject of this letter.
Big Hairy Audacious Goals
Can I tell you how this topic came to me? I have shared previously that whenever I pass a certain point in my commute to the office, I always pray: “Lord, I place Derek Prince Ministries in Your hands.” Lately, it has become very natural to follow up with these additional words: “Be exalted. Have Your way. Accomplish Your purposes. Glorify Your name.” BHAG.
Without even realizing it, I had incorporated into my morning prayers for DPM a term commonly heard in the business realm: BHAG. This acronym, which stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals, made its entrance into business vernacular in 1994. It was a concept introduced in a classic (and inspiring) book by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.
The premise is that successful companies ought to set ambitious goals. Success will come as they ultimately accomplish those objectives — their BHAGs. Shouldn’t the same be true of our lives as well?
Our Goal: His Glory
Month after month, as I pray the BHAGs mentioned above, I realize they are more about God’s glory than the achievements of Derek Prince Ministries. Certainly we strive to do our best possible work. But what is our ultimate goal?
Our surpassing hope is that the attainment of every objective will lead to one overriding result: we will bring glory to our Lord. This ultimate goal is well articulated by those BHAG prayers: “Be exalted. Have Your way. Accomplish Your purposes. Glorify Your name. Shouldn’t this same BHAG benchmark apply to you and me in every aspect of our lives and work?
The late, beloved motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, was known for the following quote, among many others: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” So then, is it really okay to take the time and effort to plan? To develop a list of measurable goals you hope to achieve — both in the near and long term?
Many Christians reject the idea that we should even bother setting goals. The common argument is: “Jesus didn’t have goals. He just did whatever the Father told Him to do.” Yes, that was Jesus’ main objective for every situation — to obey the Father and see His will fulfilled. What better goal could anyone have in life?
One verse, Luke 9:51 (ESV), particularly shows Jesus’ determined pursuit of His and the Father’s purposes: “When the days drew near for Him to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem.” Even though Jesus knew the incredible agony awaiting Him in the Holy City, His goal was to get there. For Him, every action was directed toward one aim: to obey the Father and glorify Him by accomplishing His will.
Placing that same grid over our every objective will help us eliminate the danger of wrong motivation and selfish ambition. Here is the qualifying question for each goal we set: Will it ultimately bring glory to the Lord?
Casting Down Our Crowns
As I have developed the concept of this letter, a recurring biblical image has come to mind. It is expressed in this lyric from “Holy, Holy, Holy,” the classic hymn: “casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea.” It’s a reference to Revelation 4. In that chapter, whenever glory, honor and thanks are offered to the Lord seated on His throne, the response of the saints is to fall down in worship, “…and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power’” (verses 10–11).
The symbolism is so clear. The crowns of the saints represent our attainments. In the presence of the One to whom the glory is due, we throw down our lesser crowns as an acknowledgment that He is the One who has made every achievement possible.
It is interesting that two of the definitions for “cast” are as follows: 1) to throw or let go of without caring where it falls, and 2) to give over to one’s care, uncertain about the result. We fully relinquish our crowns, telling Him, “You alone are worthy to receive all the credit.”
Objective for Living
Derek Prince makes a strong case for the right kind of goals and objectives in a teaching series called Objective for Living. Here is an excerpt from the first message in that series, entitled “Jesus Our Pattern.”
Let me begin by asking you a personal question: Do you have an objective in life? Are you clear about it? Do you know what it is? Or are you perhaps just drifting — carried hither and thither by the winds and the waves? The winds of habit and fashion? The waves of circumstances over which you have no control?
There is hardly anything more tragic in a human life than aimlessness. I’ve often said to people in this connection, “If you aim at nothing, you may be sure you’ll hit it.”
You see, you may have talent, intelligence, and special abilities. But without an objective, you will accomplish very little of permanent value — and you will probably end in frustration.
Herein lies one of the greatest benefits and blessings of the Christian life as God planned it: it provides each one of us with an objective for living.
Pursuing Your Objective
In the remainder of the series cited above, Derek goes into marvelous detail, showing you and me how to follow Jesus’ pattern of obedience and bring glory to God with our lives. As always, we are offering you a free copy of the full message from which we quote Derek. You may download Objective for Living, with our compliments, by clicking here.
For right now, however, you may sense the Holy Spirit leading you to take an initial step of commitment on two levels. First, to deliberately align your goals with the Lord’s objectives for your life. Second, to give the Lord all the glory for every success you achieve.
Why not express these two desires directly to the Lord with the prayer that follows?
Lord, I want to line up my goals in life with Your plans and purposes for me. Please forgive me when I have let my ambitions push beyond the path You have chosen, or when I have not been sensitive to hear Your voice as you have spoken to me of Your purposes for my life. I’m sorry for missing it, Lord, and I make the adjustment and the correction here and now with this prayer to attune myself to Your will for me.
Also, Lord, I want to take this moment to give You all the credit and all the glory for everything I have accomplished in my life. It has been Your grace and Your enablement that has made it all possible. I take the crown off of my head, and I place it before Your throne. You deserve the glory, Lord. You alone are worthy to receive the thanks and credit for every aspect of my life.
I look forward to the future with You, Lord. Please help me place my focus on the goals in life that are most pleasing to You. As I accomplish them by Your grace, I will be careful to give You all the credit and all the glory for everything that takes place from this moment forward. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Shift in Direction
You may not fully realize it, but what you just prayed has shifted the direction of your life forever. Not only have you made Jesus the Lord of your goals and objectives; you have also promised Him all the credit for everything you accomplish from this day onward. Your life has just been transformed in the best possible way!
We link arms with you in the step you have taken. More insight will come as you listen to the full series by Derek Prince entitled, Objective for Living. I urge you to take us up on our offer to provide it for you. It is yours.
This connection we have with you through DPM is a wonderful blessing to us. It is such a special privilege for all of us here at DPM to know that we are part of your spiritual journey — standing with you as you move ahead. On the other side of that coin, you have blessed us by standing faithfully with us through your prayers and financial support. We simply can’t thank you enough for your partnership.
Because of your generous participation with us, many others are receiving the solid teaching of Derek Prince in a way that is changing their lives. You are a vital part of that process — and we are so grateful to you for your involvement.
Worshiping at His Throne
Isn’t the picture we quoted from the book of Revelation an inspiring one? All of heaven bowing in worship before the King of Kings, casting all crowns of achievement and accomplishment before His throne.
We will be doing exactly that for all eternity. But isn’t it wonderful that we don’t have to wait until heaven to begin that activity? Let’s end this letter by praying those BHAGs together as a means of “casting our crowns” before the Lord whom we serve.
“Lord, together we make this our united prayer: Be exalted. Have Your way. Accomplish Your purposes. Glorify Your name.”
Thank you, dear friend and partner, for making your goal — His glory.
All the best,
P.S. We are so grateful for your partnership with us. Please let us know of any way we may be of further service to you. And don’t forget to download this month’s free offer of Derek Prince’s message: “Objective for Living” by clicking here.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.