The Winning Ticket

Did anyone else notice the looks of disappointment on the faces of the second and third place winners in the 2012 Olympics? It was obvious that second or third place was not the reason they put their bodies through years of intense training, nor was it the object of their sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears. It was not what they had invested their entire lives in. Clearly, they were out to win the gold and nothing less! It was little consolation to simply finish for any athlete who intended to win the race. Yet as Christians, we are in danger of settling for second or third, or perhaps last place, in our race to live the Christian life. The reason is simply this: we have the wrong goal.


If our goal is good health, we will be disappointed. If our goal is more wealth, we will be disappointed. If our goal is bigger and better jobs, careers, positions, houses and cars, we will be disappointed. All of those things eventually rust, decay, or go away. We will grow old; lose our strength, our waistline, our hair, and our appeal. Jobs, careers, and positions all topple eventually, as a younger and stronger work force takes over. Houses deteriorate and cars wear out, not to mention that they go out of style. Replacement and retirement are in our future. Even when we succeed at reaching any of these goals, we will be disappointed.


Why? Because of God’s extravagant love for us, He will not allow lesser goals to fill the void in our hearts that only a relationship with Him can fill. When we pray for those things, we might actually be praying in direct opposition to His goal for our lives. And then we wonder why God doesn’t always answer our prayers. Go figure. The sooner we learn the futility of chasing the wrong goals, the sooner we can get down to business pursuing the right goal.


The right goal for every Christian is not a happy life; not a successful Christian ministry; not even a good reputation as a devote saint. It is not more experiences; not more blessings; not more goodies. The right goal for every Christian is God Himself. The goal that matches the yearning in God’s heart for you and me is to KNOW HIM. He wants us to reach that goal. He will move heaven and earth for us to reach that goal. He will defeat the works of Satan in our lives so we can reach that goal.


Because many religious organizations and spiritual teachers have the wrong goals themselves, we have not been taught the right goal or how to reach it. I’ve heard mature Christians say they are still hoping God will “stir” them or “zap” them, or do something beyond a mundane, lifeless, powerless, repetitious, hope-we’ve-got-it-right-relationship-with-God existence. Dear Christian friends, we were made for more! Are you tired of the up-and-down cycles; committed one day and defeated the next; feast and famine experiences; thinking another “how to” book will surely fix the gnawing hunger and emptiness in your heart?


Well, hang on to your hat because I have some great news for you! God is ready to do that very thing. The blessings of God Himself, His presence, Christ’s life exchanged for yours is right there at the top of God’s To-Do-List! And He’s simply waiting for you to make Him your goal! He’s been ready all along. It’s like mega-lotteries who announce the winner, but the winning ticket holder never steps up to claim the prize. Isn’t it about time for you to step up and claim what God has for you? ~ Janie Kellogg

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