It’s good to set goals. They give us a reason to get out of bed in the morning and the motivation to press on when things get challenging. That’s good news!
The bad news? 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February. But there’s a reason we don’t succeed: we don’t have a WHY. Gail Hyatt said it best:
“People lose their way when they lose their why.”
We need a purpose for what we’re doing. We need to know WHY we’re doing what we’re doing.
If you want to accomplish your goals, if you’re going to succeed in life, and if you’re going to grow as a disciple of Jesus, you must do one thing: STOP and REMEMBER why you’re doing what you’re doing. Have an answer to the question: Why does this matter?
Jesus had a STOP and REMEMBER moment in John 4.
Jesus had just met with a Samaritan woman. The meeting confused the disciples because that was a culturally offensive action for two reasons: Jewish people did not interact with Samaritans, and Jewish men did not speak with strange women.
Stop and remember that God is good, and he’s at work in your life.
While the disciples ask questions, the Samaritan woman races to her village to share the good news about Jesus. The people came streaming from the community to see him.
A miracle moment is unfolding before the eyes of the disciples, but they don’t pay attention to what is happening. Jesus says,
Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (John 4:35)
Jesus wanted his disciples to STOP And REMEMBER that he is on a mission, and if they’re going to be about his work, they need to see what God is doing in their midst.
How often do you STOP and REMEMBER what God has done in your life? Maybe more importantly, how often do you STOP and REMEMBER what God is doing in your life?
God is always at work, but we’re often too busy notice or too disinterested to care. We need a trigger to wake us up—to capture our attention.
What’s a trigger?
A trigger could be a meal.
- at breakfast, choose to engage with God’s word
- on a coffee or stretch break mid-morning, stop and reflect on what you read earlier in the Bible
- on your way to lunch, stop and review a verse that stood out to you
- when your stomach grumbles in the afternoon, stop and pray…you get the idea.
Your meals (appetite) function as a trigger.
I used to set my watch to go off every few hours — to remind me to STOP what I was doing — get my head out of my work — and remember what God said to me.
That’s WHAT a trigger is, but WHY do we need it?
Remember, “People lose their way when they lose their why.”
The trigger helps multiply the moment.
Here are fifteen things you can do when you’re triggered to STOP and REMEMBER:
- Stop and remember God’s promises.
- Stop and think about God’s character.
- Stop and pray.
- Stop and listen — instead of just praying with words, how about praying by listening.
- Stop and be still — remind yourself that you are not in control.
- Stop and look around — who is in your vicinity that you can love or serve? You may be surprised.
- Stop and respond to the Holy Spirit.
- Stop and review what God taught you.
- Stop and reflect on a Bible verse or a big idea.
- Stop and remind others what God is doing in their midst.
- Stop and enjoy the moment.
- Stop and thank God.
- Stop and encourage someone.
- Stop and get a fresh perspective. Ask God to give you eyes to see and ears to hear. Ask God for help.
- Stop and reconnect to God.
Stopping and remembering helps us learn to expect that God will work in our lives because he is already working. French believer Jean Danielou illustrated this when he suggested that people gained a healthy view of missionary or service efforts when they “stopped thinking of bringing Christ to a region or location… but instead started thinking about finding Christ already there.”
Jesus sees the world differently, and we can, too. Everything and everyone is sacred. God is at work in the world, and so we need to
- see people—as loved by God,
- see circumstances—through the eyes of a good, good father, and
- see daily bread—and be thankful.
Stop and remember that God is good, and he’s at work in your life. That’s one of the reasons WHY you’re alive today.
This article is Part 3 of a 5-part series overviewing the upcoming release of my digital course, Take the Jesus Challenge, teaching you how to live as a disciple of Jesus. Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here. Read Part 4 here. Read Part 5 here.
QUESTION (leave a comment below)
What will you use as a trigger to get you to STOP and REMEMBER God’s goodness?