I am really excited about 2018 from a personal standpoint, and for several reasons. To begin with, my son Qwest and his wife Lauren, are having twins in April. They will be having two boys! There is just something so exciting about having twins, as you can imagine! I am looking forward to meeting these two babies and watching them grow up, both in the natural as well as in the things of God.
Next, and also in the month of April, my son Graham and his fiancé Miranda, will be getting married. We have been looking forward to this day for some time, and now here it is, right around the corner. These two will become one before Almighty God on that special day, and then watching as their life together begins to flourish is something to be cherished.
Then in May, my son Jason and his wife Jessica, are having their sixth child! A new daughter is on her way, and this is another little one that I can’t wait to meet, and watch grow up to serve God, along with the rest of the members of the Gatlin family. Each new edition adds so much joy and their own flavoring to the family, that it’s hard to wait to get to know each one’s personality.
When you add to all this that in June of 2018 I will be celebrating forty years of ministry, you can see that there is tons of activity and excitement in just the first half of the year alone. I have personally known very few ministers to arrive at forty years in ministry, so this is a milestone that I am humbled to reach.
And so with all of this you can see that my wife Brenda and I are extremely excited about all our family happenings in 2018, and we are focusing our faith and prayers on what the Lord is doing in the lives of each of our family members, as well as our church family. And I would like to suggest to you that you make the members of your family and church family, a part of your prayer commitment for 2018 as well.
I also have some spiritual goals in 2018 that I would like to tell you about, and ask if you wouldn’t consider joining with me by setting these as your own spiritual goals, too.
Although I have been doing this for many, many years, I will approach 2018 with the goal of daily Bible reading. The most recent Bible reading statistics among believers who attend church regularly are atrocious. I for one, do not intend to be numbered among those who claim to love the Lord and His Word, yet never read it. So, as I have done consistently for many years, I have set a goal to read through the entire Bible once again in 2018, and I hope you will join me in this endeavor.
If for some reason your local church does not offer a daily Bible reading plan, I believe you can find one online. At the church I pastor, Integrity Christian Center in Torrance, California, we use a plan where we read through the Old Testament once each year, the New Testament and Psalms twice, and the book of Proverbs twelve times. It’s a great plan, and I would highly recommend it.
Now to be honest, I have never had any problems with being faithful in church attendance in my life, but I know that many others do. In fact, if you were to look through my church attendance record over the past forty years, you would find very few absences. So, although I have never had to set this as one of my own spiritual goals, I do recommend that every believer set as their goal to be in more church services and special events in 2018 than ever before. In fact, here is what the Bible says about this.
“Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 AMP
I have as one of my spiritual goals for 2018 to be a more diligent and effective prayer warrior, and to pray in tongues more than in any previous year. Many believers are falling behind in this area, and that will be a costly error as we approach the rapture of the church.
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” Jude 20 KJV
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when I allow my circumstances to shake me up. Now I do pretty good with this as a rule, and don’t allow myself to get rattled by things very often, but I see where I still need more improvement in this area. So, one of my 2018 goals is to not be moved by what I see or hear, or by what my circumstances appear to be. Instead, I will walk by faith and not by sight.
“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV
Another goal I have for 2018, is to call things that be not as though they were more faithfully and consistently than ever before. I realize that a lack of diligence in this area has left some unclaimed promises still on the shelf in Heaven’s storehouse. What a shame to miss out on the things God has promised, simply because of a failure to claim God’s promises by faith. So, I intend to improve on this in 2018.
“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Romans 4:17 KJV
I also intend to develop more in the fruit of the Spirit in 2018. The fruit of the Spirit is the very character of Jesus Christ manifesting in one’s life, and I will become more diligent about seeing that an abundance of these fruits are visible in my life.
“22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].” Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
Then I have determined to be a brighter light to the lost, those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
“15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life….” Philippians 2:15-16a KJV
I titled this article, “Some of My Spiritual Goals for 2018,” simply because I knew that space would not permit me to provide a complete list. However, I do pray that you benefited enough from this information to begin your own list of spiritual goals for 2018. And I also hope that you will add some things you found here to your list. And then together we can improve our walk with the Lord Jesus and draw much closer to Him than ever before.