Do you ever struggle wondering what God wants you doing with your days? These kinds of thoughts and questions can be especially prevalent around the start of a new year, when resolutions and goals are everywhere you see. For Christians, though, God doesn’t leave us in the dark when it comes to His plans for our time here on Earth. In fact, He reveals His purposes for us through the Holy Spirit, prayer, and the word of God in the Bible. So, as you think about and meditate on what lies ahead of you this year, what does it look like to set goals as a Christian?
Throughout the Scriptures, we often see Biblical characters set goals and achieve them, so this isn’t something we should be wary of doing. Think of Noah in Genesis 7, who set out to build an ark because God told him to. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul was inspired by God’s leading to plant churches and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even Moses had a goal and a purpose in Exodus to help set the Israelites free from their enslavement in Egypt. By God’s strength and guidance, he did it! What did all these leaders have in common? God’s divine direction and purpose for their lives.
SETTING GOALS AS A CHRISTIAN
So, as you think about goal setting, what personally comes to mind for you? Maybe you have a goal to get a new job so you can take better care of your family. Or, maybe you are seeking balance in your schedule so you can more regularly spend time in Christian community. Whatever your goal may be, bring your motives to God in prayer. Along with prayer, we try digging into the Scriptures to test your motives. Are you trying to please God with your goals, or please yourself? Prayer and Scripture act as a gut-check to your motives when setting goals. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” When we seek God with our goals and desires, he has a way of meeting us right where we are and guiding us on His paths for our lives.
MAKE INTENTIONAL PLANS
Now that you’ve established goals, where do you start to achieve them? Albert Einstein is credited with having said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Likewise, a little bit of intentional planning is necessary for reaching the goals you set. If one of your goals is to get more fit so you can keep up with your energetic kids, that goal won’t be reached unless you change something about your lifestyle. What intentional plans can you make to help you reach your God-given goals?
SUBMIT YOUR GOALS TO GOD
Finally, as you create your plans, we encourage you to take Proverbs 16:9 into account. This verse says “A man’s heart plans his course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Which means, despite your goals and intentional action steps, ultimately, God will lead your path. The thing is, when we hold our plans so tightly that we shove God aside in the process, we lose sight of the original purpose of the goal. While things might not always go according to the plan - that’s ok. You may experience setbacks. Give yourself grace and give God room to work! Remember, He’s with you on the journey. With God in the control center of your life, over time your goals may even change. That’s ok! With God in the lead of your life and plans, you can trust Him with the process. Trust God will get you to where you need to be to accomplish His will and purpose in your life so you can experience HIS peace along the way. Amen?
To learn more about Christian goal-setting and starting your New Year well, check out these different message series from Liquid Church:
- SERIES: Dream Again - 2020 was a year of lost and broken dreams, but God still has a plan for you. Learn how to grab hold of your God-given purpose and enter into a brighter future.
- SERIES: Breathing Room - Discover how to overcome the overwhelming fast pace of life and create breathing room in our schedules, families, work, finances, and relationships.
- SERIES: First Things First - It’s a New Year and a new opportunity to take back your life! If what’s urgent always seems to crowd out what’s important, it’s time for a change.