Do you ever think about how you might incorporate your faith into your goal setting process? When you take a moment to pause and think about it, are you unsure of where to start? It might seem challenging at first, but with Christ’s strength and guidance, we can absolutely combine the two! Sound good?! Let’s dive in.
PAUSE AND REFLECT
What other better place to start than by going straight to God’s word?
Psalm 127:1 says that “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
Pretty strong language, is it not? It’s enough to stop someone in their tracks. I don’t know about you, but it makes me consider whether I might be putting in immense effort on goals that might not even be in line with God’s will.
So, what to do? How might we more clearly see what God would like us to be focused on?
First, we must prepare our hearts.
Sure, we might have an idea or direction of where to start. But, let’s make it a point to first get clear on where God wants us before we take steps forward.
As you get started, be sure to pray throughout the process.
Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Ask God to reveal to you where He’d like your focus to be, for instance. And you know what? God promises He will do just that. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)
Go to God’s Word
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
Ask God to give you scripture to guide your focus. Then, be extra alert to the verses you hear and topics in conversation over the next couple weeks. God’s word will provide insight and direction on where to focus.
Additionally, consider taking it a step further by reading before and after the verse or verses He’s nudging you towards. Understand the context of what’s happening in the passage of scripture He’s directing you to.
Connect through journaling
Take time to journal or prayerfully consider how God has prepared you for this task at hand. Meditate on how will He be present with you throughout the journey. Maybe even look up some scripture to remind you of this truth. Remember, He is there ALWAYS, each day, each moment, every step of the way. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
Dream with God
Next, think BIG. Really big. You might be wondering…”How will I know if I’m thinking really big enough?” Essentially, you might not be thinking big enough if the goal can be accomplished in your own strength… you’re probably not thinking big enough. (Good, right? I heard this notion from a teaching from Michelle Myers of She Works His Way). Make room for God to work miracles. Specifically, make it clear that HE made it happen and is to be glorified by making the big goal!
Then, consider what success will look like. How will you know you’ve reached your goal? What will have happened? What milestones will be met? Do yourself a favor and make that clear from the get go! (Plus, you’ll know that when you’ve reached those milestones, you can celebrate!)
Also, ask yourself, what’s the kingdom impact of the goal(s)? To start, you might want to consider how these goals are connected to loving God and making disciples- the great command and great commission… two goals that God made clear are meant for everyone.
CONSIDER THE PATH FORWARD
Create a Plan
Through prayer and journal time, loosely map out the steps to take that will bring you from where you are to where God wants you to go. Partner with God to create this strategy.
In the 40-day devotional, Draw the Circle, Mark Batterson suggests to, “Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God.”
Keep God’s Will in the Forefront
Additionally, consider whether your goals leave room for God to move. I noticed that I wasn’t leaving enough margin for the unexpected because I was filling my schedule to the brim.
And, as you encounter challenges and perhaps need to reassess what’s going on, you may want to ask yourself the hard question of whether you love God’s will more than your own (gotquestions.org). Here’s some scripture to consider to go along with this concept, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36 NIV).
Related to that, …let’s acknowledge that yes, sometimes the journey seems difficult (even with God on our side!). It takes effort and dedication to persevere. But remember, God has already prepared us for that. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”(Hebrews 12:1) Remember our God is a way maker! Let’s endure (and celebrate) by meditating on that truth more than our obstacles!
Keep Praise + Celebration
Also… success can be scary! When you do make amazing progress on the goal that God’s given you (I’m excited for you!), focus less on what that means for you and more on what that means for others and their walk with God. “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16) Yes, He’s chosen you to do great works, and that is amazing. But at the end of day, let’s remember that it’s all to glorify Him. “Whatever you do do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Run the Race!
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I hope that these words encourage you and make it clear that goal setting and scripture do go hand in hand. I pray that you are given fresh eyes or a new perspective today.
We would love to hear what God sized dream He has placed on your heart in the comments below!