He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ Luke 13:32
Goal-setting was a part of Christ’s thinking. First and foremost His goal was to do the will of His heavenly Father. This is the goal that got Him out of bed in the morning. It was a joint mission with the Holy Spirit. His goal was also to serve the people. He cast out demons, healed, and taught. Jesus was a focused individual with specific goals in mind.
His example is a model for goal-setting; so keep God and people the priorities. If you set no goals, you will reach them every time. If you do set goals, you will reach some, modify others, and miss a few. For the extremely thorough and cautious temperament, it is hard to plan toward something, and not see it accomplished. However, this is part of trusting God to help you meet necessary goals and wait on others.
On the other hand, there are some personalities that set too many unrealistic goals. Yes, all things are possible with God, but not to the point of irresponsible planning. Too many goals can overwhelm you and water down your effectiveness in reaching the right ones. This is where prayer is critical in goal-setting.
Ask God what His best is for your life. Ask Him how to pace yourself over the long term, so your family develops robustly and your health is enhanced in the process. Goals are a guide to be adjusted daily, weekly, monthly, and annually depending on their nature and the timing of their necessity and implementation. There is a logical flow in goal-setting. Make sure your goals flow out of your God-given purpose.
If your purpose is to glorify God by being a faithful husband, an available father, a loyal friend, and a loving leader, then start there. Let your purpose statement be a filter for your goal-setting. If a goal does not pass muster with your purpose, then omit it and move on. Goals are not meant to be barnacles that slow down your life ship. Goals are meant to free you up to focus on God’s will. Goals are like billowing, white sails powered by the winds of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s empowerment moves you forward by faith.
Daily time with God is a good goal. A regular marriage conference and marriage teaching with your spouse is a good goal. Give 10% and save 10% is a good goal. Using your work as a platform for ministry is a good goal. Exercising three times a week and eating a balanced diet are good goals. You may even have a God-given goal to travel around the world. Go for it! Write down what God is putting in your heart. Set a timetable that is not so rigid that it cannot be adjusted. God works through goals, so be a prayerful goal-setter, and watch Him work. You may be surprised what He can accomplish through you. Simply writing down your goals may give you just the needed inspiration and accountability to attempt great things for God. Prayerfully set goals and watch Him work.
The Bible says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me courage and wisdom to set goals pleasing to You.
Application: What big goal do I need to trust the Lord to accomplish in His timing?