Without vision and goals, our lives often become routine. Like a gerbil in a wheel, we move frantically but don’t get anywhere. The Bible commands us to live differently.
In Ephesians 5:15-17, Paul says, “Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. . . . Understand what the Lord’s will is.”
In 1 Corinthians 9:26, he tells us, “Do not run . . . aimlessly.” And in Romans 14:12, he reminds us that “each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Goals give us a framework to practice the stewardship of our time and give direction and motivation to fulfill the plans He has for our lives. Goals should be challenging, measurable, and specific.
How do we set goals?
First of all, pray! Carve out a day to hear clearly from Him.
The more you pray and work on your goals, the more in tune you will become to God and His leading.
The following exercise will guide your prayers and thoughts. Jot down ideas as they come to mind.
Picture yourself ten or even twenty years from now:
What qualities or characteristics would you want people to use to describe you?
Describe your relationship with the Lord.
What are your priorities and values?
At your current age:
What is your passion?
What excites you and gives you joy to talk about or do?
Is there a dream God has placed on your heart?
If time and money were not a restraint, what would you do?
What bothers you about yourself or your circumstances that you can change?
Pray over these thoughts and organize them into categories: Spiritual, Family, Ministry, Personal, and Career. Think of at least one goal for each category. Here are some examples:
Spiritual: To be a lifelong learner, always growing in my love, knowledge, and service to Jesus
Ministry: To always be discipling and to pass my discipling vision on to others
Personal: To stay in shape mentally and physically so I can complete my God-given tasks
In the following chart, list your goals. Pray about the steps you can take in the next three months to bring you closer to each goal. Make a copy of the list to post in a place where you will be reminded daily to pray for God’s direction and empowerment. To download the chart, click the image below, or click HERE.
Goal setting is just one of the many spiritual disciplines you can use to cultivate your relationship with Jesus. Holy habits should focus on your love for Him and not be a to-do list. Your relationship with Jesus needs what any other relationship needs in order to grow: quality and quantity time spent together. An intimate relationship does not just happen; it is intentionally built.