January 3, 2020
God’s Got a Plan! Part 1
Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace (2 Corinthians 1:12).
Friend to Friend
I am always amazed by how much training Olympic athletes are willing to invest in order to win a medal. If Christians were willing to make the same kind of investment in running the race of life, I believe the world would be a vastly different place. How important you consider a race to be influences how hard you will run it, and determines the goals you set in order to win that race.
I believe every follower of Christ should have clear life goals based on clear spiritual truths. Many Christians are floundering because they have no spiritual goals. If you want your relationship with God to be motivating, it has to be making progress, accomplishing something, and steadily growing, which demands meaningful goals that honor God.
The world's wisdom is often in direct opposition to the grace of God. In 2 Corinthians 1:12 the apostle Paul reminds us to keep our gaze on God, our glance on our circumstances, and our path in His will. One of the most comforting thoughts about setting goals is that God is more concerned about my future than I am. When I think about the fact that God has planned out every day of my life, setting goals becomes the daily quest of discovering that plan and choosing to follow it.
Setting goals is the mark of a seeking heart that longs to please God and experience the full and abundant life God wants us to live.
A friend shared with me the idea of making life goals "S.M.A.R.T." Over the years this idea has become a practical and powerful tool for me in learning how to set meaningful life goals. I hope it is helpful to you.
Specific. Psalm 139:16 "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."
Life goals must be specific. Determine precisely what your goals are. What would you do if money and time were not an issue? What do you want to accomplish in the next five years? What do you think God wants you to do that you are not doing?
Break down each goal into a series of smaller accomplishments that will result in achieving your primary goal. Breaking goals into bite-sized pieces makes them seem less overwhelming.
Don’t forget to celebrate each time you achieve one of your goals. Sharon Jaynes is a good friend and awesome ministry partner. I will never forget the day Sharon walked into the office where we both worked, holding what looked like a baby wrapped in a blanket. Since Sharon's son was in college, I was a little confused - until she unfolded the blanket and said, "I just gave birth." Her "bundle" was actually the first copy of her new book and she was celebrating. I joined her in praising God for the goal she had met! Praise and celebration can help motivate you to achieve the next goal on your list.
Measurable. Luke 11:28 "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it." Can you tangibly show how you met your goal? Goals must be specific to have life-changing value and you must be able to tell whether or not you have reached each goal. What specifically do you want to accomplish, and within what time frame? It is so easy to set ambiguous life goals. "I want to get more involved in my church" instead of "I will attend the 10:30 worship service each week."
Ask God for wisdom as you begin to plan and set specific goals. Involve Him every step of the journey. We sometimes allow sin to influence the goals we set, but if we submit each goal to God, He will guide us back onto the right path and lead us to re-evaluate each goal.
Join me in my next devotion for the “rest of the story” on setting goals.
My heart is filled with praise and wonder, Lord. To think that You created me in response to Your plan is an amazing thought, Lord. But I choose to believe it and celebrate it in my life today. Help me learn how to set life goals that will lead me in Your ways and help me fulfill the purpose for which I was created. Thank You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read and memorize Jeremiah 29:11. With that promise in your heart, begin to evaluate your life goals. What changes do you need to make? Record those changes in your journal.
More from the Girlfriends
As fully devoted followers of Christ, one of our goals should be to get healthy and stay that way. Mary’s book, Fit for Life, explores four areas of fitness and health - spiritual, physical, mental and emotional. Within each one of these areas, Fit for Life examines principles relating to rest, diet and exercise. Check it out!