My goals are regularly self-focused. How can I make myself better? How can I increase my physical strength? What about my finances? What ways can I improve my relationships with others?
However, what I really haven’t considered is this: As a Christian, I claim that God is the Lord of my life.
But I haven’t asked God what He wants my goals to be for the coming year.
I routinely ask God to give me guidance for long-term direction. You know, general stuff like where to live and where to work. But not the smaller day to day goals.
Previous year’s Goal Strategy
It’s like this (a paraphrase of my goal blog post from last year):
“Ok, goal-making, here we come. I’ve got a goal to lift this much weight by the end of December. I’ve got to finish writing my book by the end of June. We plan to save this much for Bailey’s education by the end of October. And I plan to read this many books. Oh! And God, to satisfy you and make me feel better about myself, I’ll read this many spiritual learning books, listen to this many sermons, and read my Bible every day. Capiche?”
To be clear, I am not trying to take anything away from the significance of daily Bible reading, learning from other Christians through sermons and books, or even improving oneself through physical, financial, or personal goals. I believe it is more about the mentality with which we create goals.
Henry Blackaby, the author of Experiencing God, says this about our plans:
“Noah did not call on God to help him accomplish what he was dreaming of doing for God. In Scripture, you never find God asking people to dream up what they want to do for Him. He never urges His people to set impressive goals and generate grand visions for Him and His kingdom.”
The fact is that I tend to dream up things on my own. And to be sure, I ask God to help me accomplish those dreams. I don’t set goals and dream dreams that are out of line with God’s will. At least not on purpose. But I don’t necessarily pursue God as I plan my goals for the coming year.
I am trying to hold my goals for 2019 with open hands for several reasons. First, it is frequently difficult for me to understand what God’s plan is for me and my dreams. Because of that, I want to make goals that are glorifying to Him, but if he wants those goals to change, I don’t want my plan to be so locked-in that I’m not willing to change it to join Him in His work.
Secondly, when my hands are open, He can take the plans out of my hands and replace them with better ones. I wish I could say that’s easy, but it’s not. However, I am attempting to have this attitude.
Quit making your goals into God’s goals! I’m working on it by His grace.
How do you think we can be glorifying to God as we create goals for our lives? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!