Is it “Christian” to set goals? Don’t we just let God do stuff in our lives without us having specific goals? How does God work in our lives? These are some of the questions we will be looking at this month.
In Philippians 3:7-8, Paul says, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.“
Did Paul have goals? He sure did. Paul had one primary motivating goal: to know God the Father through Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible, we find God giving direction to his people, setting goals, and helping them to achieve them.
There should be some test somewhere to see if we’re setting the right kind of goals for our lives. So often, a Christian responds to goal setting as a matter of just mental gymnastics. That’s not true at all. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer’s heart; one of his responsibilities is to give us direction in our lives. Cannot the Holy Spirit (who is in nature all-knowing) guide us in setting future goals (which we cannot see) and direct us moment by moment today?
Because He knows the future, He can give us wisdom in setting those goals and making those plans in keeping with God’s plan and purpose in our lives. It’s important to note that you may achieve some of those wrong goals if you use the right principles for the wrong goals. But there is one thing you need to be reminded of: you will suffer the consequences of getting what you really and genuinely don’t want. You see, this is what is happening to people who read a lot of books that deal with the mind. Indeed they can concentrate, set goals, and make plans that will leave God totally out of their life. And they will be able to achieve some of them. But what those books do not tell you is this — if you set the wrong goals in your life, and you reach them, you will not find contentment, happiness, peace, joy, and you will not even enjoy the achievements for which you have worked. That’s why we need to set goals for our lives under God’s direction because the mind misdirected is a dangerous thing.