All this month, we’ve been talking goals.
We’ve discussed SMART goals and their key motivations, also how to chunk and plan your goals for the year and for the week. I suggested you have comprehensive goals and keep in mind the true goal of goal setting. I’ve shared a number of personal blog goals and reflections. We even discussed how our failures can be used for our growth.
For the final week of January, I plan on giving practical ways to attack specific goals related to most of you. Yeah, I’m going to help you reach your personal goals based on your feedback.
Before that, I want to remind you of one principle with regard to your goals. It comes from the book of James:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (Ja. 4:13-17)
Attack Your Goals Modestly
Setting goals is a biblical virtue. It is wise and seen in most biblical characters. Their examples demonstrate good and godly strategic planning. Isaiah wrote, “He who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands” (Is. 32:8). Additionally, God has the most noble plan and no one can thwart it (Prov. 19:21; 21:30). “My counsel shall stand,” says God, “and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Is. 46:10).
When we speak about goals, we should identify the underlying matter–the issue of the will. We “will” to reach our goals. They are things we are intentional about achieving. In the same way, although God needs no goals, He has a will of His own. Sometimes, these two wills collide. When they do, must I say, our wills lose.
For this reason, James says, “Come now,” to we who presume our plans will unfold exactly the way we intend and with the outcome we desire. James refers to this as arrogant boasting. It’s an expression of disregard for God’s will and an absence of trust in God’s plan.
When goal setting and goal attacking, remember God is sovereign and His will is perfect to the end. Be modest with your goals. Don’t put too much weight on your own ability and ingenuity. Submit your goals to God in prayer, and be willing to have His will alter yours.
Attack Your Goals with Obedience
When we set goals without God, we are practicing atheism, or worse, self-theism. We are pretentious. Consider the people who were building the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9. These were people wise in the world, able to accomplish great goals by their own hands. They sought to honor themselves by their achievements.
God saw their plans and monuments and knew their sin of goal setting without Him was just the beginning. Their impressive spiral upward was the start of a sinful spiral downward. So God mercifully showed them their folly and “dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth.” At the height of their arrogance, God showed them His will prevails.
John reminds us “the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn. 2:17). Our goals need to be set and accomplished in the heart of obeying God’s commands. Our schedules and activities need to be arranged and performed in a way that honors God by making His will the highest priority.
Remember God is in control of your future. See your goals in light of God’s will.