Godly Goals Help You Do What Matters Most
by Rick Warren
“God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20 MSG). The Bible tells us that Jesus set goals. In fact he often announced publicly what his next goal was for the next phase of his ministry. So why should you set goals? We’re going to talk about three reasons today and three more tomorrow.
You need to set goals because it is a spiritual responsibility.
If you don’t have goals for your life, you have already decided to let other people run your life. When you don’t decide in advance what’s important, you’re letting other people decide. You end up wasting your life, because you haven’t clarified how you want to grow as a follower of Christ. The Bible says that to be spiritually mature, you have to set your goal and move toward it as you keep your eyes focused on it. “I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize …. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. All of us who are mature should think in this same way” (Philippians 3:12, 14-15a CEV).
You need to set goals because they are statements of faith.
If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ and you set a goal, you’re saying, “I believe that God wants me to accomplish this by this time. This is what I believe God is going to do in my life.” Goals aren’t just a statement of faith; they stretch your faith. The bigger your goal, the more your faith will be stretched. And that pleases God. Ephesians 3:20 says, “God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (MSG)
You need to set goals because they focus your energy.
Focus is the key to an effective life. If you spread your energy out and diffuse it over a whole bunch of things, you’ll make no impact at all. But if you focus your life, it’s going to be powerful, and it will change the world. You don’t have time to do everything. Here’s the good news: God doesn’t expect you to do everything! The key to being effective in life as a woman or man of God is to do what matters most and forget everything else. Goals help you maintain that kind of focus.
“I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something — not just the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26 NCV).
While You’re Working on Your Goals, God Is Working on You
by Rick Warren
“I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.” (Philippians 3:12 CEV). Yesterday we talked about the reasons why you need to set some goals. Today we’re going to talk about three more reasons why goal setting is so important that even Jesus set goals for himself.
You need to set goals because they give you hope to keep moving and endure.
Job says, “What strength do I have left that I can go on hoping? What goal do I have that I would want to prolong my life?” (Job 6:11 NLT) You have to have a goal to keep you going. A goal doesn’t have to be big to motivate you. For instance, if you had to have surgery, your first goal in recovery could be to sit up in bed. Then you might work toward standing up and after that walking down the hallway. All of those are very small goals, but they’re all important, because to get from where you are to success isn’t one big leap. It’s many small steps. A goal doesn’t have to be big to be important — it just has to encourage you to carry on.
You need to set goals because they build your character.
The greatest benefit to your life will not be your accomplishments but rather what happens inside you while you’re moving toward your goal. God is more interested in your character than he is in your accomplishments. While you’re working on your goal, God is working on you. He is building your character, and that’s what’s going to last for eternity. That’s why Paul says in Philippians 3:12, “I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (CEV). It takes energy, effort, and purpose to reach your goal, and the result is that you become more like Christ.
You need to set goals because good goals will be rewarded.
Proverbs 11:27 says, “If your goals are good, you will be respected” (TEV). When you give your life to a good goal, it brings honor and builds a legacy on Earth. But the real reward in setting good goals is going to come in eternity. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step” (NLT). Paul was a purpose driven goal setter. You need to be that, too, so that you can win the prize that God has prepared for you in Heaven.