A new you for a new decade: God’s design on how to set goals that gain maximum impact.
How many times in your life have you said, this is the year it’s going to be different. You have good intentions for about two weeks and then nothing really ever changes. What does it really ever take to make a permanent change in your life? All of the things that you want different in your health, your finances, your relationships, your marriage, your career. All these different things that we’re going to look at are goals for a new you in a new decade.
Bottom Line: A focused life is an impactful life.
Something To Talk About:
Whether we’re talking about our personal lives, spiritual lives, relationships, our character, or our future, we need to ask ourselves what kind of people we want to be. Having goals can center us, keep our eyes on Christ, and encourage us to grow. Without goals, we have no reason to press on, and we can flounder, feel lost, or lose track of our purpose.
- Godly goals bring glory to God: It only makes sense. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Anything can be done to the glory of God if you do it with the right attitude, the right motivation, the right reason. What kind of goal brings glory to God? Any goal that causes me to love Jesus more is going to bring glory to God. Any goal that causes me to be more grateful to God, any goal that causes me to want to serve God, any goal that causes me to be more drawn to Him, that’s a godly goal. So that gives you a whole lot of room. Any goal that’s going to cause you to love Jesus more as you fulfill it and cause you to obey Him more and trust Him more in going after it, that’s a good goal. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:9, “So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please Him.”
- Godly goals are motivated by love: God is more interested in your heart than your actions. He wants to know why you do what you do. God blesses goals that are motivated by love. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16:14, “And do everything with love.” God is love and God put you on earth to learn how to love. And if you don’t learn that, it doesn’t matter what you accomplish or what you acquire or what you do or what you experience we need to learn to love God and love others. That is what our goals should be looking to accomplish or at least improve. It is easy to love Jesus. Even if He never did anything else, because He died for me on the cross, which paid for all my sins, and I can go to heaven, if He never did anything else, I owe Him the rest of my life. The other motivation is our love for other people. The Bible says, “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” ( 1 John 4:12) The whole point is learning how to love. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:1, “Let love be your highest goal…”
- Godly goals fulfill one of life’s purposes: If you want to have a goal that God is going to bless, that God’s going to get behind, that God’s going to help you with, you need to set a goal that fulfills one of God’s purposes for your life. God’s purposes are eternal and that should make a huge difference in your perspective. If the here and now is all there is, you only need short-term goals. We also need long-term goals that have more impact on the second part of your life, after death, than on the first part of your life. God has a plan for our life. He has a purpose for our lives. The question is what does God want to do with my life? How can God use me for His purposes? Romans 6:13 says, “Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have a new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.”
- Godly goals are set in faith: God-sized goals require God-sized faith. If you set a goal that’s too small and you can do it in your own power, that’s not a goal. That’s just a personal checklist. A godly goal is something that’s big enough that you’re going to have to trust God and depend on Him to make it. Then it requires faith. If everything you do in life you can do in your own power, you don’t need God. Then you don’t need any faith. And “without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6) So you’ve got to set a goal that’s big enough, that stretches you, maybe scares you a little bit. Then you have to trust God.
- Godly goals are achieved with God’s power: Most people spend more time planning their summer vacation than they do planning their life. Instead of living by design, we live by default. I’m convinced that one of the primary reasons most of us don’t accomplish more for God’s Kingdom is because we do not tap into the power of God. Where do you get the power to not worry? Where do you get the power to be patient? Where do you get the power to love unlovely people? Where do you get the power to do the right thing, the honest thing, the ethical thing when everybody else is cheating? You only get power from God. God’s power in your life and other people who are a part of the process. You will not get well on your own. You will not change on your own. You need God.
- New Year’s resolutions typically don’t last too long. What happens? How do our good intentions derail so easily? Should Christians even engage in setting goals?
- Why does it mean to put God first in a goal?
- How do faith and goals go hand in hand? As your faith grows should your goals grow as well? Agree or disagree and why?
- How does setting goals depend on how secure you are as a child of God?
- How important is it to turn to God first, not last?
- How important is it to be flexible in your goals? Do we need to prioritize our lives?
- Should one of our goals be about leaving a legacy? Should we strive to be a servant?
- What does a love God and love others goal look like from a practical standpoint?
- How deeply do you trust the Holy Spirit to work in your life and to transform you?
- How can you make God’s Word a consistent part of your daily life so that you can leverage its instruction and wisdom?
- What people around you can you rely on for support as you pursue your goals?
- What did you learn about God through the message? What questions do you still have concerning the message?
Take one thing home with you:
Think about your legacy. What you deem important will be where your energy and time go. “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Luke 12:34). Pick your treasures wisely.
Ask yourself – when I am at the end of my life, what will I want my legacy to be? Usually, it’s the things we can’t buy — close friendships, a loving family, a legacy of hard work and kindness — that means the most to us at the end of life. Commit to running the race of faith with perseverance, and set goals that will get you there.