In this episode Saso and Ben talk about setting spiritual goals in 2021.
This episode will be divided in two parts. In the first half, we will address the following question.
Is it biblical to set spiritual goals and if so, how should I go about it?
In the second half, Saso will share 10 of his personal spiritual goals.
Not everyone sets goals, and some aren’t motivated by goals. It may not be what you are already assuming or thinking.
When we enter a new year, some people like to set goals for the year so that they have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the year. Most people set goals in the areas of health, finance, and business. But what if I want to grow in my walk with God? Should I be setting spiritual goals?
A recent study from Harvard shows the following statistics surrounding setting goals.
- 83% of the population does not have goals
- 14% have a goals in mind but are unwritten goals and are 10 times more successful than those without goals
- 3% have goals written down
The world set’s goals for personal gain or for certain status. Christians should have a different motivation for settings goals.
Goals: The end or final purpose; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or accomplish.1828 Websters Dictionary
The goal is the end or final purpose we aim to reach, so in essence, when we set goals, we are not just determining the final purpose, we are constructing a plan so that we can reach that final purpose.
As a Christian what is our final purpose and how can we build a plan to obtain these goals?
- Hebrews 12:14
- 1 Timothy 4:8
Basically we are to strive for holiness and godliness or sanctification. This is our end goal, to be Christ like. Now is this even attainable in this life? No, of course not, we will never be 100% Christ-like in this lifetime. However, we are commanded by the writer of Hebrews to pursue or strive for it and the apostle Paul tells us we should be godly and the implication is we should train for godliness rather than bodily training.
In the book of Luke we see Jesus speak a parable about the cost of discipleship.
This is a parable, but Jesus is talking about calculating or planning here and the point of the parable is to consider the cost of being a disciple and the implication is that it is good to make a plan.
- Proverbs 6:6-8
- Proverbs – 21:5
Again, these are verses that elude to getting better results with planning.
How should we determine our goals?
We ought to look to the scriptures to determine our Spiritual goals after all, since they are Spiritual goals, they should be determined by God’s word.
We should be looking to God and His word as the source for determining our goals. Even when we set the goal, we must yield to God’s will.
For example, we see that meditating on God’s word is found all over the scripture, just read Psalm 119. So in essence you could write down the following goal:
I will spend at least 10 minutes meditating on the scripture when I read my bible.
Now there is nothing super spiritual or biblical about writing a goal down, other than it just reinforces your goal as you write it.
There is a caveat here. 10 minutes is not scriptural, it did not say to do this for 10 minutes in the Bible. So why the timer? This is simply to build habit and see progress and growth in the area of meditation.
However, please be careful with these extra-biblical goals because it could cause you to become focused on the 10 minutes and not the actual meditation in which you begin to dip into being legalistic about meditation. Also, you don’t want to set a timer too long to the point that you will exasperate yourself. As your habit grows that 10 minutes may turn into 15 or 20, in any case, focus on meditating on God’s word.
What is the motivation for your goal?
What is the driving force of your goal? Well, it’s not you or anything else. It’s God. When you set a spiritual goal, you should first meditate on scripture directly related to your goal. Then you should pray for God the Holy Spirit to give you strength to accomplish the goal. Reading God’s word, meditating on it and praying will not only motivate you, it will guide you.
Let me remind you, God is faithful. God is the one who gives the increase. He will give you grace. He will give you strength. But we must completely depend on Him for sanctification which is the ultimate end goal.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
What about tracking your progress?
There certainly isn’t a “spiritual meter” that tells you what level of spirituality you are at. However it’s important to take note of things like spiritual break throughs, or answered prayer. Maybe it is a life long dominating sin that God has removed through goal setting. Write it down. Maybe it’s writing down positive or negative things that happened with regard to your spiritual goal in order to help gauge your progress.
My brother Jeff is always encouraging me to journal. Journaling is not for everyone, but journaling really does help you to remember and reflect on things going on in your life. This can be useful so that you know if you are gaining any headway on your spiritual goal. It doesn’t have to be complex, just a few sentences everyday.
This isn’t necessarily biblical, but if you look at the old testament, it’s interesting that the children of Israel would set up memorials to help future generations remember what God had done. This exact thing happened when Joshua crossed the Jordan with the 12 tribes and they made a memorial out of stones just after they crossed. It was for future generations to remember what had happened. Journaling and writing things down is to help you remember what God is doing and has done.
What about the cons to setting spiritual goals?
Like anything else, goals can become idols. We need to be careful with goals. Goals are just tools to help us grow, they are not the means by which we grow. Goals can also lead to things like legalism, self-righteousness or even pride.
Just remember, the ultimate goal is to be Christlike for the glory of God.
2020 was a year where we have lost people we loved and heard of others who have passed away. Every year brings about death and the older we get, the more we lose people who are near and dear to us. We are told here in Psalm 90 that there is no sin that is hid from God and that our days are numbered.
Have you ever come to the end of the day and wondered what in the world did you accomplish that day?
Every day that passes is another day we grow closer to eternity.
What will you do in 2021?
What will you allow God to do through you?
What spiritual goals do you have for 2021?
What action plans do you have in place to execute what God has laid on your heart to do in 2021?
Saso’s 2021 Spiritual Goals
1. Redeem my time for eternity
- Psalm 90:8-12
- Ephesians 5:15-18
- Colossians 4:5
2. Try to eliminate complaining in my life.
- Numbers 11:1-4
- I Corinthians 10:10
Those who are of a discontented spirit, will always find something to quarrel or fret about, though the circumstances of their outward condition be ever so favourable. The Lord heard it, though Moses did not. God knows the secret frettings and murmurings of the heart, though concealed from men.Matthew Henry
- Exodus 16:8
- Philippians 2:14
- Isaiah 53:7
3. Exercise self-discipline in all aspects of my life
- Proverbs 25:28
- I Corinthians 9:26-27
- Titus 2:12
4. Memorize more of God’s Word
- Psalm 119:11
- Colossians 3:16
- Joshua 1:8
5. Remove road blocks to sin
- Proverbs 22:3
- James 4:17
6. Love those I struggle loving
- I John 2:9-10
- Psalm 133:1
- Matthew 22:37-40
- John 13:34-35
7. Date my wife like I did in 1998 sans the drama
- I Peter 3:7
- Ephesians 5:25
- I Corinthians 13:4-7
- Colossians 3:19
8. Make time for prayer and pray for needs that are not my own
- James 5:16
- Ephesians 6:18
- Philippians 4:6
9. Be a better leader in my home and in the ministries God has given me
- I Timothy 4:12
- II Timothy 2:2
- Matthew 20:25-28
10. Become a soul winner
- Proverbs 11:30
- Matthew 28:18-19
- Ezekiel 33:3-6