Setting goals and having a plan for the future is a common act among humans and it is a wise thing to do. Having a plan or having some sort of goal you want to achieve is a very wise thing to have. Often times, though, these plans or goals never seem to be completed or met, and there is always a reason or reasons why. This article will hopefully help all of us meet our goals or realize God may have something else in mind.
The first thing we must realize is that goal setting is a wise thing to do. In Luke 14:28-31 Jesus gives us some examples of how to plan and what happens if we do not. Luke 14:28-31 reads, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” The act of planning for the future is an act of the wise.
There is also a need to make plans with the advice and wisdom of others. Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” If we receive and seek the advice of many people it will only help our plans. When it comes to planning or setting a goal, the more advice we have, the better off we are at achieving those goals and plans we set. We should seek advice on how to reach our goals effectively and if others think it would be a good idea to do the things we want to do.
Another part of goal setting we must realize is that God has his plans for us too. God promises us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”” God has plans for us that we may not even be aware of and He may also have different plans for us than what we may have. One thing we must be sure of is that God’s plans are the best plans for us. As we just looked at in Jeremiah, God promises us plans to make us prosper, and to give us hope and a future.
We must realize that our goals or plans may not be the same as the Lord’s plans for us. We must remember that God can see the future, and we cannot. Perhaps our plans may seem great at the time, but will later lead to disaster that we cannot see. Therefore we must always be willing to do the Lord’s will. James 4:13-15 says, “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.’” Notice how James does not say that we should not make plans. As we discussed earlier, it is wise to make plans. However, he goes on to say that we should not be so confident that tomorrow will come. So, when we make plans, we should say “If the Lord wills, we will do this or that” because our plans should align with God’s plans anyways.
So how do we achieve goals? Well, I have a 3-step process to achieving goals we set:
- Write them down
Writing down our goals and putting them in a place in which we see them constantly, helps us to remember what it is we are trying to achieve.
Pray to God and ask Him to help you reach your goals. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” We must pray for God’s will also, and if what we pray for does not align with His plans, then we should not be angry with Him. We should realize that His plans, are better for us than our own.
- Take action
The only way we are going to achieve goals, is if we do something to achieve them. We cannot sit back and expect God to do everything for us. We must take action and be determined to reach our goals.
So as we come to a close, making plans and setting goals are important. They help us become better people and they help us to reach our full potential. It is wise to make plans, but it is also wise to consider God’s plans for us because His plans are far better than we can ever imagine. So make plans, set goals, but remember that God may have better plans that lie ahead.