Are you in planning mode for 2017 yet? Maybe it’s because I reorganized my desk at work Friday, but I’m suddenly in goal setting mode.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not into New Year’s resolutions at all. But I like to have a plan for spiritual growth.
What am I going to read during my quiet time? How will I keep growing in my prayer life?
I used to just let those things happen. But then they didn’t happen. I’d get busy, and my Bible reading would get neglected. I wouldn’t set a specific time for prayer, and I ended up not praying at all.
It was ugly.
Then I swung too far in the other direction. I’d come up with a plan and charge full speed ahead.
I forgot to stop and consult God about my plans. We all know how well that turns out, don’t we?
A Biblical Warning on Leaving God Out of Your Goals
In the Old Testament we see Sarah (back when she was called Sarai) make the same mistake. God promised Abraham a son. But after years of waiting, Sarah and Abraham still didn’t have a child.
So what did Sarah do? She charged ahead. She made a plan to have a child via her servant, Hagar.
Hagar and Abraham did have a son, but that wasn’t the son God promised. The result was ugly. Sarah banished Hagar, and Hagar and Ishmael had to fend for themselves in the desert.
God took care of Hagar and Ishmael, and Sarah and Abraham eventually had that son God promised. But things would have been so much better if Sarah had waited on God.
Is God at the center of your goals? I’ve already admitted that at times He’s not at the center of mine.
Pray Before Setting Goals and Find Accountability
This year I really prayed, and I’m going to set two spiritual goals for myself. I’m going to read through the Bible chronologically, and I’m going to memorize some scripture.
Here’s the thing, though. I need some accountability. I can set goals all the livelong day, but my follow through is sometimes lacking.
Maybe you’re in the same boat. We all need accountability. God made us relational, right?
I have an idea for us.
This is what I’m going to do. I made up a calendar with a chronological Bible reading plan on it. And then I put together a booklet of scripture to memorize throughout the year – 12 passages, one for each month.
It would fit nicely in a binder with your prayer journal.
It took some time to put together, so I can’t give it away. But I’m going to keep the cost to $4.99, which will include membership to a Facebook group for the reading plan participants.
I’ll send an email after Christmas with the link to the package. I hope some of you will join me in reading through the entire Bible next year! Pray about it! (Don’t set goals without God!)
Even if you don’t join me in my reading plan, be sure to set some goals for your spiritual growth next year. They say if you fail to plan you plan to fail, and it’s true.
Set God Centered Goals
As I said before, I sometimes struggle with letting God guide my yearly goals. Last year, in an attempt to really focus on God during my goal setting process, I bought my friend Arabah Joy’s goal setting guide, Grace Goals.
Grace Goals is a process for setting goals that puts God where he should be…first! Arabah’s guide contains a 48 page workbook with 5 mini workshops. In addition, there is an optional private Facebook group for members to hold each other accountable.Put God at the center of your goal setting process this year.Click To Tweet
How does the Grace Goals process work?
First, you identify an area of your life where you’d like to set a goal. Then (this is my favorite part), Arabah guides you through a Biblical word study of your topic. You learn exactly what the Bible has to say about the area of your life you’re going to be working on!
After you know what the Bible says, you refine your goal and identify the things and people you need in your life to support your success. You also identify stumbling blocks, so you can be prepared to face them.
Finally, in the last lesson, Arabah puts a Biblical perspective on goal setting, giving us an important reminder that God is in the center of our goals, and why that is significant.
If you struggle with goal setting, really consider purchasing Grace Goals. It helped me out a lot last year, and I’m going to go through it again in the next couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll see you in the Grace Goals Facebook group. This is one product I can enthusiastically recommend!