Setting Goals and Making Plans
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.Benjamin Franklin
While the quote above is true for fulfilling basic responsibilities of life, believers have an even more focused primary goal for our lives making planning even more imperative. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that even the most mundane parts of life are to be done to the glory of God. It’s easy to separate our time spent reading God’s Word and praying from our daily responsibilities and plans. God should be at the forefront of our minds throughout every part of our day. If He is not, it will be impossible for us to obey the command to do everything that we do for His glory.
The fundamental reason for aligning our day around God and His plans is that according to Romans 11:36, everything is of Him, through Him, and to Him. He created us for His glory along with everything else in this universe. He upholds all things and sovereignly reigns overall. Not only does He have the right to order our days because of His role as our sovereign Creator, but He has also purchased us with the precious blood of Christ so that He can make us everything we were intended to be for His glory.
So what does that mean? As much as we might want to be the “Boss” of our own little empire, we have a higher authority that we answer to. This God knows us infinitely better than we know ourselves including our talents, gifts, and dreams. He knows the past, present, and future completely, and He has graciously given us all the gifts and relationships that we enjoy so that we would steward them for His glory as well as our good.
How can we know what God wants us to do or what plans we should make? Thankfully, God has graciously and very clearly shown what His will is for our lives through His Word. The following is a snapshot of God’s will as seen in His Word.
God’s Will for You
The basic structure for the following outline of God’s Will was taken from the book In His Image by Jenn Wilkin and her Bible study podcast on the book of James.
God wills that you be saved.
1 Timothy 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9
God wills that you be filled with His Spirit instead of allowing yourself to be controlled by anything else.
Ephesians 5:15-21; Galatians 5:16-26
God wills that you be sanctified (the process of becoming more like Jesus Christ through His Spirit and His Word.)
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; John 17:17-19; 2 Peter 3:18
God wills that you be submissive to the authorities He has ordained in your life.
1 Peter 2:13-15; Romans 13:1-7
God wills that you face suffering with joyful hope in Christ.
Philippians 1:29; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12-19
God wills that you be obedient to Him.
- As an Act of Worship – Romans 12:1-2
- From the Heart – Ephesians 6:5-8
- As a Way of Life – Colossians 1:9-10
- By the Spirit’s Enabling – Hebrews 13:20-21
We face daily choices of how to invest our time, money, relationships, and dreams. God will not tell us which choice to make in these instances, but He instead desires that we filter these choices through the gauge of His Word to understand His will for us. He promises to give His wisdom freely so that we can evaluate our daily habits and goals based on His ultimate purpose for us–to become like Jesus and point others to Him. Each new month can be a chance to assess how we are stewarding our body, mind, possessions, time, and relationships with others. While everyone’s plan is going to be different, making a plan is essential. We can make use of God’s freely given wisdom so that we can make the best choices possible each day.
In order to decide how best to plan your day, week, and month; you will want to consider what goals you want to achieve within those specific time frames. Make sure that your goals are practical, specific, and attainable. Start out simple so that you don’t get overwhelmed and quit. A great resource on habits is the book Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science by Drew Dyck.
Prayerfully read through the following passages to help you consider how to invest in the different areas of your life. Next, write out daily disciplines that you can begin implementing to reach those goals.
Scripture Reference Quick Guide for Stewardship of…
…my Mind: Rom. 12:1-2; Ps. 119:9-16; Eph. 4:17-24
…my Body: 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:12-20; Phil. 3:18-21
…my Emotions: Ps. 61; Phil. 4:4-9; Col. 3:15; Jer. 17:9
…my Time: Eph. 5:14-20; Col. 4:5-6; James 4:13-17
…my Relationships: Matt. 28:19; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12:4-13:13
…my Possessions: 2 Cor. 9:6-15; Luke 16:10-13