“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:4-6).
It is possible to follow God AND achieve goals with purpose. Don’t think that setting goals will lead you away from God’s plans for you. The psalmist says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:4-6).
Here we see that God can literally plant His own desires into the heart of man, the heart that, without Him, is desperately wicked and deceitful. He replaces the evil with good and sets our hearts on the path toward Him, removing our own desires and replacing them with His. Of course, this only happens when we come to Him in repentance and accept the gift of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. At that point, He removes our hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19). He accomplishes this by the supernatural implanting of His Spirit into our hearts. Then our desires become His desires, our wills seek to do His will, and our rebellion turns to joyous obedience.
So, if you're wondering, "Is it okay to set goals as a Christian? What does God's Word say about how to do this and stay in line with His will?" God has a lot to say about goals, intentional planning, and stewarding well what we've been given.
Goals are good and goals are Godly! Even Jesus had goals. God desires for us to live on purpose, not by accident. The fact that you're asking and seeking His will means you want to do this life well. His Word is about to illuminate for you how to set the right goals and stay motivated to achieve them.
But, don’t expect to find a checklist or a quick-fix formula for goal setting in the Bible. If it were that easy, we might read the list, check it off, and never talk to God about our plans. It's not about following rules, it's about a relationship with the One who created you with unique gifts and talents to use, God Himself.
The alternative to setting good goals? Wandering around aimlessly, letting life happen to you. Think about it. Did any of the key figures in the Bible just sit around doing nothing? Sure, they had their missteps, but Moses, David, Solomon, Esther, Ruth, John, Paul, and Jesus Himself had goals, and they got after them with God’s strength and wisdom. You're about to do the same, one small step and leap of faith at a time.
If you want to live your dreams, you must set goals that are aligned with the will of God over your life. You have been uniquely designed with a specific purpose and with a set of talents and skills for your use to edify God in your life. Pray and ask God to show you how to set goals the way He desires- let these goals represent the desires of your heart that have been planted within you by God! Ask God for His wisdom on planning and purpose so you can steward what you've given—your time, money, work, relationships, and health! Open your eyes to God’s truth and help it move from your head to your heart to your hands.