Faith Helps You Focus Your Goals
By Rick Warren
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20 The Message).
We know that setting goals is important because the Bible tells us that Jesus set goals. In fact, he often announced publicly what his goal was for the next phase of his ministry.
So why should you set goals? Today we’re going to talk about three reasons to set goals, and tomorrow we’ll talk about three more.
1. You need to set goals because it is a spiritual responsibility.
If you don’t have goals for your life, you have already decided to let other people run your life. When you don’t decide in advance what’s important, you’re letting other people decide. You end up wasting your life, because you haven’t clarified how you want to grow as a follower of Christ.
The Bible says that to be spiritually mature, you have to set your goals and move toward them as you keep your eyes focused on them.
“I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize . . . I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. All of us who are mature should think in this same way” (Philippians 3:12, 14-15 CEV).
2. You need to set goals because they are statements of faith.
If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ and you set a goal, you’re saying, “I believe that God wants me to accomplish this by this time. This is what I believe God is going to do in my life.”
Goals aren’t just a statement of faith. They stretch your faith. The bigger your goal, the more your faith will be stretched. And that pleases God.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (The Message).
3. You need to set goals because they focus your energy.
Focus is the key to an effective life. If you spread your energy out and diffuse it over a whole bunch of things, you’ll make no impact at all. But if you focus your life, it’s going to be powerful, and it will change the world.
You don’t have time to do everything. But here’s the good news: God doesn’t expect you to do everything! The key to being effective in life as a follower of Jesus is to do what matters most and forget everything else. Goals help you maintain that kind of focus.
“I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26 NCV).
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Learn how to pray prayers that expect answers!
Do you sometimes struggle with how to talk and listen to God? The good news is he longs to hear your prayers, whether it’s a bold cry or a whisper. And your words don’t need to be perfect. He delights in you when you come before him—in thanksgiving and petition.
Jesus says in John 15:7 . . .
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
So the key to praying with hope and expectation is abiding in Christ—and we want to help you do that with the all-new Daily Hope Prayer Journal. Your faith will be strengthened and you will be blessed as you look back on your written prayers and see how God has faithfully answered them.
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• Bible verses and suggestions to help you pray for specific people and situations
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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