How are you, really?
Many people wrongly think, “Goal setting is unspiritual because it shows a lack of trust. It’s not right to plan. Instead, people should wait for God to lead them.”
Granted, God doesn’t want us to forge ahead in pride without consulting Him for direction. But neither does He want us to sit around without acting, because He’s given us gifts and talents and has also said that we are called to do good works (Eph. 2: 8-10, Romans 12:4-8, Matthew 25:14-30).
Forging ahead without seeking God or sitting back and doing nothing can stem from fear or a lack of faith. However, setting goals and consulting with Him shows that you trust Him and believe that He is able to lead you while you are moving forward.
In years past, I wished God would give me more details about what He wanted me to do. I was certain that more knowledge would guarantee that I wouldn’t ruin my life by stepping out of His will.
Sadly, many people are like I was. They assume that God needs to give them the entire picture of how their purpose will play out before they set goals. Because they are afraid and maybe, just maybe don’t trust that God is in control of their future and purpose, they demand to hear from Him in detail.
Granted, God can do anything, but my personal experience and the experiences of biblical saints reveal that God doesn’t give all the details at once while we are fulfilling our purpose. Instead, He often provides just enough information to help us move forward one step at a time. This helps our faith grow. This does not mean we shouldn’t set goals.
Instead, it means we need to trust Him to lead us into the unknown, and that we may need to reevaluate and change our goals as He gives us more information. This is OK. It’s part of having a dynamic, collaborative, and exciting relationship with Him. Can you imagine if we had the future all figured out? Life would not be as exciting.
As you progress in your purpose and God reveals more information to you, keep a dialogue open with Him, pay attention to the road signs He provides along the way, and listen to Him speak to you through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Then you can be confident that He will show you when you are in—and out—of His will.
There are many ways to approach goal setting. Some people look at the big picture, then break goals down into smaller chunks, and some like to take a looser approach. However, no matter how you set goals, it’s important to consider the total how God made you in the process.
That being said, I thought I’d share with you my very own WISER Goal Planning Framework to get you started in goal planning. May you find it helpful in growing your relationship with God. If you like to have a copy and try it out for yourself, email me iman (at) emmylouiman (dot) com and I will send you a copy.