“If we would only give the same amount of reflection to what we want out of life that we give to the question of what to do with two week’s vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless processions of our busy days.”
– Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Fisher was referring to this temporal life which is transient and passing.
What’s worse, we spend even less time planning our spiritual life, which is eternal with otherworldly significance and value. Are you frustrated with a habitual sin? Do you constantly feel like there just isn’t enough time in a day to do your devotions? or are you tired of your prayerlessness?
If that’s your experience, don’t worry I’ve been there too.
I felt hopeless, disorganized and without a sense of direction. That is, until I started setting clear and specific spiritual goals.
This is what happened:
* Instant peace of mind (at least I could NOW SEE the target)
* Enthusiasm and energy to reach my goals (There is just something about written goals…)
* Felt more in control
Here’s the step by step plan I used to set my first spiritual goals…
1. TOTAL INABILITY
Acknowledge to yourself that you are absolutely unable to do anything without God’s help. “Apart from Me you can do nothing” John 15:5.
And nothing really means NOTHING.
Write it down at the top of the page. Think about it. And let your soul quietly rest in Christ.
You could write something like this:
I am unable to do anything without your help, Lord, so I ask you to enable me to complete my goals.
What outcomes do you want out of your Christian life? Do you want a tamed tongue? do you want to become a loving and submis-sive wife? Do you want to control your food intake?
In other words, if the Lord was to make your Christian walk perfect today, what would it look like?
Identify the top 3 things you’d like to see chan-ged and write each of them down in the form of a positive first person present tense affirmation, for example:
A. I am happily and easily doing my personal devotions bright and early and every day.
B. I am loving my wife as Christ loved the church, one day at a time.
C. I am using my tongue to praise and build up others.
Now that you know what your goals are, think about all the resources you’ll need to achieve your goals.
Find a good concordance and search for all the key passages or books related to your specific goals. Write them down. For instance, Ephesians 5 would be a good chapter to study for a husband who wants to love his wife better.
Find the top 3 books that would help you achieve your goals for each goal. Ask your pastor or check out books in your subject area with the best reviews on Amazon.
C. Mentor/ Accountability partner
This is very important. Find someone who’s already exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit that you’re after. Explain what you’re doing and ask if you could check in with them once a month to talk about your progress and learn from them. This step is key (iron sharpens iron). Having that kind of accounta-bility will keep you focused.
D. Specific Daily Action
Create some specific daily tasks that you have to do to bring you closer to goals. If your goal is to read your Bible daily then the daily task is obvious. If, on
the other end, your goal is to love your spouse better, you could commit to giving them one free pass a day for example.
I divide the year in 3 and allocate 4 months for each goal. The first month, I study the key Bible passages that address my issue. I then allocate 1 book per
month for the remaining 3 months. Remember to schedule monthly meetings ahead of time with your mentor.
Reviewing is key and has three parts.
One, read your goals out loud. Focus on the positive present tense affirmations discussed under the “Outcomes” paragraph. Do this twice a day; once in the morning and again at night before bed.By repeating your goals out loud twice a day, you’ll keep them at the forefront of your mind, which will remind you to perform the daily activities necessary for success.
Two, reread your entire goals program once a week.
Three, document your progress either via journaling, a spreadsheet or a tracking app on your phone. Documenting your progress is helpful because it will keep you in the race when you feel like giving up. Being able to visualize all that you have invested (things you have done) for this goal will keep you going.
Hey, I’m not saying don’t plan a two week vacation, all I’m saying is, plan your Christian life with even more diligence.
The one action I ask that you take NOW is to answer this question: What top three outcomes you’d like to experience in your Christian walk?
I hope this helps…