All this talk of reflection, goals and meaning over this month of January caused my heart to stir with expectation at the possibilities ahead for this year. I know this is not always the case for everyone – please don’t get discouraged if you are feeling a little less than goal focused at the moment. I am a firm believer of listening to our hearts and allowing time to process if not ready for something just yet – so no beating yourself up if you need longer before launching into planning some goals for 2016 :). All this stirring in my heart about goals has a lead to me pondering what is actually the ultimate goal? I mean is it the launching of a new business, increasing fitness or maybe focusing on our family life more? Is one type of goal seen as more “ultimate” than another?
The major life areas that most of us reference when choosing goals fall within health, business/career, spiritual, relationship with spouse, financial, personal development, fun/recreation, family and friendships. So back to my questioning, is one more ultimate or important than the another? And if so why? And the biggie: what does God think?
It is a bit of a surprise to some of us (or maybe just me!) when we finally connect the dots to discover our heavenly Father is really into goals and longs for us to have direction in our lives. His character is not aimless or directionless. He is purposed, committed to a direction and has a plan. All evidence of a goal focused incredible Father. I love this and have found it inspires me to want a plan and direction in my life as a mirror of the Creator I am fashioned after. It has helped me go from thinking of goals with a slightly negative frame of mind to a more positive mindset and desire to have them in my life.
God really has more to say about plans and direction than I realised…
Jeremiah 29:11 is a favourite for many and it is actually one of the foundational scriptures for the expression of God’s heart of goodness when it comes to our life having a direction – a plan. He makes it clear there firstly is a plan and secondly, it is for good and gives a future and hope to our lives. Oh, how that makes me rejoice. My assumption with this is it would, therefore, mean we need to discover this and then live it out not just sit back waiting for life to take us wherever.
Turning the pages a few books back to Psalm 32:8 is a scripture which speaks loudly to my heart (and I am sure it does to yours too my friend) that as we set goals and direction He will guide us. He will help us to know what is important. So, is there not an ultimate goal over others then? Or is there?
Leaving that question hanging still in the air let’s look at one last scripture (there are many others we could look at if we had time!) that I feel is worth a mention.
This one also in Jeremiah shares that while yes God has plans, purposes for our life we need to seek him and acknowledge we need him in our goal setting. This scripture is not saying have no plans, no goals – no way! This and the many other scriptures in the bible clearly point to God having a purpose/plan for our life and us seeking him for it. Our part is important – the seeking of him to discover our core values, our vision, our purpose and mission. By doing that, we identify our direction and then our goals follow suit.
So, The answer then to my questioning?
God has a purpose for each of our lives. We need to discover it. And part of following this plan/purpose is goal setting so we are heading in right direction. He wants to be right in the centre of our goal setting – but our relationship with him is the ultimate goal of our life and from this births all the other goals. When I think about it that’s what the last three weeks blog posts have been based on – him being part of this journey.
Our goals are important to his heart. He is good, kind, loving and wants us to pursue being all we are purposed to be. This means a range of goals in our life from season to season. He does not want us to see our goal of getting healthy this year as less important than Sally Super Christian’s goal to memorise Leviticus! He simply wants us to pursue him, discover who we are and the purpose of our life and set goals in that direction (with flexibility to change direction as HE leads)
So, yes I think there is an ultimate goal – our relationship with him. The goals that follow are based on the importance we place on them in partnership with him not just on our own. But hey, you probably already knew that I know! There is nothing like a friendly reminder though in this fast paced busy world that this beautiful invitation to a relationship with Him is what all else flows out from. It is okay if you don’t have your goals locked in just yet (keep heading towards this though!) – what really matters more than anything is the ultimate goal of pursuing HIM – he awaits…. 🙂
This week’s journal assignment – simply to be still before the Father. Ask him to be the ultimate goal of your heart that all goals flow from. Write down his words to you and any scriptures that reaffirm His heart towards you.
Until next time,