“Where there is no vision (goal), the people perish….,” Proverbs 29:18.
Every day of our lives God has a purpose, aim, or end toward which He is moving us. Many Christians believe that in order to be open to the leading of the Spirit of God they shouldn’t make any plans, have any goals, or have any target they are aiming at to accomplish. They assume everything God does is spontaneously revealed only moment by moment and they’ll be able to sense the leading of the Spirit for every moment by moment decision they have to make. They often reject the idea that God through His Word and Spirit would ever reveal something in advance that they could receive as a goal and make plans to attain it. They fail to realize that God is a God of vision and that is essentially what goals are. They are pictures of the future. Where there is no goal (pictures of the future), people perish or are unproductive, unbridled, and run wild. Success is not luck. It must be carefully planned for, and it begins with setting clear cut goals. It is very difficult to hit a target you do not have.
A great example of God giving us vision and goals is in Habakkuk 2:1-3 where the prophet Habakkuk is described as being in a position to perceive God’s will and hear God speak. “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision (goal or picture of the future) is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” From the point of perceiving God’s vision, or the goal God wanted to bring to pass, the prophet was to write it down so that those responsible for accomplishing it could read it and run with it. This certainly sounds like a God centered goal setting process to me.
The prophet was to be given a clear-cut picture of the future that could be written down and accomplished. The vision or goal would be able to guide the people’s activity for they could run with it after reading it. The vision or goal would also have some point in the future (an appointed time) when it would come to pass. God given goals are clear-cut pictures from God of what He wants us to accomplish. Those goals should be specific enough as to what God wants and a time He wants it done which should help us measure progress toward its accomplishment.
In summary, I like to describe good Godly goals as: a specific statement of faith for a desired result to be achieved during a stated period of time.
A goal should always include:
- A “WHAT” (the desired result).
b. A “WHEN” (the target date, period, or deadline).