Sometimes I hear ideas and start wondering, “Where is that found it the Bible?” For example, self-care, cultural relevance, numerical success, and goals are sometimes mentioned by those I esteem as wise. Are our teachings based on God’s word or is the Christian community parroting the world? Since I hear the need to set goals most frequently, I will begin searching to learn about this topic first.
Recently, I heard in a sermon, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I felt unspiritual and immature because for the most part, I am opposed to setting goals. Also, it seemed I was receiving mixed messages to trust Jesus but also try harder.
I have a good Biblical basis for not setting goals or planning too much. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Philippians 1:6 tells us that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. In 1 Thessalonians 5:24, Paul writes, “He who called you is faithful, He also will bring it to pass.”
I did find one use of the word goal in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” I also found the word aim in in 2 Corinthians 5:9, “We make it our aim to please Him.” I can fully accede to those goals, but having 6 month or 5-year goals honestly seems a bit presumptuous. Isaiah 55:9 reminds us that as the heavens are higher than the earth, His ways and plans are higher than ours. The heavens are not just 10 stories high but more than trillions of miles. Why set a measly goal with my finite mind when God in his immeasurable wisdom has promised to fulfill His infinitely good goals for me?
3 thoughts on “Is THAT in the Bible?”
Never been very good at long range goals and plans. The planning is a secular solution to be applied to businesses in a secular world and we’ve tried to make it Christian, as you pointed out.
James 4: 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
To me, this seems like the perfect balance of planning, yet surrendering to the Lord and accepting His plans.
I love everything Lynn writes, but this one is my absolute favorite (so far.) I’ve always felt a bit leery about my planning. Now I know why. I especially love the part about God’s goals being trillions of miles high. This piece is pure dynamite– demolition for my culture-bound thinking, so that the Lord can replace it with “Spirit-unbounded” thinking.
I hope that Lynn will write more on this subject. If I stop setting my goals, what do I replace them with? Can I think ahead without falling into the wrong approach?