Goal setting is not exactly my forte. I will dream big and get all excited, but getting down to the nitty-gritty of following through is where I get hung up. And there my dreams and hopes pile up into a long list of unfinshed’s.
Today, my friend Arabah Joy shares how we can dream big, set goals, and take bite-sized steps in grace to achieve them. She has me all geared up to to go do that one thing I’d like to do! Here’s Arabah Joy…
Somewhere in my mid twenties I stopped making New Year’s resolutions. The idea is great (who doesn’t want to turn over a new leaf?) but research shows what we’ve all discovered firsthand: 92% of New Year’s resolutions are big fat flops.
It’s depressing when you think about it (so don’t!) We all want, even deeply long for, change in our lives. Fortunately, the Bible is not silent when it comes to change, new things, or godly ambition. Ours is a God who makes all things new!
Sadly, after giving up New Year’s resolutions I aimlessly bopped around for a few years, uncertain where to land on the subject of goal setting and achieving real change. But then I came across a little verse in II Thessalonians 1 that lit a fire under me and prompted me to study God’s word on the subject. This passage ignited fresh hope in my heart and eventually powered some major life changes, things like an overhaul to our family diet, training for a marathon, and quitting sugar.
Trust me, these things didn’t happen in my own strength or with an extra heap of self discipline! Rather, they happened as I began studying II Thessalonians 1:11-12 and other passages to discover what the Bible says about change and the power to carry through.
You see, I began to realize that our effort and God’s provision intersect at the point where we desire godliness. Some Bible translations use the concept of setting goals and some actually use the word “resolve” in this verse. Regardless of the translation, it is at this point of decision, resolve, and desire that God supplies empowering grace.
The more I studied this, the more convinced I became of two things.
- We set far too few goals as Christians!
- When we do set goals, we frequently overlook the process and power available exclusively to us as believers in Christ.
From Titus 2:12, Hebrews 13:9, and II Corinthians 9:8, we see it’s God’s grace that ENABLES us to say YES to every good and godly work and say NO to every ungodly and selfish desire. The Bible also tells us the grace of God is always sufficient, no matter what.
Many of us think of grace as forgiveness only, a divine get-out-of-jail-free card. We fail to understand grace is also our go-to resource for divine enablement.
Scripture describes grace as the power of God (see I Corinthians 15:10). Do we appropriate it? Do we know how to practically convert it to power the engine of our lives? Do we know how to access grace in meaningful ways?
While we may be bombarded with self-help tools and tricks, the vast majority of goal setting resources out there fail to go deep enough on a spiritual level to actually equip us to change. They give us great “how-to” but not enough “carry through.”
That’s because only God’s Spirit and the “in-the-moment” grace He gives can do that.
God has a path for goal setting and lasting change… and God has the provision too. Anything less than tapping into God’s provision of grace is sort of like plugging yourself up to a battery… when you have the power plant of the Creator of the Universe who raised Christ Jesus from the dead at your disposal!
Grace Goals outlines the process I go through to set godly goals that actually get done. Grace Goals is also an invitation to discover what God’s provision of grace looks like for yourself. It’s an invitation to experience real change in whatever area you long to see life transformation in. It’s an invitation to work in conjunction with God’s Spirit within you and learn the ways of grace.
Promises for Today:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” Titus 2:11-12
“For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace…” Hebrews 13:9b
“And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.” II Corinthians 9:8
Arabah Joy is wife to Jackson, adoptive and biological mom to 4 little ones, and missionary to East Asia. Her adventures span far and wide, from eating pig snouts to giving birth in three different Asian countries. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed by grace. She has written several books including the 40 day devotional, Trust Without Borders. You can find out more and connect with her at ArabahJoy.com.