Yesterday, since it was the first day of the year, I taught a message at church about goal setting. I said that first step should be to pray and seek the Lord and I meant it. The truth is that I don’t really trust myself to pick the right goals anymore.
Goals are easy to create. In fact, they can be too easy to create. You can just start picking random goals out of thin air if you like, and there would be no shortage of them if you were to do so. They wouldn’t necessarily be great goals or worthy goals or timely goals but you could easily come up with them. And, you could easily waste your year, or even longer chunks of your life, working towards some unworthy and untimely goals.
Goal-setting is a powerful thing. Goals are very motivating. That’s why we set them. The very action of committing to a goal, any goal, will create some momentum and some energy. And, sadly, that’s still true even if the goal is a stupid or ill-advised one.
When the Jews finally entered into the land God had promised them, there were twelve tribes and the land had to be divided up in some way. God decided to do it for them. He was the one that set up the boundaries for each tribe and the people were happy to let Him do it because they knew that He alone knew what was best for all of them.
In Psalm 16, the psalmist wrote about how happy he was that God had made such a great choice for him. He said…
5 The Lord himself is my inheritance, my prize. He is my food and drink, my highest joy! He guards all that is mine. 6 He sees that I am given pleasant brooks and meadows as my share! What a wonderful inheritance! 7 I will bless the Lord who counsels me; he gives me wisdom in the night. He tells me what to do. – Psalm 16:5-7 (TLB)
He’s saying here that God ended up being his real prize. He also says that God took care of him, great care of him. He praises God for picking his share and for setting his boundaries in such a way as to include pleasant brooks and meadows. Then, he finishes up by saying that God does all that and continues to give him counsel and wisdom as well. God has cared for him, God knew best all along, and God keeps guiding and instructing him too.
The point is that you can trust God to take good care of you, and your goals, and your future. He can actually do a better job at it than you can.
So, as you set your goals for this new year be sure to soak them in prayer and as you start to take steps towards your goals be sure to hold them loosely. Keep offering them to the Lord and allow Him to change them if He wishes. The only thing greater than His wisdom is His love and you can trust Him to set your goals and boundaries correctly. Above all else, always let Him choose. You will never regret it.