A Goal Setting Activity

This goal setting activity can be done at any time of the year. People often wait for the start of a new year muster up the determination to set goals.

The change of seasons, the celebration of holidays and feasts are designed by God to give us the anticipation of change in our own lives. The leaves change color; one year comes to an end and another year tempts us with possibilities. And so it goes, with hours slipping away at a break neck pace. Unless there is a pause in all that frenetic activity, scheduled and included, change may come slowly for an artist. This goal setting activity may give you the impetus to step into all that the Lord may have for you.

As a goal setting activity, this is different because you do not do it alone. Instead, you sit down together with the One who created you, redeemed you and desires to make you over into His likeness. As my pastor loves to say, “He loves you just the way you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way!”

God has aspirations, plans and purposes for you that you probably have not contemplated yet. He knows you so intimately that nothing about you comes as a surprise to Him.

In this goal setting activity, set aside some time to linger with Him. Make it as relaxed and unhurried as possible, keeping your spirit open to hear from Him. To sensitize yourself to truly hear, you might want to consider fasting. It could be abstaining from food or something else that might otherwise consume your attention - not to manipulate God to do something for you, but rather to keep your flesh muted and your spirit attuned.

The goal setting activity begins with prayer. Commit to Jesus your eagerness to hear from Him about specific areas of your life. The more thoroughly you break down your life into areas like – spiritual, physical, family, artistic…, the more you welcome His involvement in your life.

When praying about these areas, ask for wisdom and insight.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering" James 1:5 KJV

This verse assures us of His willingness to grant that wisdom.

Sadly, I think that it is easy to miss receiving that wisdom because of skepticism. I know that I have often missed receiving, because of a lack of faith that what the verse promises me, is true. If we ask, it is given to us. Refuse then to waver. Like much of God’s word, it comes to pass in a manner that is counter intuitive.

If you were engaged in a goal setting activity, sitting face to face with an incredible mentor, a truly gifted artist, and he tells you that he will help you establish goals. He has a reviewed your life this far, has intimate knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses and the wisdom to direct you.

Would you challenge his desire to assist you? Would you, for even an instant, question his suggestions? Yet because we do not see God eyeball to eyeball, we doubt His word. None of us came to Him because we saw Him face to face.

We came to Him because His word drew us. When we tentatively trusted in those precious words of salvation, our lives changed forever. We can look back on the times when He proved to be completely true to His word. We should require no other source for wisdom and insight. So why are we not all wise with the wisdom that He promises?

We hinder receiving because in the core of our being, we don’t believe that we will. At least that has been true for me.

Here is the challenge – we must believe that we have it (not that we will receive it sometime in the blurry future) as soon as we request it. Most likely, we’ll feel no different – no wiser, experience no jolts of insight, or anything else in the tangible realm that confirms that we have it.

God’s word transcends what we feel. It describes a reality that is unseen first, before it manifests in our tangible world.

So in this goal setting activity these are the steps to consider

• Ask Him to reveal to you the plans that He has for your future and the next steps to take.

• Believe that you have wisdom and insight

• Thank Him for giving it to you

• Now here is the tough part – no matter how you feel, hold unswervingly to the fact that you have it

The words that you speak betray whether you truly believe, or not. If words contrary to what you prayed slip out, they are a dead give away that you don’t believe what you just prayed! So determine to speak only words that affirm these truths by saying (not merely giving mental assent to it) the following:

• You have wisdom to know where to begin, what to tackle first in each area of your life

• You have the specific steps to go forward

• You have the assistance and power of the Holy Spirit to help you, no matter how impossible the task appears

• You have the ability to hear God clearly regarding your specific future, based on this promise "... and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. Jn 10:4 KJV

Invariably you have to deal with the "What if?’s." "What if I hear nothing, have no clue about how to proceed, no insight…?" Would I not be lying when I say I have wisdom… when I don’t feel it yet? This is the counter intuitive part of this goal setting activity.

Your speaking only the words that affirm the truth of James 1:5, is the key that will manifest your goals. Do not swerve from the certainty that it will work for you. Set a close guard over your mouth, watching diligently for anything contrary to that truth that might slip out. If it does, repent quickly and reaffirm the above truths.

In this goal setting activity, eager expectation of its success is what will guarantee its effectiveness. And it goes without saying, that skepticism will kill it.

Maintain your attitude of listening to God, as you engage in this goal setting activity. Then read your Bible beginning anywhere. Keep reading expectantly until, He starts to speak to you through what you read.

As ideas pop into your mind, write them down. If nothing comes immediately, persist. All through the Bible, we read of God’s overwhelming desire to communicate with man. We read over and over again “ the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, or Ezekiel….’ They merely maintained an attitude of expectancy. You are equally precious to Him. He will speak.

If you are only given one little glimpse into tomorrow, don’t be discouraged. Instead, take steps to act on what He gave you. Each step of obedience will illumine the way for the next.

This goal setting activity is different from all others you are not the initiator, He is.  You simply make yourself available. Besides that, He provides the ability and resources to make your goals a reality.

So relax and look forward eagerly to your future - expect Him to lead and obediently follow.

Read what has helped me with goal setting
Christian Goal Setting
Setting Boundaries
Time Management
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