When I was a lot younger, I used to write down the same new year’s resolutions every year. Weight loss, healthy living, boyfriend (haha) among others. But a couple of months down the line, I found myself giving up on all of them.
Then I started going to church where they had a five-day corporate prayer and fasting activity as a way to align our hearts with God’s at the beginning of the year. During this time, we were to write down our faith goals for the year, and pray and fast for them.The activity of writing down my faith goals instantly replaced my new year’s resolutions, and I have seen God’s work in them ever since.
This 2018 would be my sixth year of writing down my faith goals, and I am excited to watch how God will move in my life and others’ lives through them.
Now you may be thinking, Okay that’s nice to hear, but what exactly are faith goals?
I remember the first year I did it. I wasn’t exactly sure of what they were, and I kind of just bandwagonned along with everyone else in church who was doing it. I wrote some of the things I desired to see happen in my life, but I wasn’t entirely sure if they were what God wanted for me.
Fast forward to five years later, while I’ve yet to find the perfect definition of what faith goals are, I’ve discovered three consistent qualities that they possess. By the end of this, I hope that you will make the switch from fulfilling a list of new year’s resolutions (that honestly never work) to fulfilling all that God wants for your life.
Quality #1: A faith goal requires faith.
As much as I hate sounding obvious or redundant, this is the first step to recognizing if what you’ve written is a faith goal or not. It doesn’t demand that you punch in more hours at the office. It doesn’t demand that you force yourself to eat greener food. It doesn’t demand that you
While a degree of hard work and sacrifice wouldn’t hurt in accomplishing a faith goal (or we’re only fooling ourselves), we must realize that the starting point of a faith goal is faith.
This is what makes it different from any other new year’s resolution, wishful thinking, or daydreaming. While the other things relies on your ability to make things happen, a faith goal relies on God’s ability to see it through.
Hebrews 11: 1 defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” We can be assured of what we hope for, and be fully convinced of what we have yet to see because faith not dependent on us, but on God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power.
Quality #2: A faith goal brings us closer to the person He intended us to be.
Another difference that we see in a faith goal is the fruit it bears in the person’s life.
What kind of person does God intend us to be? Genesis 1:27 tells us that God’s original design for man and woman is to be created in His image and likeness.
For this, here are some question to consider:
Does it cause you to be more dependent on His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit? Or does it cause you to be more dependent on what you know and what you can bring to the table?
Does it cause you to grow in the fruits of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23)? Or does it cause you to grow more in the works of the flesh (see Galatians 5:19-21)?
Does it cause you to serve others more? Or does it increase your desire to be served?
Does it cause you to grow more like Christ? Or does it cause you to grow more self-centered?
A life lived outside of our Creator’s design leads to a life of frustration, while a life lived according to it is a life of fulfillment.
Quality #3: Faith goals bring God the glory.
At the end of the day, our goal is to honor God and bring glory to Him alone. Not us. Not our hard work. Not our perseverance or discipline. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t bad things. But this defeats the whole point of faith.
Faith gives us the ability to overcome our natural human tendency of working for ourselves, and giving the glory to the person of Jesus Christ. It acknowledges that because we cannot do it apart from Him, He alone deserves the glory that its success will bring.
Any goal apart from God’s glory turns into a self-promoting, self-preserving, and self-motivating personal project that does not satisfy, or create lasting change, both in our lives and the lives of others.
Imagine what a difference it would make if we turned all our personal goals into faith goals this year. What our world look like if every goal was done in faith, aligned with His purposes, and motivated by bringing God the glory that He truly deserves.
As you write down and pray for them this coming week, I pray that you will rest assurance that they WILL happen in His perfect way and timing.
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.”