We set goals in all sorts of areas of our lives. We think about or plan what we want to achieve, and set goals to get there.
For some it might be enrolling in a course of study to become something, or be able to do something at the end of it.
Or you may have a goal to lose weight, or get fit, and have a diet plan or an exercise plan to get you there.
Or a project you are working on, a hobby, anything.
But one thing you can be sure of – if you don’t actually set any goals, if you don’t have any plans, you won’t achieve anything except by accident (and the things you achieve will be very unlikely to be anything you are proud of).
Too often as Christians we don’t actually think of being a Christian (a follower of Jesus as our King) in terms of achieving anything or setting goals. If we understand that we are Christians because of what Jesus has done for us (his perfect obedience to God credited by faith to us, his taking our sin and dying the death we deserve on the cross) and not we have done for God, we may be theologically correct but tempted to be practically lazy.
What goals have you set for being a Christian? What do you want to achieve?
And not in terms of the frequency or amount of the Bible you read, or time spent in prayer. Things you do.
In terms of character. Becoming more like Jesus. Your Saviour and Lord.
Consider the fruit of the Spirit that following Jesus should produce (Galatians 5:22). Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Gentleness. Goodness. Self control.
Think of these as things to achieve. Goals that can be set and worked on.
Set a goal to be Patient (for example). Think about when you are not patient. Why you are not patient. Decide what it would like like to be patient in those situations. Understand how God is patient towards you (you could start that by looking up everywhere ‘patient’ appears in the Bible. Start to change your behaviour, your character, by looking to God’s example. Pray that you will have the strength (and patience) to do this. Ask for the Spirit to change you as you focus on it. Set small, manageable goals for yourself as you aim to display this fruit of the spirit. Don’t just wish and hope it will happen – anticipate when you will struggle to be patient and prepare yourself.
If you don’t make following Jesus a goal, and don’t aim to produce the Fruit of the Spirit through your faith in Jesus, then you aren’t likely to achieve it!
Take being a follower of Jesus as seriously as anything else in your life.