Several years ago my godly mother-in-law, Anne Ortlund, encouraged me to prayerfully consider setting lifetime goals and then live my life accordingly. How I thank God for her important influence in my life! May I encourage you to do the same?
If you know Jesus, He is your elder brother (Rom. 8:29). That makes you a daughter of the King of the Universe, a member of the greatest nobility on earth. We don’t want to be women who just drift along year to year, spinning our wheels. We long to live noble, beautiful lives.
The Bible says, “He who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands” (Isa. 32:8). This year is a fresh new gift from God. What noble plans will you make for this year? What noble things will you stand on? Here are some questions that can help you plan and stand on noble things this year, and maybe even beyond:
- Think about your life five years ago. What is different about it? What is the same?
- Now, think about your life five years from now. What should remain the same? What should change?
- Where do you suspect God wants you to go in your life?
- How will you decide to say yes or no to various opportunities and invitations?
- What dreams carry you from day to day? What motivates, thrills, and excites you?
- At the end of your life, what do you want to look back on? What would satisfy you? If you could listen in at your memorial service, what would you like to hear people say?
King Solomon gives us encouragement on making plans:
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.” (Prov. 21:5a)
“Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” (Prov. 4:26)
Ponder and plan. Bring the days, weeks, months—even the years—ahead of you into focus. God created you for a kingdom-fulfilling purpose (Phil. 2:12–13), promising His active work in your life.
“Look carefully then how you walk . . . making the best use of the time . . . understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:15–17)
How do you get started? Begin with an open heart and a blank sheet of paper. Prayerfully ask God, “Why did you make me? Why did you call me to live at this time of history in this specific geographic location among these particular people? What is Your will in all of this?”
Then begin to write down the answers He gives you. Are you single? Do you sense He wants you to be married? Do you want or already have children? Are you building a career? Do you have financial resources? What gifts, talents, or skills is He asking you to invest for Him? Where? How?
As you dream and plan, always work under the umbrella of “If God Wills It.”
“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." (Prov. 16:9)
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” (Ps. 138:8)
After you write your lifetime goals, break them down into measurable and sustainable short-term goals. What are your goals for this year? What needs to be done by April 1? July 1?
Perhaps it would help you to sneak a peek into my lifetime goals and see how I broke them down into measurable goals for 2013. Check back tomorrow for five of my eleven lifetime goals. Until then, how would you answer the six questions in the bullet points above?