With January in the books, this is a great time to take a look at goals we’ve made for the year. If we didn’t set any goals, there is still time if that’s something you are into. If we did make some goals, February is a great time to dust them off and see where we are. Christians have a distinct advantage when it comes to goal setting and risk taking. We can honor God in how we set them and how we handle what God does with them.
How big should our dreams, goals, and prayer requests be? I think Ephesians 3:20-21 is a go-to verse on this subject.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The truth in this passage is attested to in the bold prayers we find throughout Scripture. Whether it’s Joshua’s prayer for the sun to stand still or Paul’s prayer for his thorn to be removed, we see people calling on God to do the impossible. In a sense, big prayers are evidence of big dreams and goals. I’ve told you many times before, if our prayers are not scary to us they may not be honoring to God. I think the same goes for goals and dreams in our lives.
If our prayers are not scary to us they may not be honoring to God.
There is a story in the Talmud about a man named Honi. When there was a drought, Honi, who would later be called ‘Honi the Circle Maker,’ drew a circle on the ground and proclaimed that he would not leave the circle until God brought the rain. As the story goes, at that moment there came a light drizzle. But Honi was unimpressed. He then turned to heaven and said that this drizzle was not the rain he was praying for. Then the heavens opened up and a downpour came. Is this story true? Who knows. It is a good example, though, of voicing a big prayer to God. There is something honoring to God in that. The same goes for our dreams and goals. When we have goals that are not just in line with our resources, but also in line with God’s character, they are probably going to be pretty big.
When we have goals that are not just in line with our resources, but also in line with God’s character, they are probably going to be pretty big.
But as we all know, setting goals, dreaming big, and praying for the impossible are not sure-fire ways of seeing the desired future come to pass. What will happen with our dreams and goals is not ultimately in our hands. This is the great truth Christians can cling to in goal setting. We shouldn’t shrink back from voicing a big dream because “what if it doesn’t happen?” Instead, we should go for it knowing that whatever happens has always been in God’s hands anyway.
Job 28:25-26 says “When he gave to the wind its weight, and apportioned the waters by measure, 26 when he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder.”
That’s an amazing passage. If God draws the boundaries on things like wind, water, rain, and lighting then he surely draws the boundaries on my dreams and goals. We set big goals and dream big dreams because this is honoring to God. We want to work hard for the kingdom and do all things for the glory of God. But in the end, God sets the boundaries in the way he sees fit.
From the outside, it’s easy for a non-Christian to look in and say, “The game is rigged. You pray this big prayer and if it works out you praise God and give him glory. But then if it doesn’t happen, you still praise him and genuinely believe whatever happened was the best thing for you and this world. Its rigged!” My answer to that is, exactly! The game is rigged for a Christian. We have the chance to honor God in setting what some have called big, hairy, audacious, goals. And then we get to honor him by declaring that whatever he does is right and it was always in his hands anyway.