Wanting God to be at the center of your next life goals? Use these Bible verses on goal setting to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus in your next action steps.
I absolutely love setting goals – New Years’ resolutions, weight loss goals (that’s how I lost 100 pounds!), business goals, goals to send birthday cards, goals to have regular quiet times, goals to learn to play the piano…
Goal-setting is how I turn my dreams into action steps!
BUT my number one priority in any goal that I set is making sure that God is at the center.
Is it Christ-honoring? Is it growing me in the Fruit of the Spirit? Is it drawing me nearer to Jesus? Is it showing people the love of the Lord in my life?
I never want to be so goal-oriented that I lose my focus on Christ.
That’s why every time I sit down to write new goals, I have these Bible verses on goal setting handy, keeping my eyes fixed on what is always most important to me.
Scripture on Goal Setting
All of the Bible verses below are from the New International Version (NIV) on Bible Gateway.
2 Chronicles 15:7
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Even when I am initially setting a goal, I love the reminder that this new endeavor is going to be work. It’s going to take strength and I’m going to feel like giving up, but that endurance and strength will be rewarded.
“May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.”
I pray this verse often, over my own goals and when friends and family are working on something in their own lives.
“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.”
I love this verse as a reminder of God’s eternal perspective. Whatever goal I am setting, it’s not just about me. It’s not just about today. It’s not even just about my lifetime! The Lord’s plans have purposes through all generations and my goals can be a part of His eternal impact.
“Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.“
I always want to double-check that my desire is, first and foremost, for the Lord. It’s not that money and success and joy can’t be a part of my goals, but I never want them to be my primary focus. I never want them to become an idol I’m seeking.
“Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
I’ve memorized this verse because I’ve needed to remind myself of it so often.
I try so hard to make sense of life. I want A+B to equal C every single time. But in setting goals (and just in life in general), our perspective isn’t big enough to give us the whole picture.
But, when things don’t make sense to us, we can ALWAYS depend on the truth that it makes sense to the Lord and if we are being obedient to Him and placing our steps on His path, He will make our paths straight.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.”
It’s always a good reminder to have a group of trusted people in your life to give you feedback as you plan.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”
This is an important step I try to be intentional about doing with every new endeavor in my life – committing my plan to the Lord and offering it up to Him in trust and surrender.
“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”
As much as I like the feeling of being in control, I always need the reminder that I’m not. I can dream and be intentional about planning, but my steps and my success always depend on the Lord.
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
But, even though my success ultimately depends on the Lord, my intentionality and planning still makes a difference! Taking time and energy to lay out well-thought-out plans is so beneficial! (Another reason I love to-do lists and planners!)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
There is so much relief in this verse for me. It’s easy for me to feel like everything depends on me. If I don’t plan it right, dream it right, or do it right, I’ll be at fault for everything falling apart.
But that’s not what God’s Word says. It’s not on my shoulders. The Lord knows His plans for me – plans to prosper me, giving me hope and a future.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
I love the practical reminder of taking time to make intentional plans and consider long and short-term consequences (financially and otherwise!).
“Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.”
I appreciate this reminder that it’s important to share our experiences of the Lord in our lives – in our stories, our businesses, our successes, and our accomplishments.
1 Corinthians 10:31
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
This is at the core of every goal I set. Whatever I do, I want to do it to bring glory to the Lord in one way or another.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
It’s easy to get distracted in our quest to accomplish new things by things the world touts as amazing and admirable (money, fame, success).
This is an important reminder to keep my mind set, not on things of this word, but on God’s will.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
This is my “test” for everything in my life. Is this goal going to help me grow in a fruit of the Spirit? If not, back to the drawing board!
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
A beautiful reminder that we are equipped and specifically created to do good works in our lives in all kinds of various forms!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”
Don’t be afraid to dream big. Our dreams and purposes are not limited to our own capabilities.
We serve a God who can do immeasurably more. Don’t forget that when things feel grim!
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Just another filter I like to run my goals through. Is this goal purely self-serving? Am I doing this out of selfish ambition?
It’s always good to double-check your motives!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
I find myself lacking wisdom often, so I sure love that when I’m not sure what my next step should be, we serve a God who delights in blessing you abundantly as He leads you on.