If you know me, you know I'm a goal-setter. In the 1980s, I challenged my small staff to write five short-term goals and five long-term goals for the coming year. Then I asked them to seal their personal goals in an envelope and we distributed them to the people a year later to see what they had accomplished.
It made a real impact on Pam Wisner whom I remember for her vivacious personality and tenacity. She's no longer on my staff, but we stay in touch on Facebook. Imagine my surprise when she recently posted how she reflects on her goals each January as I encouraged her to way back in 1984.
"The task has always been productive and I am thankful for that first challenge. Thanks Steve!" she wrote on Facebook.
If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to set goals for 2015. Here is one of the best articles on setting huge Faith Goals by one of the most successful businessmen I've ever met.
He's Dan Arnold who, at age 26, founded a retail chain of 42 gas stations and 31 Truck Stops in the Midwest and Texas called Road Ranger LLC, headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. Today it has more than 1,000 employees. Obviously he knows what he's talking about. Here's the article:
Why It's Important to Set Faith Goals
By Dan Arnold
Most business people know the concept of setting "Big Hairy Audacious Goals." But do you know there's something even bigger? It's setting God-inspired faith goals.
The Apostle Paul had faith goals. Reading his letters you see a pattern of him setting a goal and then a clear direction in achieving that goal. For example, in 1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul states his goal to "become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (now that is an award-winning faith goal if there ever was one).
Then Paul shows how he directs all his efforts in accomplishing this goal: "Everyone who strives for the prize exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one. So, therefore, I run, not with uncertainty" (1 Cor. 9:25-26).
Are you not awestruck and inspired? And shouldn't you do the same? In, the past, I focused on how important faith is in setting goals. Remember: "According to your faith, let it be done to you" (Matt. 9:29).
Now as we set faith goals, consider these principles:
Faith Goals Must Be Routed Into Our Callings and Assignments
"Remember Your word to Your servant, on which You have caused me to hope" (Ps. 119:49).
We can call on the Almighty to provide wherever He leads us and bless what He has put into our hearts, but we shouldn't expect to see much response for self-appointed works and self-promotion.
Our faith goals must be rooted in what God has inspired in our hearts according to His will for us. Let us recall those sweet words the Lord spoke to us long ago about what He wanted to use us for, pull them up from our memory, dust them off and pray them back to the Lord filled with faith.
Faith Goals Must Be Full of Faith
"But a man may say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works" (James 2:18).
Faith goals must have amazing faith—if you can believe God for little, add some zeros on it and believe God for much. Our work is to but believe God: "Jesus answered them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent'" (John 6:29).
People with faith goals believe in God for "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Eph. 3:20)—in other words, God can handle whatever you believe Him for; so go for it. Big.
Faith Goals Must Be Held in Persistent Trust in God's Ability
"I say to you, though he will not rise and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as much as he needs" (Luke 11:8).
We need to write down our faith goals (I suggest inside of your Bible cover) and we should persistently repeat our faith goals back in prayer or whenever we feel the need to express confidence and remind ourselves what we are directing our life's outcome to be.
Faith Goals Must Be Daring the Impossible
"But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'" (Matt. 19:26).
If we look at our own ability or the achievements of those around us, we will never establish God-sized goals that take faith to achieve.
Faith goals require God, and with God, the impossible goal is now possible. In fact with God, all things are possible. What we lack in potential—God makes up in power and without God's power our human potential is just potential. Think and pray about what your goals should be with the end in mind—the end in mind is that accounting day when you stand before Jesus.
Types of Faith Goals
I would center on having faith goals in three areas. Here are three you might consider for yourself:
- In your relationships
- In your calling and gifting
- In your vocation and legacy
- May I have the best marriage with my wife any man has ever had and the best relationship with my children possible.
- May I honor my parents as no one has ever set honor before parents, and love my friends as only Jesus could.
- May I have the spiritual eyes to notice those whom no one else notices and to love those no one else would love.
- "Give me Scotland or I die." —John Knox
- "Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation." —Dr. Bill Bright
- "Africa shall be saved." —Reinhard Bonnke
- May my life result in (ask the Lord for your number) additional souls not found in hell but in heaven.
- Net worth goal by a certain age
- Bibles purchased and distributed
- New churches planted
- Funds invested into the kingdom
Those that doubt—that person should not expect to receive anything. Nor will God answer the goals that are based in envy of others or in selfish ambition and self-indulgence.
Examples of Faith Goals
In relationships (Pick one or make up your own):
In calling and gifting (prayerfully consider your goal):
Toward vocation and legacy (prayerfully consider a goal with a number):
Faith Goals Give Direction
"When we do the exceptional—God does the extraordinary. What is 'the exceptional?' It's faith. God is a respecter of faith. Faith separates us from everyone else. Faith sets us apart in front of God. Everything starts with faith. Faith moves the hand of God." —Gloria Copeland
Belief and Unbelief
An unbelieving soul forfeits blessing! The Bible says it twice in two different ways: "If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established" (Is. 7:9) and "Believe ... and you will be supported. Believe ... and you will succeed" (2 Chr. 20:20).
An unbeliever is one who knows that there is a blessing promised and offered, but does not accept it for himself. A believer is one that knows that there is a blessing offered and he is bound to have it.
Faith goals help to get us out from under unbelief and get us on the right side of faith; faith goals give God something to work with!
One Final Goal You Must Have
It is a very sad story of a life that ends when God stops using it. If we offer our lives to God and ask Him to use us, we can be sure God will. With the hand of the Lord on us, God will take us to points of amazing fruitfulness, noted renown and deep fulfillment. But what happens at the point when God stops using that life? What becomes of that person who lives on to old age with only the memory of what it was like to be really used of God?
For if we only want to be used of God, we will lose His presence and power when He is done using us; all our faith goals must include that we become, in the process of attaining faith goals, His friend. For Jesus said He would be with His friends to the end and that He would never leave them nor ever forsake them. So be sure to add this sentence on to that end of one of your three faith goals:
"And my main goal is to know You and the power of Your resurrection and to become Your friend, Jesus."
More about Dan Arnold
As a highly successful Christian businessman, Daniel Arnold combines his passion for Jesus Christ and his zeal to help others find personal and professional fulfillment in his bi-monthly blog, Ambassadors Appeal. Using his extensive experience as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dan shares practical information in a how-to format, from the perspective of one lay person to another. Ambassadors Appeal neither self-promotes nor solicits financial contributions, but rather promotes going forward in faith and becoming a more committed follower of Jesus Christ. Current and previous blog posts may be viewed ambassadorsappeal.com.
Steve Strang is the founding editor and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang).