Goal-Setting Purpose and God’s Mission for You

Adobe Stock

The Bible tells us God has a plan for all of us, so it might seem like a contradiction that we should find our purpose and set goals, but all of these elements ultimately work together in fulfilling God’s mission for our lives.

God has a purpose for our lives

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

– Jeremiah 29:11

The Bible talks a lot about God having a plan for our lives. So does that mean we should just go where the day takes us and wait for God to tell us what to do? No. God gave us free will for a reason. We would not have free will if God did not intend for us to exercise it.

The first way, God intended us to use our free will was to decide whether or not we would love and worship Him. God could have made us robot-like automatons that were designed to love him. But that would not be true love. We have free will in order that we may love God freely of our own volition.

The Bible makes it clear that the first thing we should consider and the number one priority in our lives should be to worship God. That is the first commandment.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

– Deuteronomy 6:5

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

– Exodus 20:3

Jesus reiterated this, when he said:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

– Matthew 6:33

There is no greater priority in life than first seeking God.

The Ten Commandments lay out the ground rules for living righteously. Jesus told the Pharisees:

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

– Matthew 22:37-40

God oversees our plans

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

– Proverbs 16:3

Just because God has a plan for our lives, it doesn’t mean that we should avoid setting our own goals.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

– Proverbs 16:9

God has a way of making sure we end up where were supposed to be, despite whatever plans we make. There are countless stories of people who ended up in certain careers, or successful people who ended up that way when something unexpectedly took them in a different direction that wasn’t necessarily what they had planned.

Living for the afterlife

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

–Hebrews 11:6

The focus of our goals on Earth should be to live in a way that prepares us for the afterlife by developing a relationship with God through faith.

Jesus said that our mission on Earth should be:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:19-20

Make your plans and God will see them through

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

–Matthew 6:33

In the above verse, Jesus tells us to focus on our relationship with God. That’s our primary goal. Do that, and whatever things we need will be added to our lives.

We are to make our plans and to live our lives to the fullest, without worry or fear. Jesus said:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

– Matthew 6:25-27