Do we really need spiritual goals? Do spiritual goals help us grow closer to God? Do spiritual goals help us grow in our relationships with others?
My answer to all three of these questions is yes!
When we consider investing time to set spiritual goals, it is important to ask ourselves probing questions. All goals serve a purpose but spiritual goals serve the greatest purpose because they affect our life on earth and in eternity.
I am a goal setter but not in the traditional sense. Many people keep a list to check off as they accomplish each goal. I love this idea but have never been good at it. I can make an impressive list but get distracted, forget about the list, and miss out on the satisfaction of checking off a goal.
I believe and strongly recommend setting goals including spiritual goals, but my goal setting is more spontaneous and internalized.
My strategy for spiritual goals is similar to connecting dots in a mystery picture. The mystery is finding a path to Godly contentment, peace, and joy while cultivating my God-given gifts and pursuing my purpose, Each dot helps me uncover deep meaning and the next step to move forward in my spiritual growth.
God speaks to me and I write it down–a dot. Once that dot is written down, the Holy Spirit leads me to the next one. Sounds chaotic? Probably, but I am a pretty organized person. I do write and type many things down; it’s just not in a way that anyone would understand except for me and God.
The point of this article is not to give you a step-by-step process for setting spiritual goals, although that is helpful, but to encourage you to prioritize setting spiritual goals and find a method that is realistic, sustainable, and obtainable for you.
Faith Goals Meaning
A goal is an intentional target or objective. It is very helpful to write goals down but not required. How we organize our goals isn’t as important as achieving our goals.
We set personal, financial, relational, and spiritual goals in order to enjoy a better quality of life. There are many studies and opinions on the value of setting goals in order to change and improve our perspective, direction, character relationships, and faith. Goals give us direction and prevent us from randomly moving from one thing to another.
Setting faith goals is important because our faith or trust in God grows or slowly decays. Spiritual goals help us overcome fatigue in our faith, fear, disappointment, rejection, and grief while drawing us closer to God.
What are faith goals? Goals whose purpose is to strengthen our identity in Christ and our ability to walk in His joy, freedom, and confidence. As we grow spiritually and trust God cares for us we can fulfill our Christian mandate to love God and love others above all else.
Spiritual goals are statements of faith that we mobilize.
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31 NLT
Goals to Get Closer to God
The most important goals are those that help us get closer to God. There are many approaches and methods to goal setting. But the most important step is to believe that goals to get closer to God are beneficial and worth our time.
When we set goals, discipline is required. A code or system is needed to move forward and achieve the outcome we set the goal for in the first place.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Spiritual goals lead to the most meaningful outcomes–An existence fully committed to Jesus where we embrace His message and exhibit His fruit.
Keeping a healthy end goal in mind helps you stay disciplined in setting and meeting spiritual goals to get closer to God.
Goals to get closer to God have a singular motive–growing in intimacy with Jesus. Spiritual goals should not be for our own glory or personal gain.
There is nothing wrong with preparing for excellence and success but they are both empty and disappointing without a desire to make Jesus famous instead of ourselves.
“Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.”
Genesis 11:4 MSG
3 Powerful Spiritual Goals
Here are 3 spiritual goals examples that have had a huge impact on my faith.
#1 Choosing A Word for the Year
Choosing a word for the year has recently joined my spiritual goals list. The idea suits my personality and serves as a simple reminder throughout the year. There are different ways to choose a word for the year.
A word or phrase is revealed in my spirit and I follow up by researching the word and corresponding scriptures.
My first word for the year was a phrase, “embracing the goodness of God” which carried me through the turmoil of 2020.
My second word for the year was two words, “take root”. It served as a reminder that for anything in my life to take root and grow to its fullest potential it needed to be aligned with the true vine…Jesus.
This year my word for the year is “pivot”. Even though we are rooted in Christ, we may still need to stop, rotate, or change directions.
Choosing a word for the year is a worthwhile spiritual goal that can impact tracking and persevering in our spiritual growth.
#2 Reading the Bible in a Year
Reading the Bible in a year has been extremely instrumental in my spiritual growth. I have read the Bible in a year several times using different methods.
You can read the Bible in a year on your own, use a plan or template, or follow a podcast. You can start in January or at any time.
#3 Joining a Small Group
All of my spiritual goals have changed me, but joining a small group has also helped me find friends. Besides attending church every week, small groups are the best way to participate in a community with intentional spiritual goals. Positive relationships make a big difference in every area of life including your faith.
Small groups can study a book, use an outline provided by your church, or read the Bible and pray together. The style of a small group is not as important as walking beside others on your spiritual journey.
Spiritual Goals Quotes
The Bible is full of spiritual goals and quotes. I have listed several scriptures that will encourage your spiritual goals along with quotes from people whose faith walk has inspired me. Including quotes from the most inspiring and influential man in my life Jesus!
Inspirational quotes are motivating but unless they are followed by prayer and action they will not help fulfill your spiritual goals.
10 Spiritual Goals Quotes
“I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So, I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.”
—Philippians 3:12 CEV
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
—Corrie ten Boom
“If your goals are good, you will be respected, but if you are looking for trouble, that is what you will get.”
—Proverbs 11:27 GNT
“You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.”
“The Lord gave me this answer: “Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you so that it can be read at a glance. Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed.”
—Habakkuk 2:2-3 GNT
“Make it a goal to build strong foundations for life–foundations constructed from prayer and the truths of God’s word.”
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.”
—1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NLT
“We fear the future because we are wasting today.”
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
—Jesus in Matthew 6:33 NLT
“Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
—Jesus in Matthew 19:26 MSG
“And now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will.”
Hebrews 13:20 TLB
How about you? Have you set spiritual goals? Would love to hear from you in the comments.
Mary Rooney Armand
Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. Her writing is featured on multiple Christian websites. She is the author of “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and “Life Changing Stories”—a collaboration with 34 authors available on Amazon.