“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NASB).
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6 NASB).
Many of us make “New Year Resolutions,” but we rarely keep them or even take them all that seriously. Some of us set goals. Mainly in for our career or business. Few of us have ever set “Kingdom Focused Goals” in a careful, prayerful and methodical way.
Yet, that would seem to be the first step in making the Kingdom of God our first priority and having an overwhelming passion to see God’s will done in all aspects of our lives. Kingdom focused goals are not just “Church Goals” but impact every aspect, relationship and role of our lives.
A goal is something well defined that we focus our energy, time and resources to attain. It is something that we are willing to give blood, sweat and tears to achieve. A goal is something that either we lack or want more of in greater abundance, which has abundant value to us emotionally.
We need to have “S.M.A.R.T.” Kingdom Focused Goals if we are to really seek the kingdom of God first in our lives.
What is a “S.M.A.R.T.” Kingdom goal?
First a Kingdom Focused Goal has to be SPIRITUAL, which means that it is in line with biblical teaching and that we have become convinced after a time of prayer, careful thought and perhaps dialogue with respected people, that this specific attitude or action needs to take place and be done in our lives.
Martin Luther King Jr. shows how prayer is critical to seeking kingdom focused goals when he prayed, “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
He also defined what he was attempting to do in these words. “Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
Kingdom Focused Goals will take some time in prayer, reading of scriptures, journaling and possibly discussion to be defined clearly in writing. They have to really feel like a “mission from God” to us.
An effective Kingdom Focused Goal also has to me MEASURABLE. We have to define how we will know when we actually reach it. How will my time be used differently, will I use my finances differently, will what I say to people change, and how will I determine if my attitude is different? We need to define it in as objective a way as possible to determine when we have reached our Kingdom Focused Goal.
Thinking and planning are good. But what really matters is ACTION. For a goal to matter we have to determine to stop doing some things and start doing others. We have to carefully and prayerfully set up a written plan of action that logically will help us reach our goals. This should be written down and outlined in steps so that we can really dedicate ourselves to breaking old habits and starting new ones.
Kingdom Focused Goals also need to be REALISTIC. If we say we are going to read one book of the Bible every day, that is not realistic. While goals must be inspiring and challenging, it is better to set attainable goals since success in reaching goals is what motivates us to set new ones.
Finally, a Kingdom Focused Goal has to be TIME DEFINED. This means that we have to put the actions and activities this goal requires into our calendars. Whatever does not get into our calendar will not get done.
I challenge you to take the time to set some S.M.A.R.T. Kingdom Focused Goals this year for God’s glory, your good and the good of the many such goals will impact in a positive way.
I am teaching a free seminar on setting Kingdom Focused goals on January 25th at 5:30 p.m. at the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship at 5:30 P.M. I hope you can make attend.
Norm Wise is executive director of Living Water Christian Counseling. He can be reached at livingwaterchristiancounseling.org