Time for Planning
As we stand at the threshold of a new year, it’s a natural time for reflection and planning. But what exactly are we planning? Are we setting goals, envisioning our future, or uncovering our deeper purpose? In this devotional, we’ll delve into the distinctions between goals, visions, and purpose, understanding how they interconnect to guide us towards fulfilling our potential and purpose in life.
“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 (ESV)
Reflection 1: The Heart of Purpose
Purpose, as defined, is the reason for which something exists. It’s the ‘why’ behind our being. Think about your life. Why do you exist? What is the unique purpose that only you can fulfill? According to Jeremiah 29:11, God has intentional plans for you; to prosper you and give you a future, and a hope. This means your purpose is intricately tied to God’s design for your life. It’s in your heart, waiting to be discovered.
Reflection 2: The Vision of Tomorrow
A vision is your ability to see into the future, to imagine and plan it with wisdom and imagination. It’s having a mental picture of what your life can be, moreover, what you WANT it to be. Your vision should align with your purpose, reflecting the ‘why’ behind your existence. For instance, if you feel purposed to communicate, your vision might be to write a book. Your vision takes the intangible purpose in your heart and gives it a tangible form.
Reflection 3: The Building Blocks
Goals are the steppingstones towards your vision, the building blocks that bridge the gap between your purpose and your envisioned future. (Note that goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timetabled. When you set goals that are connected to your purpose and vision, they become powerful motivators. Your goals should keep you close to your vision while making you feel purposeful. Every goal achieved is evidence that you are moving forward and closer to your calling.
- What do you believe is your unique purpose in life? In other words, what is the desire of your heart?
- Do your current goals align with your purpose and vision? Are they specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timetabled?
- Are you setting goals to find your purpose, or are you setting goals that are rooted in your purpose and vision?
As you embark on this journey into the new year, remember that your purpose is the compass guiding your life’s direction. Your vision paints the picture of what that purpose can look like in the future. And your goals are the practical steps to bridge the gap between your purpose and vision. Stay connected to your purpose, for it’s the foundation upon which your goals and visions should be built. Trust that God has a specific purpose for you and plans to propel you forward into the destiny He has prepared for you.
Heavenly Father, I declare clarity and understanding of my heart’s deepest desire. I acknowledge that you have purpose for me in 2024. I surrender my year to you and trust you to navigate my heart with much vision and passion. Help me to set good “God” goals that are SMART. I invite you reveal to me each step that would propel me into my destiny. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
To learn more on this topic:
Read: Enforcing Purpose: Discovering God’s Calling to Maximize Your Future https://www.lisa-schwarz.com/enforcing-purpose/