Goals are a characteristic that is uniquely in Human Beings. My dog does not have any higher aspiration than to play, sleep and eat. I can't imagine any creature desiring to make a name for itself or achieve anything other than the basic survival and reproduction instinct that God put in them.
We see our goals manifest in several ways as we grow. As a young person we might have a goal of being the best baseball player or of doing well at a certain subject in school. As we grow then the goal might to achieve a certain level of popularity and possibly sports and grades as well. As we become adults, we might have education and career goals that drive us. Many are motivated to have certain family goals that cause them to pursue certain directions in life. As we grow into our senior years, we have retirement goals. Things we want to do that we were not able to because of family and work. Many people now have "bucket list". This could also be called a "goal list".
Needless to say, goals are a part of our life through all stages of life. A person without goals is a person without a purpose. Sometimes we do not achieve certain goals we set for ourselves and at times that cause people to give up on their goals. This is when people go from living to simply existing. Not a great place to be.
Sometimes our goals in life can be very self-focused. A life spent pursuing self-centered goals leaves people feeling very empty at the end of their life. I Corinthians 3:12-13 says that the things we build in our life (our goals) will be tested one day. " If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work." What an awful thing to reach the end of your life and possibly to have met many of your goals you set for yourself only to find out that they will all be burned up. None of it will have lasted.
So, what goals do we set for ourselves? What things will not be burned up? How do I live my life building something that will stand the test of time when I stand before God? II Corinthians 5:7-9 explains a how Paul chose to live his life in light of that final day. " We live by faith, not by sight... 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."
This may sound simplistic (and it really is). If we want to have a goal that will drive us in our life, then it should be the same as Paul stated when he says he makes it his goal to please God. What a great way to evaluate any and everything we do. If we simply paused and asked God, "Would this situation be pleasing to you God?" If we get a yes then we can proceed, if there is a slightest bit of apprehension then we should choose not to do it.
Most of the time our problem is that we want to do what we want to do. God gave us the free will to do that. But since we have been purchased with the precious blood of Jesus, we no longer belong to ourselves. We are His. I want to encourage you as you make decisions in your life to pause long enough to ask God that all important question, "God, is this pleasing in your sight?" You might find that life will begin to go in a much better direction.
Pastor G. Scott Williams