Making changes in life

Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.

Habakkuk 2.2

PLAN YOUR JOURNEY

It makes sense to have a vision or goal to work towards otherwise there is no sense of direction, purpose or motivation. The bible clearly states this is good practice and it is therefore not surprising that goals are often set for people at work to achieve job success. Goals can be set for anything not just work. So if you are looking to make changes in your life regarding relational, spiritual, financial, vocational, recreational or health matters then having a vision with accompanying goals is a good thing.
‘The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.’ Proverbs 16.9

When you get instructions from God through a word of prophecy, a dream, a God given thought or even an idea you have which you still need to pray about, it is wise to write this down and set some goals. Remember to always pray about your goals and ask God to give you ideas, strategies, wisdom and discernment so that He is in control. He will always give you the best solutions and direction.

The guideline below is a well tested and successful method for writing goals. Choose something you want to change in your life and have a go at writing a goal. I will use the example of bringing about change in one’s spiritual life. The SMART approach is a well known method that has been proven to work.

  • Specific; what exactly does this look like?
  • Measurable; how can I track that I am making changes in the direction I want to go in?
  • Achievable; can I make this change realistically given all the resources and time I need and given obstacles I may face?
  • Relevant; does this line up with God’s will for my life?
  • Timebound; when do I want to see this change take place by?

Setting good goals is not easy, however when you make the attempt to put something in writing using SMART you are more likely to be motivated, to take action and indeed follow up with action. So using a spiritual example, I will choose a change I want to make which is to ‘get closer to God’.

Specific; what does ‘get closer to God’ look like to me? I know in the bible it says draw close to God and He will draw close to me. Drawing close to God to me means being in His presence and feeling His presence around me throughout the day.

Measurable; In the past I know that when I listen to praise and worship music it helps me focus my mind on Him and eventually gets rid of distracting thoughts. I also know that when I meditate on verses in the Psalms it aligns my thoughts with His ways and nature. Plus, the bible is a life manual giving guidance on all aspects of life. It is Gods words inspired by the Holy Spirit and it is therefore a way He speaks to us. To feel His presence, I will therefore aim to spend time in praise and worship for an hour in the morning, read and meditate on a Psalm for 15 minutes and seek guidance on an issue using a bible app on my phone. I will give myself 1 ½ hours a day to do this every morning when I wake up. I will also make a conscious effort to talk to Him throughout the day since He is ever present.
Achievable; what I have written so far is achievable because I have a bible, a bible app on my phone and I will wake up early enough to fit this into my daily routine.

Relevant; getting close to God is His will for me. He wants a close relationship with me and indeed in the bible He specifically says I should draw close to Him. ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ James 4.8.

Time bound; I will start to do this tomorrow morning.
I have developed a goal and I need to summarise it in a few sentences to simplify it. The goal will be;

To feel God’s presence and hear from Him I will spend an hour worshipping and praising Him, 15 minutes meditating on a chapter in Psalms and 15 minutes reading and meditating about a relevant topic of concern on my bible app. I will do this starting tomorrow morning as soon as I wake up and continue on a daily basis.
It is always useful to have a way of reviewing whether you have achieved your goal. My goal is to get closer to God. So I will assess whether I have done this in a week’s time by asking myself some pertinent questions: Am I hearing from Him? Do I feel His presence? is it comforting? Have I allowed myself enough time to do this on a daily basis? If I feel I am not getting where I need to be then I

If you want to see change in any area of life, try using the SMART approach like I have done in the example above and do remember to submit the plan to God! Ask Him for His ideas, strategies, discernment and wisdom.