How to Set a FAITH Goal


Pastor Rick Warren shares five characteristics of a faith goal: focused, attainable, individual, trackable and heartfelt.

“I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NCV)

I believe in setting goals. I’ve set them all my life, because goals are simply statements of faith. The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith” and “Without faith it’s impossible to please God” and “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” and “According to your faith it will be done unto you.”

God always operates in your life by faith. That’s why you need goals in your life, because a goal is a statement of faith. A goal says, “I believe God wants me to accomplish something by a certain date.” If you don’t have a date, it’s not a goal. It’s a wish. It’s a dream. It’s a desire. But wishes are a dime a dozen; they’re worthless. The only thing that will change your life is setting a goal. You’ve got to wake up from the dream and go to work!

“FAITH” goal has five characteristics:

Focused. That means it is specific. If you use the words “more” or “less,” it’s not a focused goal. “I want to be less angry” or “I want to weigh less” or “I want to be more like Jesus” are not goals because you can’t measure them. You have to be specific.

Attainable. If you set an unrealistic goal, it’s just going to discourage you. If you say, “I’m going to pray three hours a day,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Set a goal that stretches you and then trust God will help you stretch.

Individual. That means it’s personal. You cannot set goals for other people because you can’t control them. You can’t set goals for your children, your husband, or your boyfriend or girlfriend. You can only set goals for yourself, because you can control you and not anybody else. The only way you can change other people is by changing yourself.

Trackable. Trackable goals can be measured. They’re verifiable. You set a date and say, “By Nov. 30 I will have accomplished this, and by Dec. 30 I will have accomplished this, and by Jan. 30 I will have accomplished this.”

Heartfelt. Your goals have got to be heartfelt. You’ll never reach a passionless goal. If you’re not passionate about the goal, wait until you get passionate about it. If you don’t have a deep desire to do it, don’t set it.

I encourage you to set one spiritual goal for your life today. Maybe your goal is to have a quiet time for five minutes every day for the next month. That is a FAITH goal, and you can accomplish it in faith.

Talk It Over

  • What are the goals that you have been working toward? Do they meet the criteria of a FAITH goal?
  • How does prayer play a role in the way you set goals?
  • What is a new goal that you believe God wants you to set after learning about FAITH goals?

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