Philippians 3:12-14   Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

KEY STATEMENT:  Goals setting is planned, organized stretching.

What are you living for?  Do you have a sense of direction for your life?  Are you moving toward a desired objective, or are you merely moving?  Goals give us targets to aim at, objectives to strive for.  Goals help make our desires and dreams a reality. In the process we are stretched mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  We grow.


Some people feel that goal setting and living by faith are conflicting ideas.  But the truth is that faith is an essential ingredient in reaching any goal.  When we understand God’s view of goals we realize there is no conflict.  Goal setting for the believer is planned, organized stretching under the lordship of Christ.  Such texts as the following are often misunderstood or used as an excuse for failing to set goals.

Hebrews 13:5  [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.

I Timothy 6:6   But godliness with contentment is great gain.

There is no conflict between faith and goal setting.  All through Scripture we see God setting goals for His servants.  Noah’s goal was to build an ark and save his family from the Flood.  Moses’ goal was to rescue God’s people from Egyptian bondage and lead them into the Promised Land.  David’s goal was to save his people from the Philistines.  Elijah’s goal was to destroy Baal worship in Israel. 


He said, “One thing I do. . . I press toward the goal.”

Philippians 3:13-14   Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


PURPOSE: Paul adopted spiritual goals that were based on divine revelation.

PRIORITIES:  He arranged his goals into wise priorities determining what should be done first, second, third, etc.

PLANS:  Next, he devised plans that gave him a strategy for accomplishing his objectives.

PRAYER: Through prayer, he submitted himself and his plans to the sovereign will of God.  -Praying for wisdom.

PERSEVERANCE:  When providentially hindered from accomplishing his plans, he assumed that the delay was God’s sovereign will.  This conviction freed him from discouragement.  Since his plans were sound, the only thing he adjusted was the timetable.

PRESENTATION: Paul explained his decisions based on God’s moral will and his own personal application of wisdom.


We should set goals for all areas of life:  Our personal, family, vocational, and social life.  A life without goals lacks excitement and tends to drift, is often critical of others who are achieving, is wasteful, satisfied with mediocrity, and disappointing in the end.

But the goal-oriented life is energetic, enthusiastic, excited, expectant.  It is going somewhere and has a plan for getting there.

Every great achievement in life begins with a desire, which ultimately becomes a goal toward which the person directs his God-given resources until the goal is reached.  But it requires more than mere desire.  The greater the goal, the greater the demands.


  • A clear mental picture of your God-given goal
  • Confidence that you can achieve it
  • A consuming desire to reach your goal
  • A course of action for reaching your goal
  • A calender of events to help you determine your priorities
  • A cooperative spirit in working with others who can help you reach your goal
  • Courage to act
  • Consistency in your work
  • Controlled emotions
  • Consciousness of your dependence upon God to help you reach your goal


One of the many reasons given for failing to set goals is the fear of setting the wrong goals.  Following is an eightfold test by which to test the worthiness of your goals:

        Will I be a better person for reaching this goal?

        Will it get me where God wants me to go in Life?

        Will it help others?

        Will it violate my conscience?

        Will my family enjoy the rewards of my achievement?

        Am I willing to pay the price to reach this goal?

        Can I sincerely ask God to help me reach this goal?

        How will it affect my personal testimony for Christ?

Aim high when setting goals, give it your best, and remember that it is Christ in you who will enable you to reach your goals.

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