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And our goals to achieve those desires must change as well. More than once in his missionary travels, Paul planned to enter a region to preach the gospel and plant churches, but the Spirit of God prevented him. The Bible has many names for setting goals: the “call of God,” the “will of God,” “mission,” or “vision,” to name a few.

Examples of people in the Bible who set goals include: Throughout the Bible, God directly led people to set and pursue goals of his choosing, whether telling Jonah to go to Nineveh, or Paul to plant churches.

So, in James 4, James is not saying that we should not set goals.

What he is saying is that we should set goals and make plans as God leads, but hold them loosely: “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that’” (Jam. Herein lies the balance of the Christian life: although Paul set Christ-centered goals and developed specific plans to achieve them, he was also sensitive to the Lord altering his plans.

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It is clear that scripture calls us to a higher standard in setting goals.

The goals we set as Christians must be in accordance with God’s will and under his leadership.

Yet, as encouraging as these numbers are, there are still few Christians in the U. who really understand the importance of their work to God.

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