Setting Spiritual Goals (By Dan Adams)

We’re already nearly a month in to 2021 – how’s it going for you? Many people, for various reasons, were looking forward to a new year, especially after the various challenges that 2020 presented. But so far, it’s looking fairly similar.
I’ve come to realize that we limited control over our circumstances. However, we do have significant power to change our perspectives, improve our responses, and establish habits that help us navigate this year in a godly manner.
It’s about this time every year that resolutions have been made and nearly forgotten for the vast majority of people. So, I want to take a moment to encourage you in your spiritual goals for the year.
I believe it’s important that we set goals that are achievable but still stretch us. To be clear, there is nothing that we can do to earn our salvation, or make God love us any more than He already does. However, there are spiritual disciplines, or habits, that we can establish that will help us change and grow to become more like Jesus Christ.
Consider these as you think through your spiritual goals for the year.
  1. Bible Reading: We’re privileged to have the very words of God at our fingertips. In it we have: instructions for life, words of comfort and encouragement, examples of others to learn from, and so much more. And yes, sometimes we find it hard to make Bible reading a regular part of our lives. Here’s a fun fact: depending on your reading speed, most people can read the entire Bible in 60-74 hours. That’s about 12 minutes a day – totally doable! Whether you’re up for reading the whole Bible, or just a portion this year, have you considered your 2021 goal? God’s instructions to Joshua are good for us today. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8) Ready to get started? The following resources have fantastic reading plans and devotionals.
    1. YouVersion Bible App and website
    2. Bible Gateway
  2. Scripture Memory: The Psalmist writes, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11) Following Jesus’ example in Matthew 4, when we have Scripture memorized, we’re well equipped for the spiritual battle we’re in each day. There’s supernatural power available to us when we commit verses to memory. This allows the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to help us navigate life. Perhaps it’s been a long time since you set out to memorize something. So, I want to make 2 practical suggestions:
    1. If you’re inclined to use your phone or tablet, the Bible Memory App and website have some very helpful resources.
    2. Maybe one of the easiest ways is to write a memory verse on your mirror or window with a dry erase marker. Each time you see it, read or try to recite the verse. Each day, erase a word or phrase, until you have it stored up in your heart.
  3. Giving: While God doesn’t need our money, He does expect us to be good stewards, and to invest in ministry. He invites us to partner with Him, and we can do this by supporting the mission, ministries, and missionaries of our church. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8) Maybe this year you want to start, or become more faithful, in giving to God’s work through PHBC. It’s never been easier. You can give securely online at
  4. Prayer: This is perhaps the simplest of the spiritual disciplines, and yet it’s so powerful. Anytime, anywhere, anyone can communicate with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 remind us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” If you’re looking for resources to help you stay on track with the various people you’re praying for, here are a couple of suggestions, both available for free from the Google Play and Apple App stores.
    1. The YouVersion Bible App has a Prayer List feature
    2. Echo Prayer App

Christlikeness and godliness aren’t going to happen on accident. We get to participate with God, and setting spiritual goals can help us continue to grow spiritually. I’m curious, which one of these are you going to work on? This list certainly isn’t exhaustive. What would you add to the list?