January 14, 2019
“What are your faith goals?” I first heard these words from my small group leader in college. It was the first time I had joined Every Nation’s time of prayer and fasting.
Back then, I didn’t know what a faith goal was. Before I gave my life to Jesus, the only things I used to write on January were New Year’s resolutions.
While New Year’s resolutions are things we plan to achieve through our own strength and effort, faith goals are faith declarations and prayers that we believe God will achieve in our lives through His strength and power.
Simply put, faith goals are things you are praying for and believing God for.
At the start of every year, we are encouraged to write our faith goals and believe God for them.
Why have faith goals in the first place? Our reason: Jesus invites us to ask.
The Gospel writers all wrote about Jesus encouraging His disciples to ask. Several times, He told His disciples to ask in prayer and to believe that they had already received it, and whatever they asked for would be given.
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened,” Jesus said.
It is a comfort to know that even when we think a request is too big or even too trivial to ask for, we can still come to our great God, who can do the impossible and who loves us enough to listen to the deepest desires of our hearts.
As human beings who feel capable and self-sufficient, we tend to believe that if we want to achieve something, we need to earn it through hard work.
Working hard to achieve our goals is good. But faith goals cannot be fulfilled apart from the power of God. Faith goals even seem impossible to us, which is why they stretch our faith. The fulfillment of our faith goals would never be because of our great efforts or hard work, but because of the greatness of the God from whom we ask.
We ask in Jesus’ name.
Scripture encourages us to ask or pray in the name of Jesus. To pray in Jesus’ name means that we come to the Father, not on our own merit, but depending on the perfect merit of Jesus, which gives us right standing before the Father.
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
In that sense, Jesus is our representative before the Father. To ask in Jesus’ name means that we come asking for His will to be accomplished and His name to be glorified.
We ask according to His Word.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
The more we abide in God and in His Word, the more we will know His will. God’s will has always been aligned to His character and is revealed through His Word. The promise is that as we ask things according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14).
We ask by faith.
God honors people’s faith. The Bible says that if we have faith even as small as a mustard seed, we can tell a mountain to move and it will move. He said in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” The Bible commends men and women who asked with great faith (Hebrews 11).
We ask by faith because we have a good Heavenly Father.
We ask by faith ultimately because we have a good Heavenly Father. In Matthew 7:9-11, Jesus said that if limited and sinful human beings know how to give good gifts to their children, “how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” God not only honors our faith; He loves us so much and desires to bless us with good gifts.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the request that we have asked of him.”
1 John 5:14,15
Fourteen years of prayer and fasting have passed since the time I wrote my very first faith goal.
Some of those faith goals God answered with a “yes.” To name a few, He granted me my prayer to graduate on time and to pass the board exams. I also thank God for answering my prayer for my family’s salvation and spiritual growth. God was faithful as well in healing, providing, and giving me a job where I can serve and honor Him.
For some faith goals, God’s answer was for me to “wait.” It took some years before I finally met my husband.
There were also faith goals that God answered with a “no.”
However God answered each faith goal, one thing I am fully convinced of is that God has always answered my faith goals with His best.
God will always answer with His best! The cross is proof of that. More than 2,000 years ago, when Israel was awaiting a political savior who would save them from political oppression, the Father answered with His best and sent a Savior to save His people from their sins.
He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for you and me.
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
What are the things you are believing that God will do in your life? As you start the year, take time to prayerfully write them down. These are your faith goals. Throughout the year, continue to trust His leading and obey Him.
What promises from His word can you declare as you pray? Look for some verses that you can claim as you write your faith goals, confident that God will hear and answer with His best.