Throughout my life, I have become a fan of goals. Annual goals let me know that I'm not stagnant. So, every New Year I get out that Focus Planner and begin planning and setting goals. And I love the process both of looking back and looking forward, because they both make me thankful to God. The process teaches me to trust God.
9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
I don't believe finding God's will is complex, either for an individual or a group following the Lord together (the church). But the discovery doesn't always come the way we sometimes think it does -- such as an inward moment of revelatory clarity, a lightbulb filled with Scripture popping over our head. Understanding God's will for us comes in the consistency of our daily relationship with the Lord. It's not as glamorous as instant revelation, but it is more common.
The Apostle Paul always mentions "growing in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ." That growth in knowledge leads us to know God's will for us. It's right there on the pages, rather than in some corner recess of our souls. And the more we know and understand our God, the more we believe what He has already done for us in Christ.
Understanding who we are in Christ leads us to live out our lives with "who goals" rather than "do goals." Do goals are things like, "I will spend more time with my wife." Nothing wrong with do goals. But "who goals" are more transformative, such as "I will become a patient and gentle husband and father who bears with everyone in love."
When we believe who God has made us in Christ we live out of "who goals" rather than "do goals." That's why one of the goals for 2020 at Center Church is more gospel, or as the Apostle Paul puts it: "growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ," digging in deeper to understand what God has done for us in Christ so we can live out "who goals." Because who we are (who we believe ourselves to be) leads us to what we do in this life.