Before you decide you don’t need to read another goal-setting article, think again. My goal here is not to teach you how to set goals. My goal is to stir the Holy Ghost determination in you to reach—and even exceed—them to the glory of God.
Doubtless, you understand the principles of goal-setting and don’t need me to tell you that most great men and women who reached their goals first wrote them down on paper, then told other people and finally took daily steps toward their intended destination. So I won’t drive you down that step-by-step route.
If you’ll get in my vocabulary-based vehicle with me for the next five minutes, though, I’ll give you a key that will not only start the engine of your dream machine but also offer the fuel to keep it running despite the rocks and sand that the devil tries to pour into your gas tank.
Let me start by repeating the word of the Lord … Put your determination where your desire is. What’s your desire? What has God placed in your heart that burns inside your inward parts with a passion? What is that fire that’s shut up in your bones; that blaze that can’t be quenched by the nastiest naysayers or the most daunting doubters? Simply stated, what are your hopes and dreams?
Stop Wishing and Get Determined
Whatever they are, stop wishing and get determined. See, the difference between hoping and wishing is significant. A wish is a desire for something that seems unattainable. (But nothing is impossible with God.) Hope, by contrast, is desire with an expectation of attainment. Hope expects with confidence. Hope cherishes a desire with anticipation. Hope breeds faith—and faithful determination generates grace.
Put your determination where your desire is. Now, if your desire is for your household to be saved, or for your spouse to abandon some annoying behavior, your determination is bound to prayer. James 5:1 says the effective fervent prayer of a righteous person makes tremendous power available. You can’t change people no matter how determined you are. But you can pray for them with a sincere heart and open the door for God to move in their lives—and you should.
But I’m not talking about other people. I’m talking about you. Put your determination where your desire is. Put your determination behind the desires that God has put in your heart. But Jennifer, doesn’t God’s Word say to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart? Indeed, it does and that is undisputable. Does that mean we should hang out on a glory cloud worshipping the Lord and expect Him to send an angel to hand deliver the desires of our heart in an express mail envelope? We both know the answer to that. (The answer is “no” in case you are just catching up.)
Demonstrate Your Faith
Put your determination where your desire is. If you know God put a desire in your heart, don’t sit there and wish. Don’t pray and believe only—show Him your faith by your works. If it’s a job promotion, then study to show yourself approved—study books, attend seminars and otherwise educate yourself in your field. Be determined to become an expert. The fruits of your determination will be evident to all and, combined with God’s favor and grace on your life, you will see your desire come to pass. He will do it, but you make yourself ready and able.
Put your determination where your desire is. This prophetic principle works for anything and everything. Do you want to be a better wife, mother, friend? Put your determination where your desire is. Do you want to be a better minister, leader, role model? Put your determination where your desire is. Do you want to achieve financial freedom and pour millions into world evangelism? Put your determination where your desire is. What do you desire? What is your hope? Your dream? Your passion? Put your determination where your desire is and you shall surely see it come to pass.
Here’s the rub: If you merely desire without determination, you may as well pull a wishbone or blow out some birthday candles. You need determination to overcome the resistance. Resistance from your flesh. Resistance from your friends and family. Resistance from the devil. Do you have a desire? Welcome to resistance. The good news is determined folk like you can put your flesh under, respectfully ignore people who disagree with your dreams, and even outlast the devil.
Yes, you really can. Here’s how … that resistance should only serve as confirmation that your desires are in line with God’s will. That confirmation should give you joy unspeakable and full of glory. That joy will invigorate you with strength. That strength will fuel your faith and activate God’s grace. And that grace will empower you to continue persevering in the face of any opposition. Believe this: God’s grace is sufficient to overcome anything that stands between you and His will for your life. Hallelujah!
Pay Attention to Your Inner Life
Now let’s get real for a minute. I believe that if we focus on the inner life that we are better prepared to conquer circumstances in the outward life that keep our dreams imprisoned in our souls, hidden from the view. The Bible says seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and plenty of desirable “things” will be added. Jesus said the kingdom of God is within us. Therefore, we need to be determined to get our inner life straightened out before we concern ourselves with the job promotion, the big ministry and the prosperity.
David was determined that his mouth would not transgress. Job was determined not to deny his integrity. Paul was determined to keep his conscious clear before God and man. Put your determination where your desire is. But your first desire should be Christ-like character. Let’s face it. Our determination may very well get us a job promotion, prosperity and other “things.” But our determination won’t keep us somewhere God didn’t take us. It won’t preserve the stuff that God didn’t give us.
So set your goals, dream your dreams, keep your hope for each and every desire that God has put in your heart. God wants to give you all those things—but He also wants you to keep them. Desire more than anything else to be like Him. Be determined to walk like Him, talk like Him, act like Him. Be determined to delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Heart of the Prophetic. You can e-mail Jennifer at