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Day 12: Setting Spiritual Goals

"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13


For the past few years I have began my year with some version or other of the Daniel Fast. This is a biblical fast, a period in which one denies themselves certain foods in order to focus on prayer and devotion. I begin my year with the Daniel Fast because the beginning of the year is when I truly want to focus on God and zoom into His presence. It is my way of seeking Him, His guidance, His blessings and His presence to usher me into the new year. There was a time when I couldn't even imagine myself doing a Daniel Fast - or any other type of fast at all. I was a baby Christian then. But as I have developed in my Christian journey, I have developed a bigger spiritual muscle by adopting practises such as prayer and fasting, which are meant to help me grow in my Christian journey.


Firstly, I do not assume that everyone reading this blog is a Christian. However, I do write boldly and confidently about my Christian journey of spiritual growth because I believe it will inspire others to pursue growth in their spirituality - regardless of what religion they choose to practise.

Something that struck me while I was growing in my professional journey was how a lot of the top leaders in any field would credit being spiritually grounded as one of the foundations of their success. I remember reading about a top leader at PwC during my articles, who spoke about his daily practise of meditation and prayer before he began his day. And how he had found his purpose by being dedicated to his spiritual practise. Even though he was not a Christian, reading his story inspired me to want to be as bold as he was in honouring my spirituality, and to grow to the point that my faith would serve as a foundation on which I could build the rest of my life.


Spirituality is important. It is from our spiritual beliefs that we draw our identity and our purpose. Whatever it is that we believe about God, about why we are alive and about where we are going when we die tends to guide everything else about our lives. It directs the intentionality with which we live our lives. Therefore, we cannot talk about setting goals without discussing how we also hope to grow in our respective spiritual journeys - so that our spirituality (the foundation of it all) can be strong enough to support the magnitude of our dreams and our vision. Setting spiritual goals is important, because your ability to grow in other areas of your life, to find meaning from life, to find joy is linked with your spiritual beliefs and your spiritual practises.



Maybe the goal for you this year is to answer the question "what do I even believe"? Then you ought to ask yourself how you will achieve that goal. Are you going to explore every religion, faith and belief-system in order to find one that resonates with your soul? Are you going to read books, listen to podcasts, have conversations with friends, family and spiritual leaders in order to get to your answer? I encourage you to give yourself the opportunity to do all you can in order to answer this question for yourself.


There are many experiences that have helped me grow in my Christian journey. One of them was going through a bible study with my husband and a couple we know. We set an appointment on Wednesday evenings to watch the Truth Project by Dr Del Tackett, a bible study that teaches the principles of looking at life from a Biblical Worldview and compares this world view to other worldviews and perspectives of philosophers and the "greatest" thinkers of the world. This Bible Study appealed to me because I am someone who loves to think. I like to interrogate things, and to seek deeper truths. In it, I was able to answer a lot of existential questions that I had been struggling with. It affirmed my beliefs, it challenged some and it transformed me.


We need to give ourselves the benefit of experiences that will help us grow spiritually. Just like any other area of our lives, we cannot do spirituality casually. We should know what we believe and why we believe what we believe. And then we should be steadfast in our faith, and continue to grow in it day by day.


From a Christian perspective, there are ways we can measure ourselves as believers. Ways we can tell whether we are growing or not.

  • Do we display the fruit of the holy spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control?

  • Do we practise the one true biblical religion: "to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."?

  • Do we love others more than we love ourselves and are we growing in that love?

  • Are we being transformed into having the mind of Christ day by day?

What amazes me about the era in which we live, is that we will happily admit that some of our lives have been protected under the anointing of our parents' prayers. I actually saw a post on LinkedIn where a man from a Hindu background expressed how his father blessed his laptop in a ritual that was blessing his new journey. I have Christian friends who will express how their parents prayed over them to graduate or to get a specific job. And yet we never ask ourselves when we will begin to grow into those kinds of parents ourselves, and when we will do the same for ourselves. Will our children say the same of us? That our devotion to our faith has inspired them? Or that they were confident that our prayers covered and protected them throughout their lives? I fear that we don't realise that we won't just wake up and be the kind of parents our parents were, but that we need to cultivate our spirituality every single day in order to be transformed.


We also need to know that where we don't make a choice of what we believe, that the world will choose for us. We will find ourselves "tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine", believing the latest fad and adopting spiritual practises whose origions we don't know. The impact of this is that we will be "unstable in all our ways". This is part of what our generation suffers from spiritually. An instability in our souls brought about the fact that we just don't know what we believe.

If we agree that we cannot live any other area of our lives on autopilot, then we should agree that the same applies to our spirituality.


Our spiritual goals are the foundation that will support the rest of your goals. The bigger our dreams, the bigger our spiritual capacity should be. Therefore if you have a big vision, you should devote yourself to a deep spiritual life.

In conclusion, having a strong spiritual life doesn't mean we won't experience confusion, internal conflict or feel overwhelmed. But it means we will be embrace those feelings, interrogate them, ask questions, seek answers from God and be committed to finding peace and not just pushing these feelings aside. It also doesn't mean we will have every single answer to the questions that we have in our lives, but it means that we will rely on our faith to carry us through the areas where we are still seeking answers until we find them. And that we will trust God where He chooses not to answer. It is in our seeking, that we will find The Truth!

 

Journal Reflections


1. What does spiritual growth look like based on what you believe? How spiritual practises are you devoting yourself to practising in order to grow into that person?

2. Set two spiritual goals for this year - and examine how your other goals are aligned with these goals.

3. Spend time in prayer and meditation and ASK God what your focus for this year should be.

4. Pray over all your other goals.



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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a passionate leader, accomplished professional and a mentor. I believe that nation-building depends on how well we build people. Therefore, my mission is to contribute to the personal, professional and leadership development of people to empower them to reach their highest potential.

I do this through a mentorship program that I founded and through this blog where I share principles I've applied and insights I've gained in the past twelve years of my career and leadership journey.

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