Do we set goals or fulfill our calling?

concert platformI don’t know about you, but my inbox has been jammed with emails about making 2017 a great year. Nothing in and of itself wrong with that goal. But I’ve deleted those emails without reading them.

This year I won’t be setting goals the way I have in the past.

Normally I review my year and set new goals during December. But as my regular readers know, a family death and health issues sidelined me for the month. I’ll be doing it this month instead. But that’s not what’s going to be different about my goals.

Like you, I want to have an amazing 2017. During most of 2016, my inbox was jammed with subject lines like “Make a 6 figure income with public speaking,” “Write and publish a children’s book this weekend,” “Become an Amazon best seller.”

Those lines appeal to our “I want it now” desires—our flesh. But that is not what God wants for us.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5 NKJV). As Christians we don’t walk “in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Romans 8:9 NKJV).

Yes, we can succeed under our own power (in the flesh), but at what cost? Our health, our family, our soul? “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8 NKJV).

This year my goals won’t be focused on how many books I can sell, how much traffic I get to my blog, or how many new emails subscribers I add.

Instead, I will focus on how I can impact my world for God. I’ll be spending time in prayer seeking God’s guidance, asking Him what He wants me to do, to write, to edit, and to speak.

When I leave this world, I won’t take my earthly success with me, but I can store up treasure in heaven now by being the salt and light God has called me to be in this world.

He has called me to write books that help others trust Him as they walk this earth. As an editor He has called me to teach other writers to write what He has called them to write.

I am more excited about living God’s adventure for my life than I have ever been about becoming a New York Times best seller.

I know this won’t sit well with all my readers. I understand that.

Matthew 6:33 NKJV tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God” and that is what I intend to do. As I do it, I will first rest in the promise that God will provide all my needs (see Matthew 6:19-34 and Philippians 4:19). Second, I will trust Deuteronomy 8:18, which says, “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

Our Christianity is not something we put on a shelf and take down only on Sundays. We live it 24/7.

What has God called you to do and to write?

As you plan your 2017, bathe those plans in prayer. Seek God’s will for your life for there is no greater joy than living and fulfilling God’s destiny for your life. Ask for His wisdom and guidance for “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23 NKJV).

Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.


  1. Totally agree. I think that when we make goals, they are our goals and therefore our responsibility. If God is our Lord, then he sets the goals. He wants us to simply walk with him and be his friend being available for him to use as he wishes. It’s really quite stress free. Sheriena

  2. Right on. I sometimes forget that this life is just link to heaven and our life on earth is meant to glorify our Lord and Savior and we must be salt and light to the lost. God doesn’t care about how much money we make on earth or how famous we become, but how we used the talents He gave us to help others find His hand in a dark world.

    • So true, Catherine. Even the simple act of giving a drink to the thirsty is important to God. As Jesus words in Matt. 25 tells us, “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

  3. This post is spot on for me! I set that as my goal every year. Yes, some of the other aspects like to creep in for my goals, but I push them back and set my eyes on the One I am living for. He and His will, are what matter above all else! 😀

  4. Debra, I have been wrestling with all this for several months. Your post made my goals clearer and brought them into focus, no matter how many times a week my publishing company calls me to try to get me to buy one of their expensive programs. Like you, I see the get-rich-quick schemes, which are usually a webinar to get me to buy the programs. I’ve decided to spend more time seeking God’s guidance and less time on those webinars. May God bless you in your efforts.

  5. Good day Debra,

    Thank you for this insightful post.
    The title of the post really got to me. It should be really about fulfilling our calling.
    Many times we get so worked up with our plans instead of God’s plans.

    All the best as you follow in the path God has chosen for you.

    Have a most fruitful year ahead!

    • Daniel, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I believe it is about fulfilling our calling. Too often we get caught up in what the world is screaming at us to do. Once we know our calling, there is a time to set goals, but God will help us down that path too. God’s best to you and may your year be fruitful as well.

%d bloggers like this: