Happy New Year Everybody!
It’s 2019, and I’ve been asking myself what does that mean or look like for me? I personally love New Year’s, because for me it represents a new start, a fresh beginning. It’s also a time of reflection to look back at the ups and downs of the previous year. But most of all, it’s a time to reflect on the fact that God brought me through it all, and I’m still standing.
Statistically, it is said that 80% of the people who make “New Year’s resolutions” fail by February! Not only is that sad, but I believe it’s directly aligned with the society we live in today. Simply put, we are lazy, unmotivated, undetermined, distracted and confused people, who constantly procrastinate, have little to no goals, and a lack of clear vision for the future – and yes, this includes those of us that are Christians as well.
We too, so often fall into a trap of just “existing” on earth, when God has placed us here for a purpose. I’m not writing to convince or influence anyone to make a list of resolutions. I’m writing to motivate and encourage having a vision that is aligned with the Word of God. A vision of where we want to be or go; of what we want to become; of what we want to accomplish. After all, the bible dictates who God wants us to be as believers. Our entire Christian journey is supposed to be about getting there. The problem is that most of us don’t want to align ourselves with God’s plan for us, so we result to simply having no vision at all when it comes to our spiritual growth.
This lack of vision on the spiritual side, so often coincides with a lack of vision in all other aspects of our lives: physical, mental, social, educational, financial, relational, etc. Other believers may even find themselves at the other end of the spectrum, where their entire vision focuses on all the other aspects of life, while the spiritual side gets little to no attention. Either scenario is detrimental.
God has called us as believers to grow in our relationship with Him and to become more Christlike. How do we do that? Well, like all things spiritual, it all starts with spending more time in His Word. It always baffles me how Christians want and expect so much from God and yet we do so little to cultivate our relationship with Him. The more time we spend in His Word, the more His Word can convict and change our hearts, attitudes, words, thoughts, desires, actions, and our goals to align with Him. I promise, in fact I guarantee, that everything else in our lives will begin to fall into place from there.
Whether you want to work on having a better attitude, lose weight, save money for a new car, get your master’s degree, buy a home, learn a foreign language, travel overseas, get married, or start your own business – whatever the goal may be (short or long term) – aligning ourselves, our goals, our lives, our everything, with God and His plan for us, is the best way to ensure success! In fact when you align your vision with God’s Word, God begins to work in ALL aspects of your life, in ways you could have never imagined!
My family and friends can attest to what God did for me in 2018 – far beyond what I envisioned, prayed for and set out to do via my list of goals! And now, I’m all the more motivated to continue to seek His face through His Word even more in 2019, because I know for a fact, that it will indeed be an even better year for me!……..and yours can be too!
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“resolution” – a firm decision to do or not to do something
Happy New Year everyone! So its 2017 and that time of year again when many people make their “resolutions”. The gyms fill up with people who have resolved to work out and get back in shape. Churches fill up with people who have resolved to be more committed to going to church. Diet microwave meals fly off the grocery store shelves as people have resolved to eat healthier. Lists get posted to refrigerator doors, mirrors, walls, and even work cubicles as people name their top ten things that they are going to resolve to do or not do in the new year. And then…….well then comes February when all those “resolutions” (if they make it that far) go out the window.
I was just making my so-called list of resolutions for 2017 and realized that I hadn’t accomplished 80% of my 2016 resolutions. Not because I wasn’t focused, or that they weren’t important, or that I didn’t prioritize. However, it was honestly because I didn’t involve God in the process. My health, weight loss, need to get out of debt, need for a new car, desire to start saving for my son’s college expenses, plan to go on an overseas trip, etc., are all great and important goals to be focused on. However, setting goals or “resolutions” can become very monotonous, frustrating, tiring and even pointless if we try to accomplish them on our own apart from God.
I have therefore, resolved this year to do one thing: to delight myself in God and commit all my goals unto Him, while trusting that He will give me the desires of my heart in 2017. To delight oneself in the Lord means “to take great pleasure in” God. In other words, I want to take great pleasure in spending more time in His Word, prayer, and doing things that please Him, while committing my “resolutions” into His hands, trusting that He will begin to work in those areas of my life.
This does not absolve me from doing my part. Clearly if I want to be in better shape, I still need to work out, eat healthier, and take care of my body. What I’m realizing is that if I make God my number one priority/focus, and then commit all my other goals to Him, that He will give me the desires of my heart and will even strengthen me to work in areas where I fall short. We work soooo hard to get things we want/desire in this life, and working hard is not wrong in and of itself. However, sometimes we try to do all the work which makes it ten times harder for us, when all we need is to shift our focus to God. After all, the verses are plain – “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”; “commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will do this.” Even if it doesn’t all happen in 2017, it sure sounds like a guarantee to me – according to the Word of God!
Does this mean we will get every little thing we desire no matter what it is? Close but not quite lol! Keep in mind the prerequisite of the verse – “delight yourself in the Lord”. God did not make any mistakes in any of his promises. Think about it: if we truly begin to “delight” or “take great pleasure” in God and what pleases him, our heart’s desires will begin to align with God’s will and what He wants for us anyway. So yes, when one truly delights in the Lord, God will indeed give you the desires of your heart as they align with His will for your life.
So whether you’re making a list or not, as believers, lets “resolve” to delight in the Lord in 2017!