The beginning of a new year!
I wanted to take some time and encourage you with new perspective about your New Years goals. Some people love setting goals, others tend to struggle. For some people New Years resolutions are looked at as a planned goal that is destined to fail. God cares more about heart transformation than behavior modification. Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Our goals should drive us to deeper dependency on Christ not self. The greatest blessing is to be dependent upon The Lord for everything. Does your goal lead you to greater dependency and humility if not, I can promise you, you don’t want it. Here are three things to think about:
1. Take time to get God's heart for your year.
What if you took a month to set your New Years resolutions? Often times we rush to set goals for the new year. As eager human beings I think this is extremely common. Taking time to set your New Years goals, allows your heart time to check in with God. “Lord am I making this goal out of pride?” Are you desiring that goal for selfish gain? Do you want to accomplish that goal ,to create a more elite status for yourself? Or is that a dream God has placed on your heart? Is it being a good steward of what Hes given you? What master are you serving? Colossians sheds light on some beautiful truths that will help us process our goals from a biblical perspective.
Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
When we take time to pray through the changes we want to make, we allow space for our own pride of self to die and allow God's plan for our year to rise to the surface. As the Lord reveals the motive of our hearts we can than choose if that is something we want to take on for a whole year.
Philippians 4:6 gives us more guidance on praying through our goals, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” I think often times in my own life goals can tend to take the driver seat of my choices rather than prayer. Prayer is simply taking your goal to the Lord and asking Him about it. Prayer is constant communication with God.
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” Proverbs 21:2
Allow God to purify your hearts desires for this year. We can often get distracted by the goal and forget The One who wants to create character through us as we aim for said goal. God cares more about the process than the attainment of the goal.
How can your character grow through that goal?
How are you going to become more like Christ in that goal?
How are you going to rely on Him through the goal and not your own human effort?
May this be the deep heart posture of your goals “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
2. Be slow, Be real.
When seeing things you desire it can be easy to make a 10 step plan of how you are going to, obtain your goal. As God is showing you your hearts intentions through what you are seeking be slow. Allow Him to be the center as you set your goals for the year. Rely on His wisdom. This doesn’t mean you have to over spiritualize it. Be slow and allow yourself time as you make your goals. The more time you take to pray through them, the more realistic they become. Why?
We as finite human beings only have so much capacity. It can be easy to have a million goals for the year but the reality is you can’t do it all. If you want to accomplish a bunch of goals you probably won’t go deep in any of them. By deep I mean learning the heart lessons the Lord has in store to teach you as you wrestle through life in that area. Take time and know what season of life you are in, is that goal realistic? Is it something that I want to create as a lifestyle habit? Is it feasible.
Remember you are going to have to sacrifice things in order to reach your goals. Is the goal worth it? What will you be sacrificing to get better in that area?
3. Nothing happens instantly.
Knowing that, it will take hard work and dedication to move towards your goal. Who are you going to put around you to encourage you and check in?
Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
As we desire to be more like Christ we have to know that sanctification is a process and we have to endure the edification that come with it. Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Remember we can plan all we want. Planning is great but it is God who’s our sustainer. God wants to walk hand in hand with you as you are formed more into His image. God is going to use everything in your life to create deeper character through refinement.
I want to leave you with this this question, How does this goal or how can this goal create deeper dependency on Christ and am I willing to allow the Lord to be King and Savior over this goal?