In all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:6
New Year! New decade! This is the year!
I have big plans for the next 365 days. I have goals and expectations. This year is the year I meet my goals. I am sure most of you want the same–to achieve your personal goals.
But would you be willing to lay them down? Would you be willing to give up what you want for the next year and consider God’s goals? Would you trade your pursuits for the pursuit of God?
God’s goals look different than our goals.
The goals we make, whether at the beginning of January or in the middle of July, have the potential to glorify us or defeat us.
I admit the first item on my 2020 list is the typical, I-try-every-year goal of losing weight. It’s been somewhere on my list of hopes for a long time. Obviously, I have not reached that goal, and at the end of each year I’m frustrated, and my will deflated? My mind swirls when I think of all the time, effort and money I’ve poured into the pursuit of losing weight. I am defeated.
On the other hand, God’s goals for us always glorify Him and never leave us defeated.
God’s purposes lead us toward Him and away from worldly pursuits.
What if…this year, we pursue God’s goals for us?
What if, in 2020, we surrendered our agenda and let God lead our lives? How different would next December 31st look?
Experts in goal setting teach that the first step to reaching goals is to write them down. Next, tell someone your goals (keeps you accountable), and celebrate your accomplishments (Yay! You did it!).
I made a list of a few God-centered goals here that I hope to focus on in the coming year. I’m telling you so you can help me stay accountable. (I made an acronym–GOALS–to help me remember.) I hope you will make a list of your own. Next, December 31st we’ll celebrate how God has transformed our lives through the pursuit of His goals.
God First. In 2020 I want to put God above all other things, especially my desires. The psalmist wrote, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Putting God first is also a command. In Mark, Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
Open God’s Word. The bible is God’s love letter to us. From Genesis to Revelation, He shows His redemptive plan that flows from His love. This year, my goal is to read through the Word of God (again) and set to memory as much as I can. God’s Word can lead us, remind us and save us. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
Abide in Him. Without Jesus, we cannot reach our goals. To make the finish line we must rely on Him. “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)
Live set apart. The world is full of ways to lead us away from God. This year, I choose to be different and live set apart. “As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” (John 15:19)
Serve Others. Our most magnificent example of service is Jesus. He came to serve not to be served. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the other.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Making even a small God-change in your life brings significant change.
Think of it this way…if you start today putting one dollar in a jar for one year you will have $365 at the end of the year. Doing a little every day adds up to something bigger in time.
Start small. Add five minutes in prayer each morning. Or, memorize one scripture each week. Making these small changes leads to big heart changes.
Are you in? I hope you will prayerfully consider making God the focus of your goals for the next year. Please comment and tell me your goals. I would love to help keep you on track.
To keep me on track and focusing on my God Goals, in January, I’ll be writing about putting God first. I want to share how I’m taking steps to reach that particular God goal and hopefully they will inspire you toward your goals. In the following months, I want to write to you about keeping the remaining goals. Hope you will join me.
Happy New Year! This is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER!
Father, I am so excited about these goals. Help me to stay focused on You and through the help of the Holy Spirit I can reach these goals. I can’t wait to see how You will change our lives when we surrender our agenda and goals to You.