It’s the start of a brand new year. For many of us, that means it’s time to participate in the annual ritual of setting goals and making resolutions for the year to come. For January 1st, did you resolve to lose weight, exercise more, take charge of your finances, learn a new skill, or pursue a new hobby? If so, you’re not alone! According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 68% of Americans participate in the tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions in some way, shape or form. By the end of January, however, 1 in 3 Americans have abandoned their goals! Ultimately, only 8% of the individuals who make New Year’s Resolutions successfully achieve them. Perhaps that explains why 38% of the American population never bothers to make any New Year’s resolutions at all! If you’re thinking there’s got to be a better way to achieve success in the New Year, you’re right! The good news is that you’ll find the secrets to successful planning for changing your life for the better at your fingertips – right inside of your Bible.
The Bible Holds The Keys To Living A Successful Life
Have you ever wondered where the big dreams that are bursting inside of your spirit come from? You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re the dreams that you can’t get out of your head. They’re the dreams that you’re ready to commit to paper – the ones that you’re willing to pursue until they become a reality. Chances are, if you are a child of God who is walking with God, those dreams come from God!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
God uniquely creates us with special gifts to use for His purpose, to advance His kingdom!
God directs us to write our visions down (Habakkuk 2:2). God also encourages us to persevere until we achieve our goals (Hebrews 12:1-2).
The key is, we need to prayerfully include God in each step of our planning process. No matter how big we dream, God’s thoughts are always higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. – John 10:27 We need to listen as God guides us through life so that we can accomplish the purposes He has envisioned for us before He laid the foundations for the world (Ephesians 1:4-5, 2 Timothy 1:9).
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. – Proverbs 16:9
Whatever it is we pursue in life, when God is with us – when our plans align with God’s – we will succeed (Genesis 39:2)! When is the last time you consulted God and asked Him to guide you in your resolution-making process? When you sit before your calendar to plan your days, weeks, months and year, how often do you ask God if the activities you’re involved in are the activities He wants you to pursue? Set Spiritual Goals But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. – Matthew 6:33 There are two reasons that so many of us fail to achieve our New Year’s Resolutions: We focus on things that never truly inspired us to begin with. We pursue things that God never intended for us to focus our time and attention on! This year, let’s do things differently. Let’s take Matthew 6:33 to heart. Let’s set spiritual goals that include: 1. Deepening our relationship with God. 2. Learning more about God – who He is, His attributes and His character, and who we are in relationship to Him. 3. Increasing our sensitivity to hearing God’s voice and obeying His Word. 4. Praying for an increased capacity to trust God and follow where He leads. 5. Striving to grow, emulate, and be more like Jesus with each passing day. Let’s measure our successes not by worldly standards, but by God’s daily blessings. Let’s align our goals, resolutions and plans with God’s Holy Word.