There is something very special about this time of year. Yes, partly because it is just after Christmas and just before 12th night, but also because it is a time to look forward to the year ahead.
God is a planner; He knows everything from the beginning to the end because He is the Alpha and Omega.
‘For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
‘Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
‘Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me (as a vital necessity) and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart,’ Jeremiah 29:11 (in the Amplified Bible).
If God is a planner, then so should we be, but I was reminded as I typed out the words above that we need to involve God in everything and ask Him for His guidance and input before embarking on anything. (Forgive me Lord, for the times I haven’t always done that and let me start a fresh fold in this page of my life to remind me to keep you at the centre of everything I do, think, believe or say.)
Having gained His confidence in us, we need to have the courage to step out in the right direction. Didn’t the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant step into the Jordan before the water stopped flowing? Have you been praying and asking God to give you guidance, but not taken a step into the water yet? It is something I am guilty of sometimes.
I am also guilty of rushing out full of excitement and passion but after a little time my enthusiasm can wane, but if I have his peace to confirm that I am heading in the right direction, then I continue, even when the going gets tough, because God continually reassures us in the Bible that, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.
So I am looking ahead to 2013 and having assessed my year, as mentioned in my previous blog, I know 2012 was a good year in many ways, but I want 2013 to be even better. I want to be better in Him.
I’ve written myself a list of aims for 2013 and I pray God will help me to stick by them, because according to a Mingle survey of people who make New Year Resolutions only 5% keep them for a few hours, 14% for several days, 28% more than two weeks, 30% a few months and 23% the whole year and there was no question about Eternity!
So as we follow His footsteps along the straight and narrow path towards His fold, here are my aims for the moment:
1, Pray more – more regularly, more frequently, more constructively, more deliberately, with thanksgiving and supplication making my requests be known to Him, but more importantly, less about me and more for others (using a notebook to remind me of the prayers and to record the answers).
2, Worship more – singing hymns and praises, ‘from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same’; worshipping Him in ‘spirit and in truth’ in everything and in everyday.
3, Read His Word more – daily at the very least. I don’t know about you, but sometimes life seems so busy that I hardly have time to think. According to Jesus, we ‘ cannot live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,’ and I don’t know about you, but I can’t operate properly when I am hungry.
4, Listen more – ’cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning’, but not only to God, but to others. I’ve got a bad habit of talking too much, of butting in and not allowing others time to speak. Sorry to anyway who knows this to be true. So this year, I will aim to listen more to other people, please correct me if I forget. After all, there are a lot of people out there with great things to say and also a lot of hurting people who just want someone to listen.
5, Get everything in order – ‘He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind,’ which can be interrupted as having self control will bring peace of mind (peace again).
6, Be fruitful with my time – Lord help me not procrastinate and fritter away precious time. Help me to prioritise and squeeze the best out of every second of every day.
7, Ask God to increase the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in me – because without love, I am nothing and God is love.