TODAY is the first day of a new year! So many possibilities and what a blessing to have what feels like a clean slate! I often wonder if God gets as excited for a new year as we do. :) It can be assumed that people everywhere have made goals or commitments to say things, do things or think differently this year. Some of which seem impossible without the help of Jesus aka working out and eating healthier (speaking for myself here as I join the bandwagon of new year "resolutions"). Regardless of what we actually accomplish, there are so many wonderful things at the start of a new year to look forward to, and it may be the one time of the year where optimism and morale is up around the world. I have no data to prove this notion, but I like to think so.
New years resolutions can be scary, especially when you fear failure. However as we walk out life in relationship with God, we learn that dreams, having desires and vision for life are actually very good things to have. Especially when those desires, dreams, and visions are in fact God centered, given, and God ordained. Proverbs 29:18 ESV reads, "Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law." I would go into detail explaining the Hebrew translation of each word, but basically this is a challenge to all of us to always set our sights towards what God's plan is. If we lose sight of His vision, we dwindle away and become meaningless. His vision gives us meaning.
The NLT translation reads: "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful". So in short I would encourage and challenge you all to set your sight towards what God's plan is for your life this year. If you aren't sure what that is, seek Him until He makes it clear and known. I remember being a sophomore in college and having a bit of an early adulthood "life" crisis. Midst it I began pleading with God to show me what my purpose in life was. I wasn't 100% sure what I was hoping God would say, but I expected it to be mind blowing. Ironically, after weeks of praying, a few days of fasting, and some days being a little too emotional, God spoke. Now what He showed me was a passage in the bible and from that passage what He spoke to me was 5 simple words, "You are called to serve". At the time I was legitimately annoyed with God. I thought, "That's it?" I'm called to serve...no freaking duh. It seemed so stupid and so broad, but in that moment regardless of how I felt, I decided to trust His words, and I made a decision that day to make the center of everything I do in life centered around servanthood. Almost 7 years later and that simple guidance has taken me to places I never thought I'd go, and given me opportunities I never thought I'd have. Moral of the story? Little steps can often lead to BIG gains. Or to put a spin on it God given dreams or God given words, prophecies or guidance that may seem small or insignificant can often lead to BIG dreams and opened doors. Sometimes requiring that we say sayonara to certain things and hello to plenty others.
So with that, in 2016 I am saying (for good):
What are you saying SAYONARA and HELLO to this year?
TOAST to 2016!!