Well, it’s January 25th and you have already broken most, if not all, of your New Year’s resolutions. From losing weight to managing stress better to getting out of debt and managing money more effectively, many have failed. How does that make you feel? Defeated, yes! Frustrated, absolutely! Mad at yourself, definitely! I have heard this conversation play out too many times over the last couple of weeks. We are 25 days into a new year and many people are already living like 2018 is going to be the worst year ever.
Allow me to put this whole idea of New Year’s resolutions in perspective. First, the things mentioned above are not bad resolutions. They are just not the most important resolutions for a believer in Christ. Second, I think Satan can make us feel defeated when we do not place our focus on spiritual things first.
I would like to offer you a New Year’s resolution from scripture. It’s found in Matthew 6:33. It says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you.” One verse! Not a long list of things that will potentially make you feel like a failure. There is so much in this short verse, but let’s focus our attention on two areas. Initially, I am challenged to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness. To seek first is to not take a quick glance but to set my eyes on it. Focus on it. Allow it to be my daily pursuit. Next, as I do that, God will take care of everything else. My role is to trust Him and His ability to see and work in my life. All of the other resolutions we make need to flow out of this biblically focused resolution.
Let me offer a few more thoughts that will hopefully support your pursuit of Matthew 6:33 as your real New Year’s resolution.
- Join a small group
A YBL small group is a place to find community that will encourage you to grow in your walk with Christ. In these groups you will find men that will join you in seeking God.
- Read the Bible
God’s Word will help you understand God and His plan for your life. Seeking God begins with growing in an understanding of what God’s Word says. I would encourage you to find a Bible reading plan and set aside some time every day to read and study the Bible. A great tool for reading the Bible and finding a Bible reading plan is the YouVersion Bible App.
Take some time every day to pray. Prayer is a conversation with God. Talk to God about where you are struggling. Talk to God about the successes of the day. Talk to God about the challenges that you are facing and then don’t forget to listen. Conversation is two-way. We need to make sure that we give God the chance to speak into our lives.
2018 is going to be a great year! Refocus…You are not defeated!