Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Prov. 19:21 NIV)
In just over 48 hours, we will celebrate the dawning of a new year. A new, fresh start. It is a time of new beginnings, of resolutions made, of goals set to accomplish in the New Year. Even the secular world encourages us to make resolutions.
Over the last week, I’ve read numerous articles and blog posts encouraging the reader to set goals for 2011. Many of these articles had excellent suggestions on setting goals: use the SMART© method; don’t set 12 overwhelming goals – set one goal for each month and work on that goal only during the month; and one I found rather interesting: don’t set goals, but rather select words that describe how you want your life to be, for example, peaceful, energetic, happy. Then make daily decisions that will result in those feelings.
Almost all of the articles/blog posts I read were written by Christians. Yet, not one author mentioned seeking God for His plans in 2011. Perhaps the author assumed the reader would be a Christian, thus there was no need to mention seeking God for His plans for us in 2011. I beg to differ. If anyone needs to be reminded, it’s us. Okay, it’s me. I am motivated by goals, by to-do lists, by deadlines. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it means that sometimes I get so busy, that I overlook the most important goal of all: seeking God’s will for every area of my life. So, I’ve developed my personal “SMART” guidelines.
S Seek Him. Daily. Hourly. Continuously. Pray continuously. (I Thess. 5:17 NIV)
M Make your relationship with God a priority. If you don’t know Him on a deep, personal level, how can you possibly know what His desires, His goals are for you? But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. (Matt. 6:33 Amplified Bible)
A Ask Him. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:23b-24,NIV)
R Revere Him. Take time to sit at His feet and worship. And listen. He will talk with you. And I bowed down my head and worshiped the Lord and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, Who had led me in the right way…(Genesis 24:48 Amplified Bible)
T Trust Him. When He says, “This is the way, walk in it,” then walk. Know that He will never lead you down the wrong path. Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6 Amplified Bible)
I do not profess to be a goal-setting expert. But I do believe that if we will Seek Him, Make our relationship with Him a priority, Ask Him, Revere Him and Trust Him, we will discover His plans for us in 2011 and beyond.
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 NIV)
It is my prayer for everyone that you will realize God's plans for your life in 2011!
© Edwina Cowgill 2010