By Terry Hoskins –
We have many aspirations for the New Year as we tell ourselves that we are going to run more, eat less, get a better job, and spend more time with our families. We become passionate as we look down the road and dream about how sweet life will be in the future as we live our new improved life! So what are your goals for the New Year? While there is nothing wrong with striving to eat better, and spend time with family, I often wonder if we shouldn’t be attaining for something more than the typical or traditional resolutions.
Most resolutions are proudly announced among family and friends to start off the new year with hopes of a better next year. We sit around eating our black eyed peas and other goodies and we feel good about ourselves vowing to make ourselves better in some form or fashion. The problem is that most resolutions are focused on improving ourselves. And that is the problem, we are too focused on self. God’s Word tells us to us to love God and others the WAY we love ourselves! (Matthew 22:38-39, paraphrased) This passage is telling us to focus on God and others the way we focus on our own world. Stephen Charnock said that “self is the great antichrist and anti-god in the world, that sets up itself above all else.” This quote gives us a glimpse of the magnitude of continuing to be controlled by self-focused thinking. It is time to make resolutions that count beyond this world. What if the new year was about seeking God and adoring Him, and lining up our lives to bring Him glory regardless of what happens during the next year? What if our goals were geared towards helping others and not just bettering ourselves?
The Most Important Goal For The New Year, and Life!
God’s Word tells us “so we make it our goal to please Him (GOD), whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” (2 Corinthians 5:9, NIV) Our goal for the New Year should be to please God. We were made to live for God, not ourselves! When we live like we are our own god than we run into numerous issues like fear, worry, anger, guilt, shame, and addictions to name a few. Why? Because we are not created to live independent of God. We are not equipped to be self-sufficient. We are made to depend on God, and He is the One who gives us what we need to live. The Bible tell us that “God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the One who called us by His own glory and integrity.” (1 Peter 1:3, GWT) This passage tells us that God is One who supplies us with everything need. He is the One who we depend on, not ourselves!
How Can We Learn To Please God?
We need to get to know God! This does not happen by speculating from our own thinking how to please Him. We need to find out from the source, His Word. The Bible examines what God’s heart beat is, and how we can live daily for Him. This life is short, and than it is eternity. Let’s make our goal to please God as we start the New Year. Along with getting to know God through His Word it would be important to spend time with Him. It is ironic that we forget the basics of relationships when we think about God. In any other relationship I clearly know that I will not get closer to the person unless I spend time with them. The same is true with God, we call this prayer. We talk to Him, and He talks to us! Reading His Word and praying to Him feeds our relationship with Him.
Heart Examining Questions
This takes us back to the beginning question of the article. What are your goals for the New Year? Who do they focus on? Who is at the center of them? Who are we trying to please? Are we making goals based on what God wants or what we want? These questions diagnose if we are trying to please God or trying to please ourselves. Let’s glorify God in the New Year, and challenge others to do the same!