Typically at the end of the year I begin to pray and make goals for the upcoming New Year. At church we have Vision Sunday where we encourage our folks to get a vision for the New Year as well.
At church we hand out goal sheets, prayer pages, Bible reading schedules, budget sheets – all tools to help with their walk with God.
- The Bible reading schedule – so that you can strive to read the Bible through in a year. The Bible is God’s love letter to us, His instruction manual for us to follow, and a lot of lessons to help us understand the many things we’ll face in this life time. God’s Word contains the principles we need to follow in order to make the best decisions throughout our lives. It is also a Book promises to us from God, our Heavenly Father. It is history, prophecy, and our overall answer Book.
- The Prayer pages are also for our benefit. We take for granted the ultimate privilege we have in prayer to take all our needs before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We can boldly go to the Father, to the Throne of Grace and make our requests known unto Him. Through prayer, God has promised to perform many miracles.
- The budget sheets – because money is a very big part of our lives. Though we should never make money our main goal in life – the truth is that “where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.” In other words, what we truly treasure in life is evidenced by how we spend our money. People don’t like it when churches talk about money – but Jesus spoke about money a lot because He knew that the love of money is the root of all evil. He did not want us to be dependent on money – but rather on Him. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” Matthew 6:19
Now, with all of that said, when I set my New Year goals I have one standing goal – to read my Bible through at least once per year. I started that the first year I was saved because the day I was saved, when I got home, my phone rang almost as soon as I walked in the door. It was Nanna, my husband’s grandmother, calling me to tell me that she had purchased me a Bible! She was a saved woman – at the time she was dying of cancer and the Holy Spirit impressed on her heart to buy me a Bible during the very hour I was praying asking the Lord to save me! That was a huge statement to me that told me that God wanted me to have and read the Bible – why else would He send a dying woman out to buy ME a Bible. She had 7 grandchildren, yet the Lord told her to buy it for me!
God’s Word has been to me
- my comfort in the times of my storms
- my guide when I didn’t know what to do
- my teacher as I sought to raise my kids
- my help when I felt lost
- my companion when I felt alone
- my source for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding
- my strength in times of weakness
- my shield against oppression
- my joy in times of sorrow
- my hiding place when I wanted to be alone
- my safety zone when I am afraid
- my answer
Now I could go on and on – and truly my prayer is that you too will turn to God’s Word for all of these things and more. So, of course that would be one of my main goals every year.
As I look back at goals I set in past years many of those goals are not relevant to my life at all right now. So, setting new goals on an annual basis is a good thing – only this year my list is much shorter. In fact my goal for 2015 can be summed up in one verse:
“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Luke 1:38
I know I have surrendered my life to God – I remember the very day I went forward at a church invitation and surrendered to do whatever the Lord wanted with my life; I didn’t know what He wanted me to do, or even all that it meant – I only knew that He was working on my heart
Now, I said that and it sounds wonderful – but I can’t tell you how many times God has called on me to do something and I didn’t immediately surrender! I love the song “My Life Lord is Yours to Control” but the truth is while we all may love that song, and find it a beautiful song to sing– we all don’t really let God control our lives – we like to be in control and we like to make excuses about how and why we haven’t given God our lives to control -we just can’t do it, or we say “we’re just not there yet” in our Christian walk.
Often it is more like my life is Yours to control – except when … you can fill in the blank for anything or any time you find yourself unwilling to do what you know God wants you to do.
This year my one goal is to be fully surrendered to God – “behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word”
For me that has 3 meanings specifically
- I am God’s servant (behold the handmaid of the Lord) – I am God’s servant, He purchased me with His blood and so I consider myself a slave and it is not up to me to question God, it is up to me to do what He says, follow where He leads, seek His will in every decision I make
- I will trust God’s Word – “be it unto me according to thy word” Again that means to not only obey, but also, I will accept what God wants for my life even if or when it is hard for me. When Mary said that she was accepting what the angel told her concerning the child she was going to bear, it was not especially desirable that she would be considered an unwed mother, or that she might lose her fiance; yet, she was willing to accept what God wanted even though it was going to be a hard thing. She realized that it was a tremendous privilege to be called of God to do anything!
- I Believe, truly Believe God. When we truly believe something it is evidenced by our actions. When I truly believe something it affects my behavior, my attitude, my choices, my thoughts – everything.
|my husband (far right) USA Church Planter, Lighthouse Baptist Church Planters|
- My goal for 2015, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy Word.”
- My theme song for
2015 is, “I Believe God"
You can imagine how my heart was stirred when the special music, the one special they sang for the service, was the very song the Lord had placed on my heart for 2015, “I Believe God.” What a blessing it was to me to know that God wanted to confirm in my heart that He recognized our step of faith, and that He acknowledged my “offering” of surrender to Him. Tears flowed down my cheeks as I heard these words:
I Believe God
Some place their trust in the wisdom of another
Some search for light in the dark
But like a child, I have come with simple faith
In the only One who could change my heart
Chorus: I Believe God, I believe His Word is true
For I’ve seen what He can do when I call upon His name
I believe God, so let the world say what they will
I will choose to serve Him still, knowing He will never change
I believe God
Verse 2: Some say this life is the only thing that matters
Some say we live and then we die
But I’m convinced that eternity awaits
So with every breath, I will testify…(chorus)
Tag: so loved this world He gave His only Son to die
And that’s why (chorus)
Ladies, won’t you consider truly surrendering to God – truly trusting Him and joining me in saying, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word?” – won’t you say with me, “I Believe God?” I pray you will make it a goal to grow closer to our Saviour this year, and that you’ll spend more time than ever before in His Word. I can promise you that you will be blessed.
Have a wonderful day!