How are you going to finish out the year?

Finish line

Ephesians 5:15-17 15 “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

How many of us set our expectations in stone, convinced that things will turn out just like we planned for the year? With the end of the year fast approaching come reminders of broken New Year’s resolutions, promises and regret.  Why do we seem to fail at resolutions?

Have you reflected on your accomplishments and rewards or maybe failures and mistakes?  Have you thought about what you should or could have done for your family, friends and others?  Have you thought about the things you should not have done?  Regret fuels anxiety in many ways.

I believe our fleshly desires play a big role behind our failed resolutions.  While it’s difficult to break bad habits and start good habits, it’s our heart attitude that is off.  We want to make a change in ourselves, but we don’t look forward to the hard work and effort we know it will take to make that happen.  Am I successful at everything the Lord tells me to?  I don’t think so!  Why?  Because I’m a sinner.  I am not perfect and I am still a work in progress.

What was your resolution? Better diet?  Lose weight?  Pay off debt?  Save money?  Get a better job? Reduce stress?  Kick a bad habit?  Help others?  Spend more time with the family?  Become a better friend, daughter, son, or parent?  Increase your value at work?  Find ways to make a quick buck or two? Solomon wrote, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.  When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.” Proverbs 23:4-5

My heart was seeking worldly things before the one heavenly relationship to which I needed to draw closer.  My desire to lose weight, make good money, organize my life, etc…made me forget my first priority – spiritual growth.  No wonder I was stressed and tired!  I was trying to do all these things! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, Philippians 4:13, if I let Christ strengthen me.  I was leaving out the most important element in my plans – Christ!

Don’t expect the year to be exactly as you expect. God has His plans for you.  I didn’t know that I was going to be laid off from work, nor did I expect the job market to be so bad in Southern CA that I had to look on the other side of the country for stability!  But I honestly believe this is where the Lord wants me right now. James 4:13-14 “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.”

One thing I have learned about resolutions is that they should not be too ambitious, but they should be idealistic: they should not concentrate on physical life, but they should focus on your spirit and its health. Godly matters are more important than fleshly.

We should be praying for God to guide us in seeing what he wants us to do with our lives. How does God want us to use our time?  Who are the people we should be embracing and drawing closer to God?  What are those voids in our spiritual world that we should seek to fill through prayer and faith?

So why wait until the New Year to do it all over again?  If I felt the Lord leading me to change or correct something, I’m not going to wait until New Year’s Day to put it into action.  I’m going to do it now.

My one resolution and goal is to grow even deeper in my walk with the Lord.  I want to more fully and intimately know Him.  But why wait until the New Year?  Get your priorities in order and everything else will come in God’s timing.

“Be still and know that He is God.” Psalm 46:10

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  There is no better time than now to experience God’s love with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Loving God equips you to love others with justice, mercy and humility.  Make your commitment today to “be still and know that He is God.”  There is no other way to finish well, because Love is a commitment.

Inspired by God, written by KG

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