I’m a goal setter. It’s in my DNA. I like to set my mind to accomplish something and go for it. I live by the old adage: “if you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time.” So if you want to really achieve something of value, and experience the thrill of accomplishment, you have to put in the time—set goals, make plans, and then get after it.
That’s why I’ve always loved the week between Christmas and New Years. It’s a window of time where the world slows down long enough for me to get a lay of the land. What did I accomplish this year? Where did I fall short and why? Where do I go from here? How can this next year be better than the last?
As healthy as this process is for me each year, I’ve noticed an unhealthy tendency to identify goals based on what I want or think would be best rather than honestly considering what God wants first. I eventually get around to reflecting on what God would want, but only after I’ve made up my mind about the direction I would like to go. Consequently, I wind up asking God to bless the plans I’ve made rather than submitting myself to God for him to shed His light abroad in my heart that I might gain direction for where to go next.
Realizing this has been convicting. God has been showing me that my insistence on making my own plans for life without first submitting my heart to Him meant that I was living as if my life had more to do with me than with God.
As an act of repentance, I’ve reversed the order this year. Instead of planning and then praying, I’m praying and then planning. I’m letting my time with the Lord drive my goals for the year rather than let me goals drive me to the Lord. It’s already making a difference in my soul.
In fact, it’s made such a difference that I want invite you—the congregation—to enter the same pattern with me in worship in January. Starting January 3rd, we will begin a four-part sermon series entitled, “Entering the Year on our Knees.” Instead of hitting the ground running this year, let’s hit our knees together and make our number one priority in 2016 to meet with the living God.
Happy New Year everyone!