2014 Spiritual Resolutions
I hesitated on starting the 2014 with a blog post about the new year or the traditional topic of new year’s resolutions. I felt guilty about writing on the subject of creating goals and making resolutions, because 2014 began completely off track for me.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I no longer believe in them. I used to start each year with a list of habits I was going to change, goals I was going to achieve and everything else I had expected to successfully accomplish that year. Each year I failed to commit to my resolutions and any of them that were achieved happened by chance, and were not intentional.
By February of each year, I had usually forgotten what my resolutions were to begin with. During my undergraduate years, I developed a habit of reviewing my goals and commitments every September, January and May; the start of new semesters in our school calendar. With each review I realised how much I had failed to accomplish what I had set out to do.
In December 2013 I sat at my desk each day reading multiple business books, time-management books, books on life management for adult ADHD and books on S.M.A.R.T. goal achievements. Multiple Amazon purchases later, I realized that what was missing from my goal planning was God.
Proverbs 16: 2-3 (NIV)
“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
I naively made my plans, not realizing that all our plans need to be surrendered to God and offered for His blessing.
I’m not going to give you tips on how to make and keep New Year’s resolutions, but I will encourage you to give all your plans and goals to God, no matter what time of the year you make them. Seek first and foremost the will of God and remember the individual gifts, talents and callings He has blessed you with. Let these be your guide when you make goals for yourself.
- Start with prayer, asking God what He would like you to accomplish for this year.
- Ask God’s Holy Spirit to speak into your life as a guide to where you should be headed with your life.
Pray for a revelation of what might be preventing you from being able to achieve your goals. Could it be poor time management, envy, discouragement, laziness, disorganization, not caring about life, waiting for luck to find you? Are you waiting on God to make some miraculous cloud separating, thunder n’ lightning bolt revelation? Well you might be waiting for a while, because God rarely works with this method. You are more likely to be able to discern God leading you when you take time to be in His presence; praying, quietly and patiently as you follow his promptings.
When it comes to spiritual discipline and personal development; I firmly believe that each person has to find a method that works for them. We all have different learning styles, personalities and life circumstances. Thankfully there are plenty of resources available for Christians who want to develop their spiritual formation and make personal changes. Gathering books and DVD’s can become costly after only a few purchases, so if you are not in a financial position to own a library of material, there are other options. Free resources are available at your local public library, your church library, joining a small group study at your church, and free resources from websites.
“You cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. ”
― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
My prayer for you, is that 2014 will be a year of inviting God to be a part of all your goals, hopes and dreams. Blessings!