HOW TO END YOUR YEAR STRONG
Although this year may not have offered what you expected, you don’t have to end 2020 with a whimper. It's been a difficult and disappointing time for so many of us in so many ways. But by God's grace, you and I can end the year strong. We really can. And we can carry our renewed strength into the New Year, too.
Here are four Godly tips to help you begin today.
1. Seek God First
Above all, set your heart on God. He can’t come second. Any other priorities are misplaced and they misdirect you on paths that wander.
Matthew 6:33 is made up of two commands and a benefit to adhering to them. First, Jesus instructs us to: Seek the kingdom of God above all else. This agrees with the greatest commandment: Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). It’s pretty clear, our Abba Father and Creator demands to be first in our lives. Decide today—every day—to seek God first.
How would or do you now apply this putting God first to your days consistently?
2. Live In Right Relationship
The second part of Matthew 6:33 goes like this: …and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. If our needs are to be met, God’s requirement for his children is twofold:
· Put God first in your life. (See tip #1)
· Live according to God’s standards and guidelines.
Of course, you aren’t perfect. Both you and I will fall short of his requirements at times. God knew this and Jesus died because of it. But in his grace, God allows our repentance so we can remain rightly related to God. In other words,as a friend and mentor of mine likes to say, It's about progress not perfection. Keeping this in mind, ending your year strong means progressively becoming more like Christ as you choose to turn from sin and pray: Not my thoughts, words, and actions but your will be done, Lord.
Is there something getting in the way of your relationship with God?
3. Know and Accept God’s Calling to Purpose
Knowing and accepting your purpose helps you create a plan to do life with God. As a quick reminder, your purpose is not your job, your roles, or your titles and responsibilities. These are all a part of how and with whom you express your purpose. But these things can quickly change with the seasons. Who are you meant to be and what are you called to do when these things are altered or vanish? There is something more to your purpose. God has a significant way for you to influence others through your being and your doing and he wants you to listen for, know, and respond with "Yes, Lord" as he calls you forward and into it.
Do you know God's purpose for your life?
4. Make a Plan
The truth is, our plans are prideful and pretentious without God. We don’t know what life will bring our way. Only God knows. So we must make our plans prayerfully with God according to his purpose for our lives, set them before him, and hold them loosely committing them to his will.
Proverbs 16:3 reminds us to commit whatever you do to the Lord and your plans will succeed. The word commit here means: trust, roll together, remove. When I replace the word commit with these definitions I come up with:
Trust everything (my life, family, job, possessions, dreams) to the Lord and my plans will succeed.
Roll together with the Lord (God is waiting for me to talk with him about my ideas and heartfelt desires and discern together in relationship with him) and my plans will succeed.
Remove whatever I prefer to do (give up my time, treasure, goals, and preferences) to the Lord and my plans will succeed.
This doesn’t mean if I commit everything to him I won’t have challenges and trials. It does mean when I sincerely surrender all to him my heart is in the right place, my motives are pure, and I want to carry out his plans with him more than I want to do my thing on my own. After all, success in God's eyes is trusting and obeying him all along the way.
What might you be holding back from committing to the Lord?
Your Coaching Question
What's at least one step you're willing to take today to end this year and begin the next STRONG?