There is something nostalgic and sad to say goodbye to another year, yet hopeful in a fresh start with a clean slate. God is so good to give us do-overs. We get new days, new seasons, and new years, not as guarantees, but opportunities. As we close 2008, I have spent some time reflecting on a lot that’s gone right and a lot I’d like to change. I know I can do all things with Christ, so I start with spiritual goals and trust that He will take care of the rest. No more “lose 10 pounds” or “exercise every day” on the list. When I start with God, it seems everything falls into place.
I found this on setting spiritual goals in a book called Knowing and Loving the Bible, by Catherine Martin. I hope it helps you to think about what goals you’d like for your lives in 2009. Have a most blessed New Year.
“Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Cor. 9:24
- Write a spiritual goal for the year-the one thing you would like to see happen spiritually in your life.
- Choose a verse for the year that will form the foundation for your goal.
- Choose a word for the year that is descriptive of your goal and verse and that you can meditate on all year long.
This process of spiritual inventory and spiritual response has been invaluable to me as I have come to know God more and more in recent trials. Over the last few years, as I have spent much time in the Word and I saw so many powerful truths about God, I realized that I needed to trust God more. I realized that I worried a great dea, but God certainly was not worried. I thought, If God is who I know Him to be, and the Word is true, why am I anxious and worried? Then, during that time, my mother suffered a terrible accident, and I spent many days and nights taking care of her to help get her well. I prayed, Lord I want to trust You more. And so I chose the word trust for the year. Then I chose the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Then, I set my spiritual goal for the year to trust God completely in all circumstances. Every day I thought of the word trust, and one day in my quiet time, the Lord gave me an acrostic for the word: Total Reliance Under Stress and Trial.
God is everywhere in the Bible, revealing Himself to you. He wants to show you Himself. He wants to speak to you about what He is doing in your life. He wants to let you know how He operates, and how He works in circumstances. He wants to reveal to you His desires for you as one of His own-the things that please Him, the kinds of qualities He wants to build in your life. When you see God face to face, the vision leads to transformation, causing a response in your own heart. Once you catch a glimpse of His face, you will never be the same. Moses removed his shoes when he saw the burning bush because he was on holy ground. And you, too, will worship.” (pp.192-193)
My word for the year is contentment. I want to be content in all things and not dwell on negativity. I plan to learn two verses a month on contentment and focus on them. My first verse is 1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” I can’t wait to see what God’s Word will do in our lives this year. Will you ask God to give you a word and a verse for 2009? Let us encourage each other to finish the race well.