Hello and welcome back!
As many of you know, I have been under the weather (is that another lightning bolt getting ready to strike?) and passed through a murky fog throughout the Christmas holidays. I am getting past it all but still remain very weak and tire easily.
However, I am looking forward to the New Year.
Before you say,
“Here it comes. Another article casting hype about New Year’s resolutions and about doing better this year than last!”
What’s that? Did I accidently hit a nerve? I’m here to tell you that no, it won’t get better. Not just from making a resolution to do so. New Year’s Resolutions? Bah! Humbug!
Surprised? Wasn’t expecting me to say that?
Here’s the deal. Nothing changes because you write it down. Nothing. Sure, it is good to have written goals but just what is a goal? Is it a plan? Nope.
A goal is something that you wish to accomplish. A plan is a blueprint for getting that goal accomplished. So, you ask,
“Is the plan what it takes to do better in accomplishing things this year?”
I don’t care if you have a battery of assistants that you dictate goals to and formulate plans with for a month, you will not be one step closer to accomplishing even one of the goals you planned to accomplish. Was your time spent in planning a total waste then? Of course not.
“No one is happy about every little thing in their life constantly.”
Here’s another part of the deal. Most people spend either too much time planning or they don’t spend enough time on planning. What do I mean by that?
I mean, if you are an overly compulsive planner, when and where do you stop planning and start doing?
How long do you plan before you start to take action steps that the plan calls for? If you don’t plan enough, in other words, don’t get an action plan down on paper in detail – how will you know how to logically go about accomplishing it?
Where is that golden mean? That sweet spot? Where is that motivation and perseverance to accomplish your goals?
Here is the last part of the deal. If you are following Jesus, you have an advantage that those in the world who don’t are lacking in. That advantage you have is the vertical aspect. The God factor. The Bible tells us that with God, all things are possible.
It is a truism.
As true as it is, however, it is only true – don’t miss this – if what you are trying to accomplish is in the will of God for your life. In other words, it is God’s will not yours that happens. It has always been this way and it will continue to be this way. In the Garden where Jesus prayed for the cup to be removed he prayed,
“Father, not my will but yours be done!”
What is the secret for success? To know the will of God for your life and then to follow the path He sets for you. How does one discover the will of God for their lives? If you need to ask that question, perhaps you are not in the will of God for your life at the moment.
Why do I say that? I say it because if you are in God’s will for your life, you wouldn’t have to ask it. You would be in God’s perfect will already.
You might probably think,
“Zach, you don’t know a think about my life. How can you say that if I am not happy that I might be out of the will of God?”
First, I didn’t mention being happy. I said content. No one is happy about every little thing in their life constantly. But they can still be content. Content means satisfied with your life not happy over every little part of it.
I can be content in my place in God’s will and still not be happy if a dog bites me on the leg. Right?
In the beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are…” Blessed in the Greek means happily content, satisfied, and filled. This is the opposite of being hopeless and bereft. If you are feeling bereft, hopeless, and cast adrift in life, you are surely not feeling blessed, are you?
To be blessed, is to be in alignment with God’s word.
This is not to say that people who do not follow Christ do not have happiness. They do. Sometimes, they have happiness in much more abundance than a Christ follower does. This fact does not defeat the formula for being blessed by God. Happiness is temporal and fleeting.
You can be quite happy with a thing or a situation, only to become tired, bored, and just plain disillusioned with it over time. Not so with the things of God. Knowing the complete peace of Christ and to be found Him satisfies that place deep inside of you that nothing else in the universe can satisfy.
That is what being blessed accomplishes. That is what that walk in the perfect will of God accomplishes.
With this scenario, your plans will not just get shoved to the back of your desk before you can follow them to completion. When happiness fades, the intense benefit of contentment in Christ provides you with hope. Hope is born in the love that Christ has for you and the grace that God has extended to you because of what Christ did on the cross and the gift His unselfish act bestowed on you. The gift of eternal life with Him.
Jesus died for your sin. He suffered so you could have abundant life.
Your sin was paid for when you first believed upon the name of Christ for your salvation. When you confessed Him as your savior, because you could not save yourself, that is when the miracle of God’s blessings were materialized in your life. Only you can restrict those blessings.
You hamper the work of the Holy Spirit in your Christian life by falling into disobedience. To disobey God is sin. Sin separates you from God and His blessings. The answer? If you have sinned against God, repent.
Confess your sins, clear and make straight the path back into fellowship with God, and drop whatever ungodly willful thing that you are doing – and follow Christ! Confession destroys the restriction and allows the blessings to flow in your life from God once again.
That opens the door for prayer for guidance in following your god-led plan. This allows you to accomplish goals within His perfect will for your life. True life change occurs in your Christian life as you count your blessings, persevere, take the necessary steps in contentment and watch those accomplishments happen! They will happen because they glorify God, not self!
God bless you until we meet again,
QUESTION: Where are you in your relationship with God?