I am not much into making New Year’s resolutions. My tendency toward perfectionism defeats me the first time I make a misstep, so five days into my resolutions they are usually swept under the rug only to come out periodically to accuse me. That just doesn’t work for me.
I do, however, make goals. Knowing that it is only by God’s grace that I can accomplish anything, I ask Him to help me set these goals. I found my 2020 goals in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 10:22-24 – Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works.
In these verses I see my three goals for this new year.
Goal 1: Draw near to God.
God has established my relationship with Him through the sacrifice of His Son. He has redeemed me and washed me clean from my sin. He desires my fellowship.
This year I want to draw near to God. How can I do this? Just so you know, there are libraries of books on this subject. I am just going to refer to a few verses that give me guidance.
- First, I need to seek Him. Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. I think of seeking God as wanting to get to know Him. When I want to get to know a person, I spend time with her. I invite her to have a cup of coffee or go somewhere. I share my life. Seeking God is inviting Him into every area of my life, good or bad. It is spending time talking with Him and listening to Him. It is learning His language in His word. It is knowing Him.
- Then, I need to trust Him. Psalm 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. If I want to be near to God, I must trust His character. He is a good, good Father. He desires what is best for me. No matter what circumstances appear during this year, I can trust Him to bring me through them.
- Finally, I need to obey Him. Zephaniah 3:2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God. James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Obedience is how I live out my faith and trust in God. I learn what God wants me to be and do by reading and studying His word. Spending time in His word as I ask Him to help me understand is one way that I fellowship with Him.
There are many activities and passions that will call me to draw near this year. I want to make sure that my first priority is drawing near to my Heavenly Father.
Goal 2: Hold fast.
This is a slippery world, and it is easy to become engaged with any number of distractions allowing my passion for Christ to be sidelined. This year I want to hold fast to my faith in Him and my commitment to Him.
- I want to hold fast to Him during trials. Job 27:6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. Job knew what it was to be tried and tested, and yet he held fast to his faith in God. He would not be moved from his commitment to follow God.
- I want to hold fast to Him when faced with distractions. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. There are many things that I can cling to – possessions, ideas, family, friends. I want to be sure that I am clinging to the things that are good in God’s sight.
- I want to hold fast to His word when faced with false teaching and false actions. 2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. I live in a world of words, but many of them are not sound (truthful) words. I want to tune my ears to focus on the words of faith and love that are found in Christ Jesus. Paul knew the dangers of giving ear to false teaching, so he warned Timothy and Titus to hold fast to the truth of God’s word. That warning is one I want to heed as well.
Goal 3: Consider one another.
Hebrews 10:24 specifically instructs me to think about others and encourage them to love and good works, so this year I want to be an encourager. I am asking God to help me be a noticer who focuses on building up His children.
- I want to focus on edification. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. I love the word ‘edify’. We don’t use it much in today’s language, but it simply means to encourage or build up, strengthen. In this world where negativity and criticism reign, I want to be one who focuses on the good and uses it to encourage.
- I want to be kind. Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. I Peter 1: 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. Kindness speaks for itself. When I can be nothing else, I can be kind.
Three goals – Draw near to God; Hold fast; Consider one another. They don’t seem very complicated, but they encompass all of my life. With God’s help I will make progress in these areas this year.
I’m working toward these goals right now, so I encourage you to set some goals and draw near to the Father. He is worth knowing.
Happy New Year!