A Better Approach To New Year's Resolutions

Thursday, January 2, 2014

setting the goal
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

With the dawn of the new year most of us find ourselves filled with anticipation of the possibilities that lay ahead for us--the possibility of new accomplishments and new goals; the realization of unmet goals that were missed last year; the desire to do better than before. This is good because it indicates our desire to grow and mature. I love January for that very reason. I see great potential and I know that God is the God of new beginnings, but it can also bring despair for the same reason. If we are not careful, we can quickly become overwhelmed by all of the things we failed to do last year. It is good to take stock of our failings, but the challenge is to use them to drive us toward growth and maturity and not cause us to shrink back from fear of failure.

I am all in favor of New Year's resolutions and setting goals at the beginning of the year. I know from personal experience that we can get so caught up in the rush of newness that we develop a list that is so large and lofty that we set ourselves up for failure. In light of the above Psalm, I am learning a more balanced and Biblical approach. I think we would all say that we want the favor of the Lord our God to rest upon us. That is God's desire also. God's favor does not come by way of what we do or don't do. We have the right goals but the wrong approach. We tend to pray this way: "God, bless and anoint my efforts." We spend so much time asking God to bless what we are doing rather than spend that time asking Him what He is already at work doing through me. David asked God to establish the work of his hands. In other words, he is asking God to set the goals for him instead. I have found that it is so much easier to ask Him what I should do rather than trying to figure it out on my own. When we are at work doing His will, we won't have to ask for His favor or anointing because it will be automatic. God has goals for each of us and He will give us everything we need to accomplish them. When we set out to do our own agenda we will find ourselves left to ourselves and that only sets us up for failure.

This year, take a new approach and let God be the one that establishes the work of your hands. As you do this you can rest assured that the favor of the Lord your God will rest upon you. Happy New Year!

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