I've always liked that twenty-three days after the world celebrates a new calendar year, I'm blessed to close the chapter of the year before and indulge in the excitement that comes with birthdays and turning another age. Although I haven't always made the necessary adjustments in years past, especially spiritually, to become a "new me", I'm really excited about what God has in store for me in 2017. For the first time in a long time, I used the weeks leading up to my twenty-ninth birthday to reflect on my growth and accomplishments, spiritually and personally, and doing inventory on the areas of my life, like my finances, that require some adjusting. The clean slate of a new year can be both motivating and intimidating at times. I've never been big on "new year, new me" resolutions because I've never really been good at keeping the momentum I start a new year with to keep me from falling into the same patterns, habits, and lifestyles that I held tight and coodled year in and year out. That's pretty dissapointing but the good news is, there is good news!
Once I finally began to study God's word last summer, with the intent of finding myself in it, I found as a Christain, I don't have to wait until a new year to become the "new me"or even an "improved me. What was the most comforting is that I don't have to tackle these changes on my own. The word has matured me so much spiritually and that has translated to my personal growth as I closed the chapter to 2016 to embrace 2017 and my last year being a "twenty something". As I was pinning quotes on Pinterest a few weeks ago, I ran across one that I've seen many times before but hit home as I counted down the days until my birthday and wait patiently to see how God opens doors to make way for things that I've been praying about in my private time. It said "Relax and trust the timing of your life. You will figure out your career. You will find the right relationship. Your will become the person you always wanted to be. Just don't forget to appreciate who you are now" (Ruben Chavez). I literally smiled, shook my head and said "Okay God, I hear you!" Between trying to figure out whether or not I should go back to school, praying intentionally for my person of interest and God's direction on the next step we should take with our friendship, resolving to get my finances in complete order and striving to live a life of growth through grace that is not just an Instagram hashtag, I've been doing a lot of asking and not enough of standing still and trusting that God is simply that, GOD!
Seeking first the kingdom of God and His rightesouness is such an underated passage of scripture. Each year, we set out in search for new careers, relationships if we're single and life purposes. It never really hit home like it did like after rereading that quote that the benefit of seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness is that you begin to learn that you already have a purpose (to glorify God), a destiny (to abide with God in eternity as an heir with Christ) and a job (to make disciples). Through Christ, we have a new perspective on life because in Him we don't have to worry (yes, I know that's easier read than done) because in Him we find light, love and truth. Knowing His truth sets us free (John 8:31). From there, we begin to operate in God's perfect will for our lives and by being in God's will, we are guaranteed access to all of our dreams, ambitions, and heart desires through prayer and pure intentions. (John 5:14-15)
There is so much transformative power in the pages of God's word! As you prayerfully study and apply it to your life this year, the Holy Spirit will do a work in you that puts your new year resolutions and anxieties to shame. Don't get me wrong, making resolutions is great. My challenge to you this year and every one that follows is that you filter those resolutions through the Lord. It is the only way to enjoy change that is everlasting and accomplish goals that will matter this year and for years to come. My sincere prayer for you is that this is one of the greatest years of your life. If it hasn't been off to such a great start, you have a lot of 2017 left to seek God for direction, peace and joy like you've never experienced before. There is no goal, aspiration or resolution that is more valuable than the knowledge of God through genuine surrender. Knowing His will, voice character, purposes and promises give us the wisdom we need to navigate this life. Here's to a victorious new year, through Christ, and wisdom that spills into our financial, familial, romantic, career and business decisions in the days, weeks and months to come!