Happy New Year! Two calendar years have met and passed the baton as we pause to reflect on what worked from the year before and what didn’t. We also set goals for healthier routines that will enable us to be better versions of ourselves. Of course, it’s all a little arbitrary because nothing really changed, yet God’s grace for us includes seasons encouraging reflection and personal growth.
While we’re still in the midst of these resolution plans, I want to remind you not to plan without factoring in God. This seems obvious, but how often do we need to remember this!? First and foremost, we do not know what tomorrow holds, so hold all your plans loosely. Second, God says we don’t have because we don’t ask (James 4:2-3). Ask the One who controls all things and gives good gifts to help you grow in the likeness of Christ, one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). That’s the tomorrow we should all be desiring, regardless of what those circumstances may look like. And yes, I mean good gifts according to what God deems good for us.
Look around us: There is so much striving, and this time of year, we relish in it. But it’s God’s Word that reminds us beautifully of the infinite list of things He oversees. (Spoiler alert, none of the overseeing involves you or me!) Here are just a few mentioned in Psalm 147:
He covers the heavens with clouds; He prepares rain for the earth; He makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. Psalm 147: 8-9; ESV
In the sentence that follows in this Psalm, God turns his attention on us and what He delights in:
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor His pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love. Psalm 147: 10-11; ESV
God doesn’t require perfection from you. He doesn’t delight in our so-called strengths or abilities. He doesn’t require you to lose weight, make more money, change careers, add to your education, or anything else! He has done all things, and in return, He wants your praise, your worship, and your heart.
We must also not forget during the busyness of our days that how we look to God — that we look to God — matters.
To you, I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. Psalm 123:1-2; ESV
Friends, we must see Him for who He is to remember who we are and live truly meaningful lives. God’s desire for us is His grace to us! So, if you’re toiling away frustrated in your flesh, look up! Dive headlong into His precious Word and breathe deep in His truths. This year, instead of striving in your flesh, abide and let God change your life from the inside out.