BEFORE YOU READ. . .
Please bear in mind this was partly written last year (2010). The tenses might make you check your calendar a couple of times. Don't worry you are in 2011 and I am also in it too :)
HOLDING ON TO THE PHOTO IPOD
I remember so well. It was the summer of 2005 and Apple had just launched their one of a kind photo iPod. I had never seen anything like it. To make you know how much I remember, The black eyed peas ( including Fergie of course. . . . The big girl who believes big girls don't cry :)) were the artiste used for it's promotion. They even had a place on it's pack. The iPod mini had been released earlier and it blew people off their feet but when the photo came up, I for one was like there was nothing like it and I didn't stop there. I affirmed to myself that there would be nothing more than it. Silly me. I stood wide eyed two years later when a friend of mine showed me the exquisite iPod touch which he just bought. It blew my imagination away. What I thought would be the best (the photo) was nothing compared to the iTouch.
But isn't that what we do most of the time. We experience something (good or bad) and we are like it just can't get any better. Now note, 'better' is a strong word. It's a step beyond our current imagination, our current scope of things. So let's settle this first about the new year, no matter how good 2010 might have rolled out for us individually, 2011 can be far better and no matter how bad it might have turned out, 2011 doesn't have to be that bad.
Friends can we explode hope in our hearts for this coming year by stretching our imagination. It's never too late for you start the journey of success. God can do! And that's just a truth. 2011 doesn't have to be dependent on 2010 in anyway. Friends we better begin to hope ( expecting something good to happen. . .that's what hope simply means!)
YOU CANT BE ON YOUR OWN THIS YEAR
The secret of finishing the coming year with smiles and a sense of success is walking through it with God. We can't decide to just do it by ourselves and in our own strength. We need God and his grace friends. If we rely on our strength and proficiency, in the long run, we would surely fail!
A story in God's message to us comes to mind. The 32nd chapter of the second book of chronicles tells of Sennacherib, king of Assyria planning to invade Jerusalem. When Hezekiah, king of Jerusalem at that time learns of his plan, he gathers his men to block the flow of water out of the city. While his men are at work, he encourages his people with this words "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us that with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is our LORD our God, to help us and to fight OUR battles". It's surprising how our 'arm of flesh' makes us more courageous. We rather believe our qualifications and talents would get us that job than to think we have God on our sides who can make all things work well in our favor not based on one thing we have done. Now note, qualifications and talent aren't bad, but to put our entire life weight on them could bring devastating results. Relying on God this coming year doesn't mean sloppiness. In fact we have an invitation to dream with the Maker of the universe.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
I have come to realize that's it not really about what God can give that determines the reality we see in our lives, it more about what we can take and handle. For this coming year, what really are our hearts desire? What's that one thing that if we got to the end of 2011 we would be sad it hasn't happened. Some wouldn't want to take the risk of expecting because of the fear of disappointment. But can we dare to be bold by asking ourselves ' what do I really want from this coming year?'. Remember.. hope (the anticipation of something good) never disappoints!
WHAT DOES GOD WANTS
One truth amazes me, where our desires and wanting ends, is where God's takes off. God has a plan for us individually for this new year if we only knew that would blow our minds away.Question- How do we get to know this wonderful plan? Answer- by communicating with him. Speaking to him and hearing him speak. This is commonly known as prayer. To get to know God's heart concerning this coming, we need to spend time with him to know what He has to say to us.
The world we live in today is a fast world. Everyone is on the move. It's easy to get lost in this 'fastness'. But like Habakuk ( one of the prophets in the bible) we can make a deliberate choice to make a deliberate connection with God. " I WILL stand my watch " he proclaims in the second chapter of the book named after him in the bible. "I WILL wait to see what God says' another translation says. Friends, we need to set time aside to hear what God has to say concerning the year throughout the year.
AND IT'S A GOAL!
Imagine the popular game of football without goalposts. The players just pass the ball on a field . . . And that is all. Can we imagine such boredom and hopelessness. The hope of each team in football is to leave the field with the highest amount of goals. Without set out goals for the coming year, a type of aimless wandering on the football fields of our lives is sure to set in.
WRITE THE VISION
Let's see what happens when our friend Habakuk makes a deliberate choice to make a deliberate connection. God shows up telling him 'Grab your pen and write I'm about to show you something' (Habakuk 2:2). Isn't it questioning that God doesn't just say 'listen attentively son', no he says ' write the vision'. Guys, there's a power in writing and not just knowing what we can see concerning this coming year.
HOW TO WRITE
Habakuk isn't just instructed to write but on how to write. The bible tells us in the second chapter of Habakuk that he was instructed to
1. Make it plain (as simple as A,B,C, no ambiguity required)
That is in setting our goals and writing the things God has placed in our hearts we have to make it plain, be specific. No ambiguity. To say 'I want to be a better person this year' is quite ambiguous. It isn't as simple as A,B,C cause it gets one wondering ' In what areas do you want to be better, a better liar?'. It has to be simple (lacking ambiguity) friends. Think of you explaining it to a five year old and him understanding :)
2. Write it in such a way that it can be read by people running by fast.
Wow! This is interesting. If our goals would be easily read by people moving by us fast then it must be written in block letters. Remember we live in a fast world with so much unaimed motion. Unaimed motion is commotion. We need to have an aim before thinking of moving this year. How can we write our goals such that the people moving fast in our fast paced world get to read it? A billboard comes to mind!
Write the vision, make it plain In block letters, then what?. . . We have to live by the goals we have set this year. We can't just write them and dump them. The people around us have to know what we stand for this year. We have to not just make it plain but also make it known. Please note, it isn't everything God has shown us we can tell just anybody. We should be wise not to give our God given pearls to swines, we might just end up having it trampled on. Look for someone who has been a source of encouragement over the years and tell them about what God has set in your heart to do concerning this coming year. Be accountable to someone about your goals. It is always wonderful to have someone who believes in the vision alongside us.
Even to those who do not believe, we have to be bold about our God given goals. We have to write them boldly not just on paper but also on our hearts. And surely when the heart is on fire, sparks would sure fly out of the mouth.
The question that surfaces in our heart (in fact even surfaced as We discussed this in a bible class somedays back) is usually what 'if my goals for the year don't come true', 'What if the dream later becomes the nightmare I stare at at the end of the year'. But the question I always like to ask is what if not, what if our dreams come true?
A GREAT YEAR AHEAD
Before I end this post, I would like to outline again our discourse thus far
- we have to come to a conclusion in our minds that no matter how the former year has been, the coming year can be better
- we need God and his grace this coming year
- what do we want this coming year
- what does God want for us this coming year ( which we can find out via prayer)
- writing down our goals for the coming year
A great year is sure ahead of us. Be blessed. :)
The King's Son
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