Let’s face it, New Year’s Resolutions can become bipolar. January 1st we start with dreams of grandiose proportions; lose 100 pounds, sail the Pacific Ocean, run a 26 mile marathon.
Then, a few months, weeks, or maybe even days later, we crash; sink into the hollowest pit of despair, wondering why we failed, beat ourselves up, or stuff our face with chocolate, replacing the treadmill for binge watching Netflix or the Hulu channel.
But, God never intended for us to be enslaved by a rollercoaster of emotions; captive to the grandiosity of our own expectations, just to leave us sinking into the depths of despair.
He calls our feet to be planted firm, on the rock of His intentions, following the narrow path, and trusting His Spirit will lead us, awakening new life in our hearts, not just one goal at a time throughout the entire year….
He calls us to live life filled, not with grandiose, self-appointed expectations, but more often through thousands of faithful steps. Every. Single. day.
And as the calendar turns, I confess, I am guilty of feeling condemned, evaluating everywhere I fell short the previous year. Still, His grace is sufficient, and this year I long to strip my mind from self-depraved thinking, asking for His truth and New Life to fill me.
This year, I race into the coming year, not with my own plans and purposes, but His call to my spirit leading the way, His voice my road map, His goals my faithful focus, and lastly, His call the direction I obediently trust from the quiet corners of my home and heart.
What I find refreshing is, throughout Scripture Christ and the disciples got a lot done. However, I never once see them laboring extensively, or sitting in guilt and turmoil for extensive periods of time.
The disciples knew rest in their inner being, because they could trust, God’s Spirit was with them.
Yes, there was joy and healing, hardships and a road map taking them to their own personal Jerusalem’s….but all in all their position seemed clear, their goal to “lay down their lives” seemed first and foremost after submitting to the Good Shepherd’s leading.
And I wonder, do I make “mapping out my life” way too complicated at times? Do I labor over every decision, try so hard to be a “Good Steward” in this ministry or that? When, what if Jesus want’s His voice to be our sole direction, His carefully planted footsteps the only path we follow?
What if, my decisions and goals (Although maybe fine and good) are just a distraction to the primary cause of loving God and people, sharing His gospel, and living solely for His glory alone?
We are the information age. Still, I wonder, did the original disciples have it easier with just dirt paths, muddied sandals, eye witnesses and verbal testimonies of the glorious things He had done?
Do we complicate the gospel? Our mission? This call to live our one life well? Have we deluded the simple, primary message of Him at the center of everything we do?
This year, I don’t have a long list of elaborate goals. I probably won’t lose 100 pounds, sail the seas, or run any type of marathon…
But, what I do hope is that I sense Him as I sing over babies, feel Him as I wet my hands in soapy dishes, invite Him near as I fold laundry and make sure my little ones have their shoes on the right feet as they aimlessly leap out the door.
Yes, I long to do great things for God, like you probably do as well. But mostly? I want to walk with Him closely, intimately, personally here and now, in the quiet moments nobody sees….
And here, in my unseen obedience…maybe I can live missionally more than I might have if I listed a thousand hopes and achievements…but never accomplished one.
How is God calling you to abide, and draw more near and intimate to Him in the year to come?
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.