2017 is gone and 2018 is now here to stay. It is a time of not only reflecting on the past but also looking forward to the future. As you look ahead, the most important thing that you can do this year, a resolution if you prefer that term, is setting out to deepen your relationship with Jesus. At Christmas time we like to talk about the reason for the season but we shouldn’t talk about this just at Christmas time. It is important thing to focus on all year long.
Jesus is the most important thing there is in life and deepening our relationship with God is something we all need to focus on, day in and day out. After all, if you’re going to set out to crush your debt or work on creating a balanced budget or do any other thing that the world might view as unnecessary, crazy or even weird, your going to need Jesus. Having steady reminders of why you’re doing what your doing, aka the reason for the season, and why putting yourself through this struggle is oh so necessary.
At the end of the day, God has not only better plans for your life but He has bigger plans as well. Even before you were born, God was writing the script for your life.
For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well. My frame wasn’t hidden from you, when I was made in secret, woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my body. In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is their sum! If I would count them, they are more in number than the sand. When I wake up, I am still with you. Psalm 139:13-18
It’s also important to remember that God’s ways are better than our ways or the ways of this world. Even if His ways take longer or are harder is doesn’t matter. His ways are still always better. The world is telling you to go out and do whatever makes you happy. After all you’ve earned it and what could one time hurt or how bad could a little debt be. The lies are never ending but God is telling you to listen to Him and to trust Him. God’s ways are better, every single time. This is why your relationship with God is oh so important and it needs to be a focus for all of us this coming year. It’s about far more than just your finances, it’s about all aspects of your life.
From a financial perspective, since this is a blog about your finances, the world is filling your mind with all sorts of misconceptions and lies. It is telling you go after whatever it is you want. That house, that car, that education, that purse, that TV, whatever it may be. After all, we’ve become so sophisticated as a society that you can now leverage your financial worth to buy far more than you would have been able to without the bank and credit institutions. These are all lies, nothing but lies. Why would we ever want to put your financial stake in the world when we can put it in God? Why would we ever want to depend on the bank for our financial well being instead of Jesus? I firmly believe that most, if not all, of the financial heartache we see around us is because of our impatience and the desire to have what we want now. It seems we’ve lost or simply given up on the notion of waiting on God. Waiting for His plan, not ours, to unfold on His time, not ours, and when He destines it, not when we hastily desire it. It is a radical concept that is difficult to live out in our current fast food society but I believe living this way could send a strong message to our culture. Showing them a different way, a way that leads them right into the arms of Jesus.
My hope, my dream is that 2018 will be a cornerstone in your relationship with God. Even if you have other goals such as loosing weight or getting out of debt, these goals need to be secondary. Research shows that most of our New Years resolutions will have dissipated by February but this is one that you can’t let go of. Cling to Jesus; know that He will give you the strength to persevere in your pursuits to follow His will and to become more like Him. As excited as I am for the new year, I also can’t wait until 2019 gets here because looking back on 2018 will be awesome. It will provide yet another chance to look back at all the miracles God has done in our lives.