I’ve seen that ball drop many times in NYC. I’ve heard the song, seen the displays, and stayed up past midnight more times than I can count. I suppose through my life, there were many countdowns that I engaged in ~ not simply those with the changing of the calendar: birthdays, vacations, the arrivals of our 4 boys, etc.
As I have grown older, I do confess that I do sometimes wonder how many more of these “laps around the track” the Lord will allow me to have. Nothing morbid (in case you were wondering), but in all transparency, I believe it to be natural and responsible to reflect on past, seize the moment, and dream about what God has ahead in our future. After all, we are to be good and faithful stewards of the time God allots and so generously gives to us.
Rather than count down the years, I would rather gear up for the urgency and mission, and focus on the possibilities of the year ahead. And even more importantly is the question: How can we impact each moment for eternity?
Are you counting down or ratcheting up with the coming New Year? I’m not talking about a bunch of New Year’s resolutions — most of which won’t be around in February. I’m referring to focusing on the God-ordained urgency for your life in 2014. What is it that the Lord wants you to do for 2014? What is your highest heavenly priority for this next year?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about of haven’t thought about it that much – let me suggest a few ways to begin. We will cover it fast, quick, and in a hurry.
- First, ask! Ask this simple question, “Father, what do you want to be my focus for this next year?” The Father has promised us through Jesus to give us the Holy Spirit to help us if we will simply ask (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is one of the principle ways God leads us; guides us; and directs us (Romans 8:18; Galatians 5:18-26). In addition, Jesus gave us the A.S.K. principle — Ask, Seek, and Knock — early in His earthly ministry: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).So let’s ask!
- Second, do something very godly, but very counter-intuitive to our world today: rest! God built into our universe, at its creation, the principle of one day of REST every seven days (Genesis 2:1-2). This was made a law for the Jews and called Sabbath (Exodus 20:9-11). It is an ongoing principle we ignore at our own risk. So I encourage you to look at the principle of Sabbath rest in the Bible and set aside a day each week to reclaim as a day of rest to be with the LORD and to be with your family and friends to be blessed (Mark 6:30-32). This will require more planning, because it means you rest.Clearly for most of us (and I am speaking for myself, first), learning to rest in the Lord will take some time because we’ve been brainwashed by our culture, but this may be one of the most important things we will ever do to honor God, bless our relationships, and restore sanity to our lives.
- Third, seek Jesus (more and more). The New Testament Gospels capture and share the record of Jesus Christ: His coming, arrival, life, ministry, teaching, miracles, salvation, death, resurrection, etc.; and the 4 Gospels demonstrate how to live as His disciples. Let’s really get to know Jesus (John 1:35-39; John 5:39-40) so when we hear Him calling, we know it’s his voice. Let’s willingly, obediently, and sacrificially chose to love and serve God each day and each moment of every day ~ for His Namesake. Yes, we may be stretched and He just may call us to new levels beyond our comfort areas ~ but that is a good thing. We must simply follow His perfect will: Obedience is greater than sacrifice.
I hope this is helpful, in some way. God is able, willing, and ready to do something new, life transforming, and exciting in our lives right now and in this season. This is Who He is! So with this, Happy New Year and much joy in 2014 – may it be full of Jesus in every way!