Another year is wrapping up and yay! can we just revel in that grace for a second?
Many of us are taking out the time to re-evaluate our lives and make plans for a better year which is good. Though I am a firm believer in living an intentional life all year round and not just when a new year is presented, I also know it is very important to put things in perspective in the new year. For our years, months, weeks and days are a reality of this side of eternity and even though God dwells outside time, He gave us these times to mark the brevity of our lives.
Having said that, I’ll like to help you put things in perspective this new year. So if you haven’t started thinking of how to step into the new year or you have and you still need more insight, this post is for you. This is not meant to be a list per se; since we all have specific, personal goals we want to achieve this year, me inclusive, it is just meant to be a guideline to help us put things in perspective and consider the big picture.
So, here goes ‘10 things you should be praying and planning for this new year’:
- Intimacy with God
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – For your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you. Draw me away! We will run after you. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you” (Song of Solomon 1:2-4 – NKJV)
God is calling, He is drawing us. The simple fact that you are reading this is a testimony to His drawing. He always wants to ‘corner’ us and whisper His love to us. What a good, good Father! Let this be the year you draw closer to His heart. Let this be the year you go deeper, drowned in the oceans of His presence, gazing like a drunkard on His infinite beauty; drunk on Him!
Whatever it will cost you, let it happen! Make it your priority. I’m not talking an arbitrary, “aww, me and God, we good” kind of relationship. I’m talking a flood! An immersion. A baptism of God! A taking up of all of Him: His love, grace, light, life, PERSON, his cross, his suffering! All of Him. Not a selective buffet that is actually idolatry, not a “choose-your-own-show” kind of intimacy but an intimacy so intense it chokes YOUR life, an intimacy that snuffs out your SELF, an intimacy that causes you to count all as loss for the all-surpassing glory of knowing Him. Oh, the joy! Let this be the beginning or continuation (depending on your level of walk) of your journey into God. Choose this and all other goals you have for the year will follow this pattern.
Truth is, this is what this whole post is about but since I kind of like you and I want you to stay longer, you should keep reading 🙂
- Investing in the Word
“And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love. My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, Which I love, And I will meditate on Your statutes.” (Psalms 119:47-48 – NKJV)
Marry the Bible this year. This is a truth that cannot be overstated. Immerse yourself in the word, meditate on it, let it direct your thoughts and actions, let it steer you, soak up His eternal words and let the knowledge of the Holy change you from the inside out. I don’t know how much of the Bible you’re studying now or if you’ve even started at all but whatever level you are, the good news is, there is always room for you. Draft out a study and reading plan and trust His grace to follow through, pray for an unraveling of His simple truth, His eternal mysteries and purpose.
- Growth in the fruit of the Spirit
“When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” (John 15:8 – NLT)
Abide in me, Jesus said, and you will bear much fruit. See why intimacy with God had to come first? There are no two ways about it, staying close to Jesus is the antidote to every imperfection, every flaw that messes up our becoming-like-Jesus game. This year, consciously watch your growth in the fruit of the Spirit.
- Divine Speed and Grace
“Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.” (John 6:21 – NIV)
Y’all! Seasons are changing! The Heavens are shifting! We are at the brink of a great appearing; the days are fast rolling up like a garment. THERE IS NO TIME! And yet there is SOO MUCH to become, so much to do! I was thinking about this and I realized that we need God’s speed and grace more than EVER! If you are not praying for this, I don’t know how you will survive. Have you thought about the distance between where you are now and perfection? Doesn’t it overwhelm you? Doesn’t it make it clear how much grace you need?
The disciples had gone far ahead of Jesus but he was able to catch up with them, WHY? Because He had spent the night in God’s presence. That is the secret. THE PRESENCE. And even when Jesus met up with them, the Bible says they allowed Him into their boat and IMMEDIATELY they got to the shore! What grace! What speed! I want that.
“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28 – NIV)
Someone said consistency is what makes any word you think of better and effective. And I couldn’t agree more. Lack of consistency is the bane of our lives. Anyone can do great stuff at “high” moments but it takes consistency to actually make a mark. God would rather have us do small things consistently than do great stuff occasionally. This is what differentiates great people from ordinary humans. So, whatever you do this year, make sure you pray for and work at consistency.
- More meaningful, love filled relationships
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 – NIV)
We are relational beings; no one is an island they say. And I am a firm believer that God carefully orchestrates every relationship to make us more like Him. So make building meaningful, love-filled relationships a goal, invest in them and allow these interactions stretch and pull you to the best God wants you to be.
- Holy Ghost Boldness
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 – KJV)
It takes courage to do God’s will. It takes boldness to step out in faith and obedience while defying the old order of flesh, sin and the world. You have to be courageous to do anything that will be against what your flesh is accustomed to. And I believe strongly that a lot of us will be needing that this year and in fact all our lives. So yeah, seek Holy Ghost boldness.
- More opportunities to be a witness
“Now when I arrived at Troas [to preach] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, a door of opportunity was opened for me in the Lord,” (2 Corinthians 2:12 – AMP)
Did you notice how I said “to be a witness” and not “to witness”? So you’re thinking, “what’s the difference?” It’s huge. Well, for starters, you can witness and not be a witness. Being a witness is a lifestyle of influence and consequently, you cannot be a witness and not witness. This year, pray and work towards being a witness, an ambassador for the kingdom, a spiritual catalyst, an arrow in the hand of God, a bomb in the tents of darkness. Seek for INFLUENCE, ask that God places you in strategic positions to dispense His righteous will; that He helps you take advantage of EVERY opportunity and opening, big and small, to spread His love and light.
- Stirring up and manifestation of Spiritual gifts
” For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,” (2 Timothy 1:6 – ESV)
Spiritual gifts are a confirmation of the message of salvation (Hebrews 2:4) and are for the edification of the church. You cannot be an effective witness or effectively walk in divine purpose without these gifts. Ask God to stir up these gifts in you and deliberately position yourself in such a way to cause these gifts to manifest.
- Financial Freedom
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5 – ESV)
Honestly, you cannot be of much use to yourself and your generation when you are always broke so yeah, more financial freedom 🙂
I’m so grateful for the grace God poured out this year. There was so much ‘breaking forth’ and a lot of confirmations came that made me see God in a whole new light. But there is more. We’re pushing for more because God is just inexhaustible.
Have a God-filled year!