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New Year’s Day – Pixabay-Fiete Becher

by Gustav Krös

The start of a new year is synonymous with New Year’s resolutions. People like to make use of the occasion to break with unhelpful habits of the previous year. Most of the time, these resolutions revolve around a person’s health. They are going to lose weight, eat healthier, eat less, exercise more, or a combination of these goals. Some people want to learn a new skill, learn to play a musical instrument, do a short course in something, or maybe even study something new. Other people want to make time to read more books, travel more, or spend more time with family and friends. In the end, all these New Year’s resolutions are put in place by an individual because he/she believes it will be to their benefit. A person believes it will make them healthier, smarter, better, happier, or more fulfilled.

As Christians, however, we are told in Matthew 6:33: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Therefore, I do believe that if you are going to make any New Year’s resolutions this year, even if only one, then this principle of seeking God’s Kingdom and righteousness first also applies to it. This will influence your New Year’s resolutions in two ways. Firstly, it will require you to put your own agenda aside and seek God’s Kingdom first.

Since New Year’s resolutions are always meant to have a positive impact, the question, then, is how are you going to make a positive impact on God’s Kingdom this year? The key to this lies within the seeking. To actually seek God’s guidance within this through prayer.

God wants to use each one of us in His Kingdom advancement, but He doesn’t force it on us. We need to seek, we need to knock on the door, and we need to ask (Luke 11:1-13). So, may we approach God with sincere hearts and ask Him where He wants to use us within His Kingdom in this new year. Maybe He wants you to become more active in your congregation or your community, to be salt and light in a more active way where He has already placed you. Or perhaps He wants to use you to disciple a friend, colleague, or family member. Seek the Lord’s will in this and ask Him to give you the name of the person He wants you to disciple. Then start praying for that person and ask the Lord to prepare his/her heart before approaching them and asking whether they would like to enter a discipleship relationship with you.

At the same time, we also need to acknowledge that even if I am discipling someone else, I am also in need of a mentor or accountability partner in my life, regardless of how old I am. Thus, you can also ask the Lord whether there is someone He specifically wants to use to build into your life to produce new spiritual growth. So, in a similar way, ask the Lord to give you the name of the person He wants to use to promote growth in your life for this year or season in which you find yourself.

There is so much God wants to share with us and show us; like introducing us to our Spiritual family from another culture or country. It might just be that the Lord wants you to go on your first short-term missions outreach this year. This is what occurred in my life in January 2007, when I felt the Lord telling me that I should get involved in missions. By the end of January that year, I had already connected with a missions organisation, and later that year I went on my first missions exposure trip to a persecuted country. Today, 15 years later, I am working full-time in missions, but it started with a New Year’s resolution.

The Lord knows what He wants for you in the season in which you currently find yourself and for the new year that lies ahead. Maybe He wants you to get up 30 minutes or an hour earlier every morning so that you can spend more time with Him before you start your daily routine. Since you have the privilege of standing in a personal relationship with Him, you can be sure that there is something unique He wants to share with you, because He always has more to share.

The second way this action will influence your New Year’s resolutions is that it opens the door for the Lord to speak into your personal resolutions. After you have received clarity on your Kingdom resolutions for 2022, you can simply continue seeking the Lord’s will for your personal resolutions. Since He knows you better than you know yourself, He is able to reveal lifestyle changes that will be to your benefit that you might not be able to see yourself. In this way, you will be living a truly surrendered life in Christ, by giving Him the authority to speak into all areas of your life.

If we are able to start our new year in this way, may we carry it through the entire year by seeking His Kingdom first every day of 2022.




Image: Pixabay/Fiete Becher


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