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It’s a new year, and what’s the hot topic on everyone’s minds? Resolutions, of course! What are you going to do this year? How will you rock it? What will change and what will you develop more of?
Resolutions get a bad rap, because they so often fizzle out so fast. While God gives us a new start every day, every minute if we need it, I also believe that sometimes a push to re-evaluate can make a huge difference.
But how often do I go about making big plans without any part of me considering God in the mix? The hype is real, guys. I can get caught up in all the excitement, set my goals, and not make Jesus Lord over them.
What happens when I remove God from the equation? (When he should be the one writing it?) I either burn out fast, which happens often. Or the opposite – I catch the wave, feel the success, and not realize I’ve drifted until I feel completely disconnected from God.
Proverbs 10:4 (NIV) says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts, there is no room for God.” (That doesn’t count as one of the 10 verses by the way. That one is a freebie.) It convicts my heart, because that’s exactly what happens when I go about my ambition without him.
The Bible gives so much wisdom about making plans. And I really believe it’s because God knows our tendency to rely on ourselves and drift. Here are some verses to help when you’re considering your plans this new year.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 NIV
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble on its own.” – Matthew 6:31-34 NIV
- A friend and I had a conversation about this recently, and we came to this conclusion: that the Bible doesn’t tell us not to plan or think ahead. It doesn’t tell us to be foolish and hope it all just falls into place. Instead, it tells us to worship and seek God first, not making an idol out of our ambitions or our worries. Any thoughts on this scripture? I’d love to hear more input!
“Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.” – Proverbs 20:18 NIV
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It has no fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV
- This verse speaks to me because it encourages me to stay steady in my relationship with God. I can want to make huge changes in anticipation of the new year. But a consistent walk brings confidence that can weather storms and stays fresh through all seasons.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both you and us stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit into our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 NIV
- Our future is uncertain to us, but not to our God. We can depend on him to be faithful, and we have the Spirit that guarantees the good that is coming.
“…Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6 NIV
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3 NIV
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” – Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
What scriptures or promises help you when you’re planning? Do you tend towards over-excitement or anxiety when you think about the future?
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