January has a way of “helping” people to start over. Resolutions get made and many hustle into activity trying to create a routine they hope will last. Decisions about what to put into our lives or what to take out occupy a lot of space in our minds. We are excited yet hesitant because we just want there to be lasting change that counts for something and helps us measure what we deem to be success. We run full steam ahead with so much anticipation, excitement and expectation. We feel like we can conquer anything and everything. Then…life hits and the end of the month comes. We may start to feel like we are going nowhere fast. We begin to feel tired already and we have only just begun. We may start to feel lost and we haven’t gotten that far. Did we start with God? Did we check in with God?

I often wonder why this is a regular occurrence for so many. Could it be that our passion needs to be rooted in planning? Do you think our purpose needs to be connected to preparation? Is our perspective infused by the right power source?

Passion is good. We need it to keep us going but without a plan we are not going to get very far. Our plans need God’s wisdom. We need to follow God’s directions for life so that we can be blessed and be a blessing. Psalm 32:8 tells us that God will instruct and teach us the way to go. We need to ask him and follow his lead from the very beginning. On our journey that begins each year God is waiting for us to allow him to accompany us and give us direction one step at a time, every step along the way. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:9 that in our hearts we plan but it is the Lord who establishes our steps. Our hearts are filled with passion but it is God who determines how far we are going. Our plans as Psalm 37:5 states, need to be committed to God to have success. We need to have God as our planning partner.

Passion is good. We need it to keep us going but without a plan we are not going to get very far.

God knows what it is that he calls us to and the purpose for which we have been created. Sometimes we are so excited about our purpose we get ahead of ourselves. We try to do what we have dreamed of doing without being equipped or qualified. God is certainly not going to give up on us and we do need to take time to move in his timing and ways. God calls us to great things but he often directs us one step at a time. We may have a general idea of what we are to do but the details unfold slowly and only as we learn one lesson at a time. Our life of faith involves exercising faith and following his directions one step at a time. It is not always smooth, nor is it easy but if we stick with God, we see more clearly that his purpose for us in on track and we go through preparation before it is all fulfilled. After all, as Ephesians 2 states, we are his workmanship and what he has prepared beforehand for us, he will see to it that we fulfill it. Through the ups and downs God is using everything for his glory and our good, because we are called according to his purpose as it says in Romans 8:28. There is preparation in everything and for everything. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it – Philippians 1:6. This year take time to let time do its work. The cost must be counted. God’s will must be sought out so that you can do what is good, acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2. Our minds have to be prepared for action. We must not act without our minds being on Christ. 1 Peter 1:13. I pray as John prays that we prosper as our souls prosper- 3 John 1:2. Preparation for the fulfillment of our purpose begins with our souls being right with God.

Think of Abraham or Joseph or David as a few examples of those whom God had purposed for great things yet he kept them in a place of preparation and they kept themselves connected to the right power source. Abraham must have wondered many times – how can I be the father of many nations when Sarah is not getting pregnant? Yet he had the right perspective and although he made many human mistakes along the way, he always believed God and trusted him. Romans 4:3 tells us that It was accounted to him as righteousness. We are going to make mistakes and have many moments of human error but as long as our faith is in God and not ourselves, we are bound for success and the completion of God’s promises. Joseph continued to live a life of integrity in spite of the intentions of others around him. It must have been so hard for him to be sitting in prison when he was supposed to be in power. He suffered because of the choices of others and never complained. Instead Joseph’s perspective was rooted in God saying that what was intended for evil God turned for good- Genesis 50:20. We are going to have times in this year that we pay the consequences for other people’s choices but with God on our side we can stay strong in him and move in his power- Ephesians 6:10. We can be confident that no weapon formed against us will prosper-Isaiah 54:17. David was considered a man after God’s heart Act 13:22 because in every situation he praised God, knowing that God was working out what needed to be worked out, to take him to where he needed to be. David lived a life seeking after God’s will. David was King sitting in a cave! Yet he continued to take his heart and troubles to God. These men never let go of their power source.

When we fix our eyes on God his perspective becomes our vantage point. We see as he sees and we can keep going knowing that the one who sees us and all things, is with us and for us. We can stand strong in the Lord and the power of his might as Ephesians 6 reminds us.

May our prayer this year be “show me the way I should go for to your I entrust my life”– Psalm 143:8. As Toby Mac says, “Our hope is not in the New Year but in the one who makes all things new.”