I don’t do traditional New Year’s resolutions. I despise them for several reasons.
1. The new year isn’t some magical Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo day that everything changes.
2. Most people forget them by January 29th.
3. Most importantly, they are pie in the sky, non-action oriented pizza dreams devoid of the leading of the Spirit of God.
That being said, we do want to make progress in our lives. But what does progress, what does success mean when you belong to Christ? This has been a thing God has really been showing me. What success, progress, dare I say growth, means in Him. I’m coming to the conclusion that progress in Him means two things that go hand in hand:
Drawing closer to Him.
By being intentional about spending time with God, you draw closer to Him. That means reading the Word. Spending time in prayer and worship. Devoting yourself to Him intentionally and daily. These are practical disciplines of the Christian life that help us draw closer to God. I had to evaluate myself and ask, “Am I closer to God this year than I was this time last year? Do I know His heart? Can I articulate His will?” These are indicators of how close you truly are to Him. You have to be honest in order to answer these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to search you and reveal to you where you truly are.
Growing in character.
This is HUGE! The Bible gives us SEVERAL measurable standards of what our character should be like as a Christian. I find that as I spend more time in God’s Word that I realize how far off the mark I’ve been. As I consider the growth and progress I want to make over this next year, this is major for me. How does my life line up in light of the word of God? Am I kind? Do I love like Christ? Am I patient? Am I a woman of my word? What about my thought life? Is it pleasing to God? Are my goals to bring Him glory or are they for selfish ambition? What am I projecting to others? What’s awesome is that the more you lean into drawing closer to Him, the more He begins to change your character. The more He reveals and the more the Holy Spirit has the opportunity to go to work on the inside of you. Making these goals is important to progress in your life and walk as a believer.
One of the biggest lessons I learned in 2017 that I’m taking with me into 2018 is what is says in Philippians 2:3, “Do NOTHING out of selfish ambition.” Most of my life has been filled with selfish ambition. Setting goals and trying to get ahead for my own sake, but I’m refocusing. Success isn’t about being more prominent, more notarized, or having several accomplishments. It’s about drawing closer to Him and about being made like Christ. Those are my goals for 2018 and forever.
What are your goals for growth in 2018? Where is God stretching you? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I really want to hear from you. Like I always say, let’s continue to grow together as we grow in Him.
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