Easy Steps for Setting Godly Resolutions for the New Year
As I write this last blog of 2022, it is Christmas day, seven days are left before the new year, and my brother is dying. This year has been a year of grief and the fifth year of walking in a valley. As I peer into what 2023 will bring, I know the goodness of the Lord is in this place, and God goes with me.
2023 will be a year of monumental change for me and my family. I will finish settling my mom's estate, as my brother can no longer complete it, my son will learn to drive a car, my second book will be published, I will be a contributor to a devotional book, I will be the last one left of my original family unit, and another significant life change or two are coming, but more about them at another time. As I have written before, I see the light at the end of this dark tunnel I have been walking through, and sometime in 2023, I will be on the other side. God has been working overtime in my life for years, and all is well.
As the current year began, God spoke a word over me: "Hope." It is a word I have carried with me every day and thought about often as I never had a word before to guide my year. This word has been a blessing and a continuous reminder: all is well. No matter what a day holds, whether joy, sorrow, or pain, all is well, and there is always hope. I thank God for giving me this word to guide my year.
As I look to 2023, I will intentionally seek out God's will and what the word is for this year. Surprisingly, it was only this year I learned many Christians seek out God and His word gift for their year. If you have never had a word guide your year, I will encourage you to spend time with God and seek what word God wants to speak over you for the year ahead.
With this in mind, why don't we set a new year's resolution to grow deeper in our walk with God? Let's make God our focus and our goal to reach. Yes, getting in shape, losing weight, drinking less, showing more gratitude, and choosing joy are great resolutions and should also be pursued. However, what if we take the worldly resolutions we make and change them as a means where we can bring God more glory? For example, maybe a person wants to lose weight as their change for the year. How about changing this to: My body was created by God as a temple; I choose to lose weight to honor the gift of life He has given me. Drop a God lens on your new year's resolutions and intentions. Be wild and crazy and filter your goal through one of the fruits of the spirit.
I will honor God by showing self-control with my speech.
My new year's resolution is to look for joy in all circumstances, as the joy of the Lord is my strength.
I will show self-control and honor God by drinking less.
I will commit to acts of goodness and kindness this year.
I will get in shape by walking daily and looking for God's hidden manna in nature.
Another idea for your new year is to set reminders in your phone which pop up bible verses each day. This can help remind you to pause and focus on God and His word throughout the day. For me, these are special verses which have spoken to me and bring me hope. Here is what popped up just now while I was writing:
This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’ —the coyotes and the buzzards— Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sunbaked earth, drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me. Isaiah 43:16-21 (MSG)
God is speaking a message to us all as we enter the new year. Let go and embrace what God is doing. Envelop this new year's resolution with God, and let us praise Him through our intentions and actions. I pray for all of you that you will pursue a life of righteousness for God's glory next year. And when I know what word God has spoken over me for next year, I will share it with you. Many blessings to you and your family and friends. See you again in 2023.
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