Have you made any New Year resolutions yet? At this time of year when social pressures usually feel less in terms of work and our children’s schooling etc, we often set some pretty hairy, audacious goals for ourselves; many of which we will not achieve. However, it’s good to set goals. Motivated people get things done. But when you set your goals, make sure that they are achievable. Also, make sure that you pray to God about your ideas, as they may not be what God wants you to do.
The first thing that Jesus did in His public ministry around the age of 30 was to be baptised. The Holy Spirit then “descended on Him in bodily form like a dove” (Luke 3:22), empowering Him for ministry. There’s no point in us setting goals in our own strength and then expecting God to help us achieve them. We don’t serve a McDonald’s god. Jesus sought first to follow the promptings of the Father and receive a baptism of repentance by John the Baptist, even though He was sinless and did not need to. Christ’s baptism was an act of obedience to the Father, and service to humanity, revealing to us the right way. Perhaps this year, if you are already water- baptised, you need to ask God to baptise you again in the Holy Spirit.
Making goals for ourselves when we are spiritually dry is a dangerous place to be. We will listen to the wrong voice. First, seek God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and then set goals for the year, with the Holy Spirit guiding you all the way. Living a godly purpose-driven life means that your goals will be a joy to work towards because they won’t all be about yourself and your personal aspirations. Loving God and loving your neighbour as part of your goals will put a skip back in your step.
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