The week between Christmas and New Year’s has long been claimed territory on my calendar for goal setting. In the weeks previous, I’ve jotted down general ideas for goals for the New Year, but on this week, I prayerfully finalize these goals.
I don’t know if you’re a goal-setter or not, but consider the advantage in setting goals immediately after Christmas: Christmas reveals profound theological truths that should impact our lives on every level—including the level of how we plan for a New Year.
Consider for a moment what would happen in 2016 if you set and planned for goals like you really believe these three truths:
God Is with Us
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.—Matthew 1:23
Are you setting goals with the assumption of God’s presence? Or are you acting as if you are entering a new year alone?
Christmas reveals the profound truth that God is with us. On the first Christmas, Jesus entered our world wrapped in human flesh. And today, we who know Him as our Saviour, have the indwelling Holy Spirit.
May we never set goals as if we have to reach them in our own strength. Indeed, the arm of flesh will fail us. But the power of the Spirit never fails.
With God, Nothing Shall Be Impossible
For with God nothing shall be impossible.—Luke 1:37
Are you reaching forward by faith? Or are you planning based on predictable resources?
The virgin birth of Christ assures us that with God, nothing is impossible. May we not relegate this truth to December but carry it with us into the New Year.
God Is Sovereign and Works through Yielded Lives
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.—Luke 1:38
Are you setting goals as if you are in control of your life? Or are you making plans with a surrendered heart?
For all our goal setting and planning, we can’t control every (or most) aspects of our lives. But we can yield ourselves to the Lord with the simple words, “be it unto me according to Thy word.” We can trust that nothing will enter our lives this year without passing through the Father’s filter. And we can yield ourselves to the Father.
Goal setting for the Christian leader should be fundamentally different than goal setting for the unsaved.
We know the truths so gloriously revealed on that first Christmas over two thousand years ago.
And yes, this might be the week after Christmas. But these truths should infuse our hearts with faith, courage, and trust as we look ahead to a new year. Actually, as we live out every day of the coming year.