Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017! It's the New Year and we're very excited on starting it right! Do you have any New Year's resolutions listed down? If you do, that's great, but as a follow-up question; do you have a separate list of what you think God wants you to do this 2017? The lists should have significant crossover, and if not then perhaps a serious rethink is needed.
As we ponder over what we want to achieve through 2017, it is easy to feel confused or lost. We need to ask ourselves, what do I really need to do first? What areas of myself should I work on? What does God really want me to do?
Personally, I often feel like my efforts are lacking, and that's why I talked to me church pastor about this. I was able to narrow down my list on what God wants from me and what I needed to focus on. Here are a few of the things that came out for me that I think could help others as you ponder your New Year's resolutions and contemplate what God wants from you:
1. Be appreciative and be thankful.
God wants you to be more appreciative of what you have. That doesn't only include the good things that come your way, you also have to thank the Lord for the challenges you'll face. God wants you to be contented with what He gives you and whether you have more than what you want or less of it, you must always give thanks to Him. 1 Chronicles 16:34 says "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."
2. Trust Him with everything.
I know, sometimes you wonder if God hears your prayers or even hears you when you call to Him. The truth is, He does! You can trust God with everything. Lift up all your worries and problems to him. Even if you don't understand what's going on in your life, trust that the Lord has a plan for you. Find comfort knowing that He will never forsake and leave you. According to Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
3. Bring someone to God's light.
As Christians, it's not enough that we go to church every Sunday and be in fellowship with fellow Christians. We should also make the effort to invite other people to know more about God. Welcome anyone and everyone to church and always give an invitation to God's home. You'll never know who will be willing and ready to have God in their life. Roman 15:7 says, "Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God."
4. Be helpful.
The more blessed you are, the more helpful you should be. This doesn't mean that if you're not that wealthy, you won't be willing to give money to the needy. God wants you to be helpful to anyone, even strangers. The Bible says, "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).
5. Always do what's right.
God wants you to do what's right and good, as simple as that. You should not only hear about the scripture, but put those words to heart. Live by example and do what's right even if it means you'll suffer. Choose what's right even if it's not the easier path. In the end, God will reward you for your righteousness. 1 Peter 3:14 says, "But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened."
The start of the year may be the best time to start making a habit out of these things to do, but I just want to remind you that the spirit of God should live inside through everyday throughout the year. It shouldn't just be about the New Year's resolution hype or just because you feel like you're inspired now. It takes a lot of work to live the Word of God, but trust in yourself and in Him and always pray that you will be able to!