STORY: Glad for New Things in New Year
I always get excited about new things. New babies. New contracts. New years. The very thought of new elicits the hope of positive change.
At the end of every year I spend time thinking about what God wants for me and from me in the New Year. It’s not too late for you to do that right now if you want to have a path and a plan for 2017. Sure, you’ll have surprises along the way, but you can recalculate your path when that happens.
The main thing is to make sure God is the Designer of the dream, the Originator of the outline, the Lord of the list. With just a little bit of planning, you can accomplish the goals God has for your life.
Set a realistic but challenging goal that inspires you. Make the goal big enough to stretch and excite you. Divide bigger goals into smaller steps so you aren’t overwhelmed.
Be passionate on your path with your plan! Striving toward a goal without passion is like a fire that slowly runs out of fuel to burn. Get excited; this will only work if you love what you’re doing.
Set Your DREAM Goals:
D: Does it make a DIFFERENCE in your community? (Impact and Significance)
R: Can you REACH it? (Attainable and Realistic)
E: Does it ENERGIZE you? (Passion and Giftedness)
A: Can you ANALYZE it? (Track Results)
M: Does it fit your MISSION? (Purpose and Calling)
STUDY: What Trust Brings
What’s the result of trust? Trust inspires obedience. Obedience delivers gladness.
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God. (John 8:47 NLT)
- What is a sign of belonging to God?
- And notice how the word “listen” is modified—what is the adverb that goes with it? Some might find it odd to find a way to be glad when they listen to God’s Word, because they find it hard to trust, let alone obey His Word. Glad obedience is a beautiful paradox.
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure! (Psalm 32:11 NLT)
- All who obey God are instructed to do two things, according to Part A of this verse. What are they?
- All who have pure hearts are told to do what?
The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces. (Proverbs 10:8 NLT)
- A sign of a wise person? They are ____ to be instructed.
- What happens to the fool?
But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. (Psalm 68:3 NLT)
- What are the godly (those who trust God, listen to Him, and obey Him) instructed do?
- The godly can be glad in what?
- Being glad in God’s presence progresses to the next part of the verse. What are the godly filled with?
The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. (Psalm 69:32 NLT)
- What happens when the humble see their God at work? (Notice it says their God, not just the God or a god.)
- It is wise to seek God’s help. And when they do, they can be _____________.
If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12:8 NLT)
- Paul wants us to exercise our gifts in fullness. Encouragers need to encourage, givers need to give generously. Leaders need to realize the gravity of their positions. But look what those who show kindness for others are instructed to do.
- How do you think being kind and gladness go hand in hand here?
STEPS: Walk into Your Gladness
- Get your goals from God. Ask Him to show you what goals to set, and then get specific by asking Him to show you what you can do today to get one step, however small, closer to achieving your goals. Stay focused and believe in yourself even if others do not believe in you.
- Grow with your goals. Consider new opportunities and options that come your way.
- Go a new route as needed. Revisit and evaluate your goals. Keep a record of your goals and make adjustments accordingly.
Look at it like this: Goal-setting God’s way is simply another version of “trust and obey.”
Copyright © 2017 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.