Jul 29, 2020, 1:06 PM
Most people are enthused by the privilege of having to witness the years changing guard. The height of the excitement is visible at the point of the crossover from the old to the new. Prayers of good wishes are exchanged; broad smiles lighten up the faces; the joyous atmosphere is electric, palpable and highly contagious. Then, as the hours melt into days, the days pile up into weeks, the reality sets in. It becomes business as usual.
The momentum wanes as the fire gradually loses its warmth. From within – the will, the optimism, the plans all seem to have fizzled out. The enthusiasm has plummeted to ground zero and it would seem like we are unable to reinvent the wheel. Everything seems to ground to a halt. We are at a complete loss as to what end of the resolutions will kick life into our pipe-dreams for the year. Yet, we take life in stride as if nothing happened.
Who is to blame? Bad luck, witches and wizards – none of that unfortunately. The first culprit is self. The speed at which we expected progress would have manifested itself suddenly lost the wind out of its sail. Look no further, the Bible teaches that the arm of flesh will fail us. Was God really consulted about our plan or these were considered minor matters we could handle ourselves? In other words, to what extent was God involved in the planning of the New Year?
Most people deliberately forget that everything about this world is spiritual – there are both good and bad spirits in operation. Whilst you are working hard to plan, the devil and his cohorts are planning to undo them, or to ensure that they do not take off the ground. For this reason, and - observing the ‘first things first rule’ - you should have consulted the One whose hands hold tomorrow; the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. “Jesus, - the Same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
If Jesus is the “Way, the Truth and the Life…” (John 14:6), you cannot envisage a new way in the New Year without engaging Him. Remember for forty years He made a way for the Children of Israel through the wilderness without a compass. All those who believed in His ability to take them to the Promised Land reached their destination. Only the doubters, fell one after the other in the wilderness and died.
The grave mistake that most believers make is that they think God is too big to be involved in the minor things we seek to major in. We auto-select the areas we would assign God our Maker to deal with. Yet, God has launched an open invitation to all believers: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For anyone that asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8) It is important to note that Jesus Himself said: “Without me, you can do nothing!” (John 15:5)
Arguing from the standpoint that God is in control, we ought to delve into the Book of Life, the Holy Bible, to look for probable answers to the questions we intuitively ask ourselves. This Book was written for our benefit; so the more we consult it, the better we can address life’s issues. God instructed Joshua: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything that is written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8) The content of the Bible spans all human endeavours. It spells out what to do for our safety and protection; for provision or lack; how not to pray; what to do for our salvation; how to safeguard our health and enter into our prosperity.
Our Lord Jesus taught that to build a house, you need to sit down and work it out in your mind what the expenses would add up to. There is no room for guess work; you must be serious about such a project. The same applies to our plans for the New Year. We don’t just dump all our ideas in a basket and expect them to sprout into reality. We must be meticulous about our future plans. God who is from above can see how diligent we are towards our future plans and He would step in to help. “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
Make sure, exceptionally this year that you do not repeat the mistakes of last year – wasting loads of money trying to keep up with the Jones or procuring the latest electronic gadget. No amount of wind can bring down a house that is built on a rock and not just any ordinary rock. That Rock is Jesus – who like Mount Zion, is unshakeable. He is that Rock that Moses struck to quench the thirst of over 600.000 Israelites who left Egypt heading for the Promised Land.
Avoid having to blame yourself with ‘If I had known.’ The Bible makes it plain. It says; “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord, our God.” (Psalm 20:7) for an expected outcome.
‘The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) Another twelve months may seem a long way to travel, but the longest journey starts with the first step - in this instance, the first of January 2022. We must ensure that we have all it takes to complete this race successfully. So, let us pray for strength to persevere.