A new year is here and everywhere we look we see references to resolutions and goals. At our core, we yearn for the purpose for which God has wired us. We want to embrace the year ahead as one of making strides toward living out our greatest purpose.
Setting goals is critical, resolutions can be good, and a one word of focus is inspiring!
But there is something more. More to the setting and seeking of goals. Something I believe needs to go hand-in-hand with it.
Make me aware
So then let us not sleep [in spiritual indifference] as the rest [of the world does], but let us keep wide awake [alert and cautious] and let us be sober [self-controlled, calm, and wise]. – 1 Thessalonians 5:6 AMP
I think sometimes in the pursuit of our purpose, our inwardly directed focus has the potential to derail us. Causing us to miss the wide-open doors God has awaiting us.
We get trapped in a tunnel. The only object that catches our attention is the light at the end.
Surrounding most tunnels is a whole world of adventure and need. But we miss it. We miss potential and we miss unique appointments arranged by the ultimate Storyteller and Map Maker.
Setting goals and pursuing purpose is a good thing. It is a strength to be admired. But, the enemy loves to use our strengths as a thorn. So we need to be aware.
The evidence of unawareness has been unavoidable lately. Sweet hurting friends with many around them, but only few who are aware of the hurt. Keeping conversations at the surface, no questions are asked and no insight into the condition of their hearts are made.
Our Christian circles are surely not immune. No one is.
I don’t think it is an unusual scenario. It is more common than we want to believe. Even in ourselves.
Have we become a society that intensely pushes forward, yearning so deeply for purpose that ironically we miss the very purpose we are searching for?
Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’ Don’t you remember anything at all? – Mark 8:17-18 NLT
Our purpose might just be the people God has placed along our path. They are our preparation for the next leg of the journey.
What if they are the doorway out to our paths of purpose?
What if our greatest ministry results from the moments we spend listening to a friend who is losing hope?
Distracting? Of course.
Designed by the ultimate Map Maker? Without a doubt.
So this year, I want to ask myself. Do I shut doors God has opened for me by clinging to the safety of my tunnel?
Is it my fear that keeps me unaware, therefore turning my back on the next opportunity?
Or might it be my busyness that causes me to miss the look of pain in the eyes of another?
Maybe it’s all about my selfishness. That’s a hard truth to swallow, but am I so absorbed with my own goal that I cannot recognize a discouraged soul needing an encouraging word?
I want to ask myself those questions and then I want to pray.
Please, God, make me aware.
Aware of each open door. Aware of each life, each direction You want to send me because I know my goals can never be as great as Yours. I must not have such a tight grip on my goals that my hands are incapable of receiving Your blessings.
Then I’ll plunge into 2016. Armed with prayer, one hand ready with goals, and the other open to God’s will. Prepared for distraction, prepared for blessing, prepared for reaching in. With fear aside and eyes wide open, taking in each moment God has put before me.
I don’t want to miss the moments filled with opportunities, open doors, or pathways. The very best pathway … His pathway.
Because each of those moments boldly point to the glory of our God. The God Who loves us more than we can fathom. The God Who forgives us and relentlessly pursues us. The God Who deeply yearns to design an extraordinary journey for each and every one of us.
I am so excited and thankful for the year ahead. I believe in God’s goodness and all His promises for all of us! As you plunge into 2016, I pray you are empowered to pursue your goals with an awareness that doesn’t shut any of God’s open doors! I’d love it if you decided to walk alongside me this year! God used each of you in unique ways to bless me immensely last year, I cannot even imagine what He has in store this year! If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up to have each post delivered directly to your email inbox. I love knowing who is with me on this journey!!
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