Stepping into the Unknown
I have never been good at setting New Year’s resolutions.
In almost every New Year’s Eve service I’ve attended, I’ve been asked to write down my goals for the next 12 months. I usually write whatever comes to my mind in that moment. I guess I do that because I know I won’t follow up with them, and the piece of paper I write them down on will soon be lost or thrown away.
But this year is different. I have always been one to “be in control,” and this time around I am not. By the end of 2020, my family will have gone through quite a few transitions, which could affect our boys’ schooling, our family finances, and possibly my job. Not knowing what God has in store for us is nerve wrecking. Anxiety seems to be trying to get a hold of me. It’s a bit scary.
But God knows where I am at right now. He has been faithful to encourage and instruct me.
Last Sunday, my pastor spoke about setting goals—even when we don’t know what the future holds, asking “If God were to reveal all His plans for us, where would our dependence on Him be?” He used Abraham as an example. Without any hint of what was to come, Abraham left the comfort of his home in obedience to God’s commands.
God reserves the right to determine how much we need to know about what will happen in our lives. What He asks of us, just like He did with Abraham, is that we retain a posture of obedience. Even when the results are not what we expect, or things do not go our way, the Word encourages us to remain faithful to God—whether we like the plan He’s traced out for us or not.
A Passage to Consider
My pastor also shared from Philippians 3:13–14, “. . . I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
He mentioned three things from these verses that we should consider when setting goals for this year:
- “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.” In other words, don’t remain at a standstill. There is always something new to learn, as 2 Peter 3:18 says, “. . . grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
- “. . . straining toward what is ahead . . .” We should be open to changes. We will not always be right; our ideas will not always be the best. We know that Jesus never changes and that our convictions do not need to be compromised. But life strategies can change. There are always new ways of doing things. Jethro advised Moses that if he continued doing things the same way, he would be in trouble (see Exodus 18). We must be open to change and remain humble.
- “I press on toward the goal . . .” We need to live life with a purpose. We must have objectives and goals in life while living here on earth—God does have purposes for our lives.
So, here’s my goal for this next year. I resolve to remain faithful to our Lord as I step into the unknown, knowing that what He has in store for me has a greater purpose—to glorify His precious name!