What is in God’s heart for your year?
Are you excited about your goals for 2020?
Did you write them down with a mindset that embraces Jeremiah 29:11 NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This is God’s heart for you.
And I hope Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV influenced your goals too.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
God is trustworthy!
When we know the nature of God’s heart, then we begin to really trust His wisdom and love.
That’s one reason worship is so important. Worship takes us into God’s presence where we discover God’s heart. God has good plans for your 2020. Some of them are already throbbing in your heart.
Wow! In God’s Heart!
Isn’t that a wonderful thought to think that this year could be the year that we accomplish those goals and even dreams that not only are in your heart, but are in God’s heart for you.
I know, I know we’ve stood here before…hopeful…dreamy eyed…imagining and envisioning what that could really look like…
without ANY warning reality slaps us across the face.
Has reality ever slapped you in the face?
Did you reel in shock and rub your throbbing face while reality screamed at you; You’re crazy! Do you really think you can have your best year ever in this political upheaval…in your financial situation…with your family…with your job…in your predicament! Have you lost your mind? You did the same thing last year and how did that work out for you?”
Maybe reality isn’t that brutal with you…I hope not! But if is, your first goal should be to change how you think.
What beliefs and thoughts do you have that will stop you from reaching your goal?
I’ve asked God to show me limiting beliefs, lies actually, that are hindering me from achieving what I believe is on God’s heart for me. I’ve gotten some promises that I’ve tucked right into my goals and desires for this year. Promises that will keep me from getting derailed.
For Joshua it wasn’t a new year that challenged him; it was a new responsibility. Moses had died and now Joshua was Israel’s leader. It was time to possess God’s 440 year old promise. Can you imagine the magnitude of what this would mean to actually possess this promise, this sounds like a best year EVER scenario to me…no more wandering in the wilderness; but it also included a whole new set of challenges.
One challenge would be food; there would be no more manna! I can’t help but wonder if the reality of the scope of Joshua’s new responsibility screamed at him. But look at what God said to him.
Let’s look at Joshua1: 2 NLT
“Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.
The ESV is even clearer “arise, go over this Jordan.” He had been here before; remember? Under Moses’ leadership, before their 40 years of wandering? They had a role to play in receiving God’s promise and so do you! Don’t expect to receive God’s promise if you’re not willing to do something.
Get up. Get off that couch!
3I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you—
4from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’
5No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
6“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.
God is with you!
Jesus has given you that same promise tucked into the great commission in Matthew 28:19,20. He promised he would be with you always. You can be courageous and strong because He is with you. There are things He wants you to do this year, things that you can do as you step out in faith.This is huge. Almighty God that made the earth and all it’s fullness is with you.
Don’t compartmentalize your life.
Your spiritual health, your faith, your walk with God flows into everything you do. 3 John 1:2 NKJ shows us that reality.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
Just as your soul prospers…when you look that up in the concordance it means “according to the manner in which… or just as…in the degree that.
Let’s look at that verse again and emphasis the meaning we just looked at. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, to the degree that or according to the manner in which your soul prospers. (I put the concordance info there.)
Nourishing your spirit, feeding your spirit, developing your faith and learning to receive God’s power and strength flows into every part of your life. Let your life bring glory to God–the way you work, drive your car, bargain shop…the way your raise you children bring glory to God. Let everything you do honor God.
Look at Matthew 5:16 NIV “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The word deeds here includes employment, work, task, but the definition I love best from Strongs Concordance is that deeds means “action that carries out or completes an inner desire or purpose.”
That sure sounds like a goal to me. The completion of the goal that is in your heart may be the answer to someone’s prayer.
There’s more good stuff in what God had to say.
Verse 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
You need a strategy.
Movement was not enough, they did what God said to do; obedience was critical.
There are times when God’s leading is very clear. For instance giving the tithe, the first fruits is an act of obedience that opens the windows of blessing over your finances. Or forgiveness that is a non negotiable with God.
There are principles that when we obey them, they open the door for us to walk in the blessings of God. I want to be sure I am clear here, there is nothing you can do that will keep God from loving you, but there are things you can do AND things that you can fail to do that will rob you of the blessings of God and stop you from reaching good goals.
That’s why verse 7 is so important…and I want you to hear these verses as if God were speaking them to you, cause I believe He is speaking to you through Scripture.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.
8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
When you don’t find a clear strategy in God’s Word, then you have to look for it.
I have a friend that decided to get healthy. He walks two miles in the morning and two miles in the evening. He only eats between the hours of noon and 8 PM. So far he has lost almost 50 lbs. He had a strategy and followed the strategy.
But does it work in other areas of life?
Just a week ago I heard how prayer and wisdom changed a really serious situations and set up a family to experience God’s heart for this year.
I know a young man in the Navy that has dreamed of having a happy family for years. His first marriage was painful and ended when his wife repeatedly refused to move with him to his assigned base. After a few years God gave him a precious wife with two sons. Later they had two children whose birthdays were only a year and a half apart. They have their hands and hearts full. Wonderful healthy babies and a little older boys, that keep them very busy.
In the middle of all the adjustments that go with babies, he got a 3 year assignment to Guam. You can imagine how the enemy attacked his mind…would she go with him? What would happen to the precious family, the family that he had dreamed of for so long?
She immediately began to get the house ready to sale so they would be ready to move as a family to Guam. Yet they faced a bigger hurdle than selling the house, the boys biological dad refused to give them permission to take his son to Guam. Even the court agreed with the dad.
In the middle of trying to find money to hire a lawyer to help them fight the court decision, the boy had a serious medical condition and was hospitalized for two weeks.
When the soldier explained the situation to the Navy his orders were changed from accompanied to unaccompanied. That meant his family would not be allowed to go with him. They both were slapped with a reality that left them reeling in confusion and pain.
How could this happen to them?
It was heartbreaking…the thoughts of being apart for three years was almost unbearable. Babies grow so much in a year, but to be apart for three years?
Raising four children without her husband, especially with the existing health challenges of her oldest child was so scary to his wife. How would she handle everything alone?
What would happen to his family?
What would happen to his dream of enjoying a happy family? He didn’t know what to do. He honestly believed he didn’t have any recourse except to prepare himself for 3 years of being alone. So he didn’t do anything, except pray.
And his mom prayed.
She got everyone she knew to pray too. That’s how I know this story.
His father-in-law began to pray and do something.
He understood you gotta put feet to your prayers. He began to look for answers. And he found that families experiencing hardship could apply for reassignment.
Now the soldier had a strategy.
He knew what to do and he did it. He went to the Navy. This time the personnel was compassionate and had the authority to change his orders. The new assignment kept them where he was currently stationed for three more years doing the job he was trained to do.
His situation required prayer, wisdom and action.
Most situations do. Most goals do.
More than hoping!
If you are going to possess the promises of God it will require more than hoping. Hoping is a great beginning; but if you want to go all the way to finishing you’ve got to get wisdom or a solid strategy and then take action on that strategy. (Even if it’s a single step.)
I believe that you can experience God’s Heart…God’s plan for 2020!
I believe you can reach your goals, but you will never reach them if you don’t get wisdom and then act on it!