Those of you who have been in my company for the past 5+ years here in Louisiana have often heard me say…
“God’s plans always push you a little beyond your own abilities.”
“God’s design for your life and ministry is to keep you on your knees pleading for wisdom, courage and help with your assignment.”
“God does not want you to know how to do what He has called you to do without Him!”
Thus, we can come to recognize that some types of challenge and adversity in our lives are needful. Believe it or not, we are more spiritually attune, more spiritually alert and sharper when we face adversity because like the King Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles 20—we are focused on God and that is precisely where He wants us to be! So, with my focus directed on the Lord, I am coming to see the following considerations for 2008 to be on my horizon…
- I want to enlarge my ability to see the kingdom as God desires. By experience and by exposure to what God is doing throughout the world, I want enlarge my vision of the world.
- I want to read the Bible through this year again. I’m challenged by God’s instruction in Joshua 1:8 that success in life is tied directly to reading and meditating on God’s Word.
- I want to engage in meditative prayer to align my heart and mind with God’s plans. I’m unlearning my former prayer patterns and trying to embrace new ones focused on His presence, listening and less listing of my wants and needs.
- I want to be more compassionate in my handling of others. I deliberately choose to be connected to people God directs to me and I will strive to be sensitive to their needs.
- I want to be positioned in the places where God has determined for my life. Open doors excite me and I’m always ready to do things God has prepared for me. I’m embracing a new theology of God’s promise “I know the plans I have for you…” I believe it is vital that I stop on occasions from my travel, leadership and busyness and simply recognize where I am standing and understand in greater measure how I got here and what God may have arranged for this moment and place.
- I want to walk humbly and obediently this year in all my ways. I sense a need for greater humility and I struggle to understand how humility is often so challenging. I want the focus of my life to be on what He has done rather than what I have done.
- I want to focus on my relationships as husband, father, son, brother and colleague. My family and friends are so important to my life and my relationships to them are very life-giving.
- I want to lead leaders to be stretched and grown in ways of competency and confidence. If God allows me I hope to invest in others what God and others have invested in me. The admonition of “freely you have received, freely give” should be our leadership motto.
- I want to help others find hope, peace and love through my ministry. Speaking, preaching, teaching and writing are passions of mine and I want to be relevant in all I do in these areas.
- I want to find a way to play golf in Scotland with my dad this year. On a totally personal note, it has always been my dream to play golf in Scotland and to do so with my dad and sons would be one of the great anticipations of my life…we always talk about it and perhaps 2008 will be the year. We will see.
A good friend wrote to me today in response to my recent post on Top 5 Spiritual Lessons Learned in 2007 (www.billisaacs.org) and he offered me the prayer of Numbers 6:24-26. As I read it, I began to notice the words…“The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace.” (v26) and it occurred to me that His face pointed in my direction is the source of PEACE. It is not my efforts, my work, my ministry or my initiative…it is His faithful attention and presence in my life which brings this grand gift.
I enjoy hearing from you in response to these emails. What about your goals and commitments for the coming year?