HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2020 is here. It’s a new year; a new decade; and a new opportunity for us to set out to accomplish goals for this year and beyond. This is truly a special time.
The journey to accomplishing goals and dreams is not always easy, and there are things that can hinder or slow down our progress. In this post, I want to discuss two things that can hinder us, what the Bible says about these things, and how we can address them.
1. Perceived lack of ability
Jeremiah 1:6-8 NIV
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I [Jeremiah] said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Like Jeremiah, we can look at ourselves and perceive (key word here) that we cannot accomplish the goals and dreams on our hearts. There are some goals that discipline and our natural abilities equip us enough to achieve, but there are some tasks; some goals that simply seem larger than us. In those times, we may look at ourselves and see how we lack the skills, abilities, or means. Like Jeremiah, we may look at ourselves and see how we cannot accomplish the task. Jeremiah lacked the age and experience as a prophet of God, and even tried to point that out to Him. Have you ever done this? I know I have. We may think things like, “God, you know I don’t have business experience”, or, “God, how am I going to write that book- I have never written before”; or “I don’t have all of the requirements for that job… how can I even apply?”. It’s at those times where we can truly rely on God as our source. Also, it is through working on those projects or tasks that seem larger than us, that we discover abilities, gifts, and talents that have been dormant.
As humans, our perception of ourselves is limited. However, God, because He formed us and knows us waaaaayyyyy more than we could ever know ourselves, knows the true potential and ability that we carry. If you doubt your ability, look to God and ask for a revelation of who He knows you to be; who He created you to be.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known [by God].
2. Lost focus
That, right there, is enough said.
Focus is so key. Sometimes, a lack of focus is the barrier to our accomplishments. This new year, take some time to reflect and identify the ways you have lost focus in the past. Is it watching too much t.v., or unproductive scrolling through social media? Take inventory to see where your time and attention goes, especially noting those things that take away from the time and attention required to invest in your goals.
Being focused is a fight, and the Apostle Paul knew this all too well, as he wrote:
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
Brothers and sisters, 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.
Maintaining the focus required to complete the task; to bring that vision to reality will be something we will need to fight for. Like Paul, there will be times where we will need to strain (make a great effort) to move beyond the things that detract from our focus, in order to accomplish the goal.
On a practical application note: make sure to equip yourself with the tools you need to organize your time. Buy that planner, organize your calendar, set reminders on your phone… identify the tools and time management methods that work best for you and stay consistent with them.
Also, ask God. We can ask Him for help to remain focused, and even for strategies to maintain focus on the tasks at hand. He is able and willing to help.
I pray that this encourages you as you set out goals and vision for the year ahead, and as you embark on the journey to accomplishing them.