The 2019 chapter of your life has yet to be written, but I’m sure you have some expectations, some goals in mind for this new year. What are some things you expect to happen in 2019 whether in your own personal life, or in your family, or at your job? Maybe it’s:
- Graduate from high school or college
- Get married
- Get a new job
- Launch your adult child out of the house!
Isn’t it interesting that none of us really expect bad things to happen to us! Unless you’re a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist, we only expect good, positive things to happen – blessings to come to us. You might say that’s the optimist in you – that you have a positive outlook on life. But I think it’s much more than that. I think the Spirit of God living within gives each of us hope for a better future. Paul writes 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. (Philippians 3:13-14)
The word “forgetting” there in those verses, means “no longer caring for”. Paul lets go of what’s behind him. He moves on. He doesn’t hold onto it. His past doesn’t hold him back from moving forward. His past does not define his future. Your past does not define your future. Let go of it.
Do you realize that God has expectations for you in 2019? Oh yes! God has plans for you in 2019! God never expects any of us to stay the same. God is always moving forward, moving on, moving in a spiritual growth direction. Many of us don’t like change. You like where you live. You like the car you drive. You like sitting in the same place – same seat – every Sunday morning (Yes?). You have your favorite meals at home. You like certain restaurants and often order the exact same entree. You have the same routine every day to get you going in the morning. Those routines and that sameness define your comfort zone. You don’t expect to go outside your comfort zone very far or very often. But God has expectations for each one of us to move you in a spiritual growth direction. Growth means change – gradual change – but change. Paul says it this way “… speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:15-16) Your spiritual life is never supposed to stay the same. God expects you to grow.
This new year – 2019 – is time for us all to seek the Lord with a fresh start. It’s time for all of us to draw near to him, to call upon him, to turn to him. It is time to let go of what is behind and turn away from old ways. This is what God expects of you in 2019. Seek Him with all your heart and soul and mind. There’s no more time to waste. No one who calls themselves a Christian – a Christ-follower – can sit on the sidelines anymore. You must get in the game – no matter how old you are… no matter how sick you feel… no matter how young you are… God is calling you to seek him. Now. The time is coming when it will be too late. The Day of the Lord will soon be at hand.