Written by: Tendai Chitsike
Article source: JOY! Magazine
What is it that distinguishes disciples of Christ from the world in how we approach a New Year? God Himself. Truth be told however, we often look to the pundits and influencers as they gaze into the crystal ball of future trends. Alternatively, we spend all our time crafting and planning our goals, deadlines, and resolutions. But if we look back over 2020, we see the very limited role that all of these provided.
Without God we can do nothing
The central problem then is our assumption that we can figure things out ourselves while neglecting God Himself. This was the issue that James challenged some well-to-do business people of his day on. We could say that they had so many plans, yet so little God. In a Scripture that could just as easily challenge our world, James wrote in chapter 4:13-16: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.”
Return God to the centre
Saying “If it is the Lord’s Will” is not merely semantics, it is returning God to the centre, instead of our great big plans. What better way to do that than to begin the year with a posture of humility as we pray and fast? As EM Bounds wisely declared: “What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organisations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer.” By all means, let us plan, but let us not have so many plans and so little God.
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