New Year: What Are Your Plans?
A new year is always an opportunity for a “reboot.” I look forward to this time of year to take a step back and evaluate my progress toward my goals and determine what I need to do to stretch into God’s future. When pondering my plans for the new year, I often consider the text, 1 Chronicles 22:18,19, as it provides a practical three-step action plan affording me to set my personal and professional direction at the launch of a new year.
Step one is assessment. What are the trends in my life or ministry? Are things getting better or worse? Where do I need to focus? When David transferred his kingly power to his son, Solomon, he took note of the situation and had a clear understanding of exactly what was going on in Israel. He spoke to the princes of Israel, saying, “Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath He not given you rest on every side? For He hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before His people.” 1 Chronicles 22:18 (KJV).
Step two is to pray and seek guidance. What is God saying to you about your situation? Do you know what plans God has for you? David went on to say, “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.” 1 Chronicles 22:19a (KJV). This second step is critical. Please allow me to encourage you to memorize the aforementioned brief phrase, “Now set your heart and your soul to see the Lord your God.” When this is part of your planning, when you commit your ways to the Lord, you allow the Lord to establish your plans. While many individuals will encourage you to start with prayer, and that’s quite alright, I find that if I go to God with my mind prepared, my time in prayer is better used. I find I need to do my part for God to use me.
Step three is to execute and implement your plan. David was thinking big. God spoke to him about something incredibly important. David was ready. Earlier in 1 Chronicles 22, we learn how David prepared, even though it would be Solomon who saw the plan completed. David hired masons to cut the stones. He prepared iron and brass for the nails. He bought the cedar wood they would need. He then told his princely leaders, “...arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.” 1 Chronicles 22:19b (KJV).
As we seek to plan ministry initiatives for the new year, let’s take this opportunity to assess, pray and execute. Most importantly, let’s remember the words of Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 (NIV).
By Carlton P. Byrd, President