“We think we have it all figured out,
but life teaches us that what looks good on paper doesn’t always work out in real life”
–Bishop TD Jakes
At the end of 2017 or very beginning of 2018, many of us wrote out a list of goals that we want to accomplish this year or accomplish in our lives moving forward. I have about seven pages’ worth of goals, I plan to accomplish or focus on this year. May seem like a bit much but I simply like to break down my goals to target specific areas of my life (i.e. spiritual goals, financial goals, social goals, relational goals, etc.).
If you’re like me, you actually like to physically write out your goals on paper, in detail or put them on some type of poster or vision board. Goals are like short hand prayers for me, so I like to write them out in detail, to be detailed in my prayers and requests to God.
And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
There’s a handful of us, “Habakkuk 2:2 people”, who like writing out the vision and making plain, specific, measurable and attainable. Writing out our visions, dreams and goals; makes them real and tangible for us, it’s taking the first step in the process of their manifestation.
But here’s the thing, life has also taught me that what I write down on paper doesn’t always go as I planned.
The visions we plan for our lives, don’t always take the course of action we envisioned. The plans we had for our lives don’t go exactly according to our plan. Sometimes, we may very well reach our desired destination, the difference came in the form of the the route we had to take to get there; it was a lot bumpier, treacherous and filled with more lows than highs, than we could have imagined or accounted for.
Yeah, life has this thing about it… it just never turns out the way we imagined it.
The reality is –even though we have these goals planned out for 2018, and these high hopes, great expectations for the year, things may not go exactly according to our desired and carefully crafted game plan. There will be some curve balls thrown in the mix. Some God ordained curve balls, meant to deposit something new into us, that we will need as we continue on our journey. Or some enemy designed curve balls, meant to throw us off course.
No matter what may arise this year, we have to keep going!
Even when life throws us the most unexpected curve balls, we have to bob and weave or take the hits, get up and keep pushing.
No matter what life brings our way this year, we have to keep going!
The reality is –we will have bad days this year, but on those days, we must acknowledge the hardships, don’t run from them, glean the lesson God may want us to learn from them and keep going!
Some days you may need to cry –cry, a good, ugly, snot running down your nose cry, then dry your eyes, please wipe your nose babe, put on your best lip stick (Felicia always says, “you feel how you look, so make sure you look good”) and keep going.
The disappointments that will come this year and even the disappointments that will come in life, in years to come, will try to convince us to simply give up, throw in the towel, give up on the goals we planned in January because hey what’s the point! I’m here to let you know, that, “just give up, what’s the point” voice, is the voice of the enemy and not your own! And we know it’s definitely not the voice of God because God would never tell us to give up! God word says that we have already won the victory through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57) and that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). That means we are conquerors, overcomers with a little extra juice on the side.
Who got the juice?
We got the juice now! (name that movie)
We can’t give up on our goals this year, we can’t give up on the new habits we are forging. We especially can’t give up on ourselves.
The hardships and painful moments are not easy to endure. There are some that may be overwhelming on our spirits, mental and hearts. I am not making light of the many things that some of us may have to endure this year. In the midst of this, we can’t let the enemy shut us down. His goal is to use our emotions to shut us down, to silence our voices, to stop us from living out the lives God has called us to live and accomplish the purposes God has set on our lives.
These hardships and painful moments will even try to convince us to turn away from God, to get upset with God, to persecute Him. There are people who have been mad at God for years because of the unexpected shifts that life offers. We have to resist the urge to give up on God and keep trusting Him, every step of the way. As Ecclesiastes 3:1;4 teaches us,
For everything there is a season,
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
The reality is…
God never said this journey would be easy but He did say, in the end He would bless us. There’s a future awaiting each of us.
As children of God, we have to learn to shift with the changes life will bring, the changes 2018 will bring. It doesn’t mean completely scrap the plan we had in motion, it just means make some minor adjustments/necessary changes. Trusting God each step of the way.
Rule Number #1: As we endure the hard times this year, we have to stay anchored in Jesus, His love and His truth.
Rule Number #2: Remember it’s a bad day, not a bad life. It’s a bad week, not a bad year.
Rule Number #3: Keep our eyes on Jesus and keep trusting God, every step of the way.
Lord, I just want to thank you for the great things you will do in my life over the course of this year, and I thank you for the great things you will do in the lives of my loved ones this year. Lord, I know without a shadow of doubt that your mighty hand is over my life; guiding me along the way and protecting me every day of my life. Lord, I know that you wish to bless me, that you wish for nothing but goodness over my life. Lord, I also know that the reality is, you never promised that this life would be easy, you forewarned me that this life would have many storms along the way and many battles that I must fight. I realize that this year is no different. Lord, but your word promises that you will never leave or forsake me. Your word promises that you will go before me and guard my back. Lord, I simply ask that you keep me along the way, give me strength when my heart, soul and mind get weary. Lord, please have my front and my back, each step of the way. My hope is in your Lord, my trust is in you Lord, every step of the way. I already know I have the victory; I already know that the blessings are mine. I just have to possess them no matter what the enemy or life throws in my path. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Psalm 139:5 NLT
… For the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT
For the LORD will go before you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.
Isaiah 52:12 NLT
I will go before you and level the mountains; I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron …
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Romans 8:37 KJV
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
Romans 8:31 NLT
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.
Psalm 46: 1-3 NKJV