Saturday, January 02, 2016
Instead of making a New Years resolution, ask God what your assignment is for 2016.
New Year's resolutions are self-initiated but assignments are directed by someone else; in this case, God. Resolutions are easily dismissed but assignments carry heavier consequences. Resolutions are built upon self-willpower, determination and strength, but assignments from God are dependent on His strength and power.
Resolutions usually come from a place of self-want - "I want to lose weight" or "I want to be nicer to my neighbor" etc. Deficiency is the driving factor - "I want to be more, have more, give more, work more." Assignments by God start with a higher perspective, an eternal perspective. God says, "I want you serving here, because I have a plan with eternity in mind." God knows our weaknesses, but he also knows our strengths and gifts because he gave them to us.
Every assignment given to people in scripture went beyond human capacity, but when completed, changed lives and saved nations.
Not every assignment will be glamorous. People who promise miraculous breakthroughs and prosperity for everyone attract crowds who applaud and get excited, chanting, "Finally, this is MY year!!"
What if your assignment is sitting by the bed of your loved one as they go through physical suffering? What if your assignment involves sacrificing your wealth to serve the poor? What if your assignment means being in a room full of atheists with a professor curses the God you love? What if your assignment includes loving an undeserving spouse or parent? No one desires these things.
Abraham did not desire to leave his home in Ur. Joseph did not long for the years he spent in prison. Gideon did not choose to lead the Israelites into battle with only 300 men. Mary did not hope to be pregnant before marriage. John's final wish in life was not to be on the Isle of Patmos. However, each of them surrendered their preferred future to God's eternal plan.
Whatever your assignment is, there is one thing you can be sure of: if it comes from God, it will change you. There will be times where you don't feel great about your situation, but you will different in the end. You will look back and say, "God helped me," "God is faithful," and "God is good."