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False Start

One of the worst feelings is watching your football team mess up at the end of a game.

Your team is on the 5-yard line, they need a touchdown to win the game, everyone is lined up and ready and suddenly a man jumps forward too soon. "False start," yells the referee, and now they are sent backwards 5 yards. They never recover from the penalty and end up losing the game. All because one player jumped the gun and moved too fast.

Every new year people make lists of things they want to accomplish, goals they have, dreams for the year and resolutions. The challenge is that most people don’t accomplish even half of what they resolved to do in the new year. They work at it for a few days or weeks, but it is often lost before too long.

So what should we do at the beginning of a new year? Is it wrong to make plans or goals? Simply put, it’s not bad to have goals. In fact, we need things we work towards and things we aim to accomplish. However, I would suggest that we start a little smaller or more realistic than we might be tempted. Rather than jumping forward so fast and then failing, why not try a more realistic goal?

As with general goals, in the realm of spiritual growth we often make unachievable goals too, like, “I’m going to read the whole Bible twice and journal every day.” This is a great goal, but if you haven’t been doing any real devotional time, this might be a bit lofty. Instead, maybe aim for doing some devotional time each day, even if it’s just reading a couple verses and trying to spend some time in prayer.

Prov. 16:3 has good wisdom for us as we begin the new year: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”

God wants us to set goals and have plans, but He also wants us to be successful in our goals. God promises that if we start with Him, He will help us.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Start this year on the right foot, start by putting God in charge of your life, goals and dreams. When He is our leader, we can rest easy knowing He will help us.

If you start this year with God, you can be assured success!

Featured in: January/February 2023