As the year is rapidly drawing to a close, it presents us with an excellent opportunity to plan for the coming year. Now is the time to prayerfully consider what Father would have you do and start taking steps towards it. Over the years, I have noticed one big obstacle to doing this effectively is dwelling on the past. We get stuck on what we didn’t get done, our fruitless efforts, unyielding challenges, mistakes we make, missed opportunities, past failures and much more. And because these constantly play on our minds, it’s no surprise some of us don’t seem to move beyond that point.
But regardless of your past or even present experiences, you need to hold on to the fact that God still has a good plan for you – one to give you a great future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). So regardless of what you have faced to this point, you can be confident that everything will work together for your good, including the good, the bad and the downright ugly. And even though your “fig trees have not blossomed, and there are no grapes on the vines”, according to Habakkuk 3:17, you can still forge ahead in confidence.
Preparation Is Key!
To achieve anything in life, you must prepare. Nothing will simply fall into your lap. You have a part to play. This is NOT the time or season to sit, fold your arms and wait especially if you have been feeling a stirring deep within. I just love the way Joshua puts it to the Israelites (Joshua 18:3),
“How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you? (MSG)
Each territory claimed by the Israelites required taking a proactive stance and claiming what already belonged to them. In their case, it was fighting for their land. What about you? What do you need to start fighting for? That book you have always wanted to write? The business you have been dreaming about each day as you sit at your desk in an unfulfilling job/career? Whatever it is, this is your moment to rise and shine. It’s the season for you to be bold, step out of the boat and walk on water in spite of the storms, waves or the fact that you can’t swim (learn how!).
Write The Vision Down (Habakkuk 2: 2-3)
You will be amazed at how many people have great desires and goals yet never write anything down. Hence, it is no surprise they fall short of their goal or don’t get the results they want. Therefore, writing your vision is your first step to success. The benefits of this are manifold such as providing clarity as well as keeping you focused, motivated and hopeful. Once written down, you have something to work with, better still, something to pray over.
By the way, don’t be scared off by thinking you have to write a 100-page tome of a business plan or have all the contents of your new book all mapped out. That said, an idea starts to come alive when you transfer the contents of your mind to written form – be in digitally or writing it out. It is akin to birthing the dream/goal.
Take Consistent Action (Nehemiah 1-6)
Once you are clear on what you want to achieve, you will need to nurture and water the vision or else it will die (PS: this is not being negative but a statement of fact!). Whilst some of us seem to think the only action to be taken is prayer, we need to build on this through a plan of consistent action. Notice how Nehemiah took action after being moved by the sad state of the wall in Jerusalem. He wept, mourned, prayed and fasted alright but when the opportunity presented itself, he grabbed it and forged ahead with it, taking the necessary action. I love the fact that he sought God in prayer and came up with a plan of action. This brought about divine favour with the King and the support of others. The result was Nehemiah achieving the seemingly unachievable in a record time of fifty-two days. Nehemiah’s story serves to effectively demonstrate how we can combine our passions/goals with faith, prayers and action to achieve great things.
PS: A great vision, dream or goal with no action remains a wishful thought! GF
Become Focused (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)
The Bible presents us with many individuals who were noted as being focused on their assignment. These include Nehemiah, Paul and our Lord Jesus Christ. Like them, we too must set our faces like a stone (or flint) according to Isaiah 50:7, determined to do Gods will. For without this, we will never finish the task we have been entrusted with especially with all the distractions around us.
To support you with this, it helps to place the vision somewhere visible as a reminder and to help you stay on track. In addition to this, by taking time out for prayerful self-reflection, you can assess your progress, grow from your experiences and realign yourself – if needed
Press On, No Matter What
On your journey to achieving Gods-given dream/goal, you will have to face your own ‘Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem’ who will scoff at you (Nehemiah 2:19). You will have times when you need to confront your very own ‘Golaiths’ (1 Samuel 17). There will be times you will be caught between what feels like the Red Sea and the Egyptians (Exodus 14). There will be times you will be abandoned and have to stand alone like Paul (2 Timothy 4: 16-18). I think you get the picture now.
Nevertheless, because you have God on your side, you too can confidently forge ahead, no matter what. So do what Paul encourages in Philippians 3:13-14,
13 …Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)
In closing, I encourage you to pursue your goal or dream with all your heart, knowing fully well that with Gods help, you can do mighty things (Psalm 60:12). This is the season to rise up, be bold and courageous. You just never know what might happen when you decide to step out of the boat.
Written by Grace Gladys Famoriyo. Author of: Overcoming Emotional Baggage; Healing A Discouraged Heart; Quit Hiding, Start Living! and Bounce Back!