I was probably as shocked as anyone when I logged onto “Journey Thoughts” to discover that close to 25,000 people had read my blog on one day! I live in a small town that boasts a population of just under 15,000 people. That put that number of “hits” that day into perspective and I praised God for the opportunity to write and share from my heart. It also forced me to pause and consider what God wants of me in the New Year.
I have said that I am not a great keeper of resolutions. New Year’s resolutions tend to come and go, most of my best intentions are usually broken by mid-January. Still, a New Year is a perfect time to start fresh, … new beginnings, new goals, new plans. I am reminded of my life verse: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 I may make my plans, sure enough, but I must always keep in mind that God directs my way. I am on journey with Him and that requires selflessness on my part to follow Him.
I remember when I was a teenager, I came against all authority. You might say I butted heads with authority figures on a regular basis because I did not like anyone to have control over me. Growing up in the seventies, with women’s liberation a battle cry for many of my friends and me, I refused to yield to those who told me I could or could not do something. Those who stood in my way, I pushed aside. I was my own boss and it was all about ME. I was as selfish a young woman as I could be.
Then God got a hold of my life and I realized that life was not all about ME, it was all about HIM. I learned that selfishness was in direct rebellion against God but to live a life of selflessness was honouring to God. “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:24-26
It is easy, especially when one has a large social profile as I have to forget that it is not about ME. Pride can enter into the equation so subtly that I can think I did this on my own and arrogance and selfishness can creep in. John 12:25 reminds me that I cannot make decisions for personal benefit rather than for God and others. It will lead to death and separation from God. Instead I must live life selflessly, giving myself away for God and others. It means to die to self.
Is this an easy thing to do?
But it needs to be done.
So this year I am making a clear, purposeful goal to live selflessly. It’s not a resolution, it’s a life change. It’s a decision to say “Yes” to God rather than saying “Yes” to me! It may mean turning down offers that may be more self-serving rather than God-honouring. It may mean tough decisions that might cost me personally but will bring Glory to God ultimately.
At the end of this year, I pray that I can sing out even more loudly than I did this past year: To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done!
Saying ‘yes’ to God and no to self-serving really is hard. When we succeed, though, his outcome is always so much greater than anything we could have achieved on our own. Keep us posted through the year as you come up against yourself, Lynn. Let us know how this unfolds.