With every New Year come reflections of the past and new plans, goals, and expectations for the future. New Year’s resolutions are anticipated, made, and brought before God through prayer as we hope a new year can bring about changes and manifest the dreams we desperately want or need. Although there is nothing wrong with setting goals and making requests to God, we must be careful that these goals and desires do not take the place of or eclipse our relationship with God.
Unfortunately, many of us equate making goals, desires, and dreams known to God as the same thing as having a relationship with him. We pray for better careers, more money, a newer or better car, healing, restored marriages, among other things and then work or wait in anticipation for those things to come to fruition. However, most of us are more focused on the things we desire (good or bad) more than we are, or ever have been focused on God. We base our entire relationship with him on our success in certain areas of our lives never realizing that as long as such is the case, He is not first. We sometimes think because we seek after and believe that He can do these things for us that we are fulfilling our role as Christians to have faith, but that is not entirely true. Although it is good that we acknowledge Him, believe in His power and understand that He is the source of all good things, we must not forget that having a relationship with Him has to be in some ways separate from what we want and what we see.
As Christian's, we must learn how to separate ourselves from this world and enter into God’s where communing with Him is our focus and desire, not what we want. We must grow in our ability to set the troubles and needs of this life aside and bask in the joy, fulfillment, and peace of His presence. We must learn the importance of putting His will before our own even at the same time that we submit our own prayer requests. Even more so we need to learn how to keep Him at the center of our world and hearts even if or when we do not get the response, especially in the time frame, we wanted. The truth is that we are here to serve and be loved by God and building a relationship with Him based solely on one's hopes, dreams, and desires, means God is being placed in the position of serving humanity with or without being loved in return. So, as we start planning our goals, dreams, and desires to be fulfilled in the coming year, let's put a more personal and intimate relationship with God on our list of priorities whether we get those things we want or not.
Stephanie Kekeocha was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). (read more)
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