2023 is upon us! I don’t know about you, but it feels like these last few years have flown by!
Last Thursday at our Fellowship Night meeting we did an end-of-year activity to set our goals for 2023 and commit them to the Lord. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.” The NIV says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
So often we make our New Year resolutions but forget to include God in the planning. Over the years, I’ve learned that when I include God in my plans and commit them to Him through consistent prayer and fasting, He helps me accomplish them through gentle reminders and even divine insight and help. God makes all the difference in everything that we do. What I love about this activity is that it incorporates asking God for your word/verse for the new year and a verse for each category of goals. When it comes to our plans, the word of God must be our foundation and inspiration. The word and Spirit of God will keep us going when we feel like giving up.
I have also learned that sometimes we can set goals that may not necessarily be God’s will for that time or at all. That’s why it’s so important to include God as you make your goals, He can guide you on what to keep and what to get rid of. So often we become disappointed at the end of the year because we set our heart on things that God did not necessarily promise or desire for us at that time. When you surrender your plans to the Lord instead of holding onto them tightly, you are in a better position to hear and receive His will. Many people take off running with their plans, thinking that it’s God’s will, and end up heartbroken because they never took the time to seek Him concerning the plans.
The most important thing about this activity is that you include God as you make the goals. Don’t be in a rush to solidify your goals, take a few days to pray, meditate on the word, and hear from God regarding what He wants to do in your life in 2023. You may also feel led to fast as you set these goals. You’ll be surprised what He shows you when you simply be still before Him. And don’t be disappointed if you don’t accomplish every goal by the end of the year, some goals take longer than others and will carry over into the following year, and unexpected things come up every year. The goal is to commit your plans to God and trust HIM with them, not the timing. The time it takes to accomplish a goal may change, but the God who walks with you through the process will never change. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, do your part diligently, and rely on the Lord to do the rest. When you feel like you don’t have any motivation, rely on His strength.
I challenge you to also pray over the new year. Pray over every month of 2023 in advance and cover every area of your life in prayer. In addition, consider fasting at the beginning of the year to dedicate the year to The Lord. Seek The Lord on what type of fast you should do.
Below is a link to a worksheet of the activity. Download it and print it out or fill it out electronically. Feel free to add more categories as needed, as you pray, God may show you other areas He wants you to target. And of course, share this with others!