If you are like most, 2012 was a very difficult year. Almost everyone I know, including myself, went through some type of calamity. Everything from loss of finances, soured friendships to strokes and diseases. It seemed to be a year where no matter who you are, you were touched one way or another.
So as we say “Good Riddance to 2012” and ring in the new year, I thought it was appropriate to put the main thing as the main thing and help all of us get back on solid footing.
In Matthew 6:33-34, we are told “But seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”
In a nutshell, the most important thing we can do as we begin this new year, is place God first in our lives. It can be so easy to say but much harder to do when life pulls you in many directions. We start making our New Year’s resolutions and our Task Lists of all the things we wish to accomplish in this upcoming year. Then, frustration breaks forth into our lives; and nothing seems to go right because we find our priorities must change with each passing day.
However, the key here is that God gives us enough grace for one day at a time. It helps us to focus on the “here and now” while also helping us to avoid fatigue and burnout. When we meet each day’s challenges as they come and not to borrow troubles from tomorrow, then, God’s grace will be enough for us to overcome what we face. Now don’t misunderstand what I am saying here…there is absolutely nothing wrong with having goals and striving to become better. We just need to keep it all into the proper perspective.
Take a look around you, you’ll see a huge emphasis on commerce and material things. People tend to pursue and crave all the material things, thinking that it will give them joy. However, what they quickly notice is that no matter what they felt they needed; it always leaves an emptiness in the end.
The best thing we can do is put God first and foremost in all that we do. This will help us begin each day thanking Him, loving Him and praying to Him. By doing this simple task, even if it’s only for a minute, then we place Him first in our lives and all things will work out for our good. It helps us keep our priorities straight.
Then we begin to learn how to seek God’s “presence” and not His “presents”. God knows we need things in our lives. But, when you seek His handouts instead of loving Him for who He is, you will quickly find the very things you are needing are withheld. That’s because He withholds them until we desire Him more than anything else. That is the tricky part. We all start with good intentions but then we start to fall into the trap of seeking God for things instead of who He is.
Let’s put this into perspective to make it a bit easier. If you have family and friends that only are interested in what you can do for them; that doesn’t make you feel so good, does it? No, we want people around us who love and care for us. They don’t try to change you, they accept you for you. Well…that’s the same with God. He wants us to know Him for who He is, not for what He can do for us.
So let’s begin this new year taking time for God each morning. Ask Him to help you put first things first. For when you do, God will be happy that you are seeking Him first and His loving “presence”; above all else. Then, you will begin to notice some amazing things happen within your life and 2013 will quickly become the best year you have ever encountered. Let’s make a pack today…REFRESH…RENEW…RE-FOCUS!