It doesn’t matter how good the previous year was for you, you most probably hope this year will be better. I haven’t met a person who wished that the year ahead or even the day ahead would be bad… we don’t want to experience pain, discomfort or suffer in any way. The good news is that God’s desire and will for us is that things would just get better and betterer! There’s always more to experience! More joy. More peace. We can all experience more of God’s power, goodness and love. And irrespective of how fruitful you were in the past year, you certainly can produce more fruit in the coming year!
God is a God of increase. He’s a God of multiplication. God desires that the year head would be far better for you than the last year but it’s not going to happen by accident! It’s not going to happen because you’re hoping and wishing and praying. You need to position yourself to receive and choose to move forward. into “the more” of what God has for you. We’re all called to increase and advance. For this to happen it’s necessary to aim at something; to have certain goals but this can also be dangerous for us as believers. You need to make sure you don’t just have impressive goals but the right goals!
As I was in prayer over the last few days of 2019 God spoke to me through the book of Colossians chapter three. God showed me that the first few verses form the best goal you could have for the new year!
Colossians 3:1-3 King James Version (KJV)
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
These verses are encouraging us to “seek those things which are above”, and yet if you were to look at the list of goals of a lot of people, even a lot of good Christians with good intentions you’d notice that there aren’t many goals “seeking things above” only “things below”. It’s not wrong to have goals and desire things but our primary goals in life should be different than those of unbelievers. We are living for eternity and our goals should reflect that. We would do well to take inventory of our “affections”, which is talking about our heart and love and focus, and make sure we are not consumed with materialism. There’s nothing wrong with having stuff, but if stuff has you, there’s a problem. If stuff has your heart then God doesn’t. (Matthew 6:21, 24)
Matthew 6:21 King James Version (KJV)
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:24 Living Bible (TLB)
“You cannot serve two masters: God and money. For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around.”
Our affections (desires) should be set (fixed) on things above, not on things below. “You are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” You are dead to this world and the world is dead to you. We are kingdom people and our citizenship is not of this world. Therefore, our goals should be kingdom orientated – this is a recipe for success, increase and fruitfulness! If you choose to be heavenly minded and to focus your affections and desires on things above you will succeed. If it can be stolen or destroyed by fire you probably shouldn’t value it as much as your unsaved neighbour does. We need to align our desires with God’s desires. Our affections should be on what is going to last for eternity: people and your relationship with God!
Colossians 3:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. 3 For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.
We should have eternal treasures as our main aim in life! This is what we should be seeking! In this new year, make sure that you’re aiming at the rich eternal treasures that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Keep your mind and heart fixed on the higher things. Stop having as your primary goals and desires things that will perish in this life because eternity is forever!
Matthew 6:33 New King James Version (NKJV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Make your primary goal in this year ahead, and every day of your life, to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! Seek to know Him more and more. This is the starting block of living a truly satisfying life. You will start to live a life of fulfilment as you prioritize what God prioritizes and adopt a more eternal perspective. We’re going to live forever – eternity is forever – and so make sure that what you’re doing each day and make sure that the things you are pursuing have eternal value. Make sure that what you’re doing today is impacting and adding value to eternity!