A New Year Has Dawned. . .
We are now 5 days into the new year. And many folks are still focused on setting goals, making “to-do lists” and accomplishing everything conventional wisdom says one ought do with the coming of a new year.
I even wrote a blog post about goal-setting and I rarely do such a thing (set goals that is). At least in the conventional way most experts suggest. You know, the S.M.A.R.T. routine. Or perhaps there are other cutesy acronyms for laying out what we excitedly decide we will due when a new year rolls into view.
Seriously, I mean no harm poking fun at the S.M.A.R.T. folks because Christian business women who decide to set out specific, measurable, achievable, realistic (or relevant) and time-bound activities are not remiss in doing so. And it is not – or should not – be an exercise in futility. All too often it is just that. . . an exercise in futility.
A Different Approach for Believers!
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
On more than one occasion in Old Testament scripture, the authors encourage believers to commit what we do to the Lord in order to have what we do established by the Lord! Solomon in Proverbs is one of those places. David in the Psalms encourages the same. Over the years, I’ve heard multitudes of believers repeat this verse and similar others as if saying it over and over will make it magically occur.
From Got Questions comes the following commentary on the passage from Proverbs and how best to apply it to our lives. Especially to our business decision-making and in this case. . . goal-setting at the beginning of a new year:
“The first verb, commit, is a word that, in Hebrew, literally means “to roll.” Other passages such as Genesis 29:3 and Psalm 22:8–9 likewise use the idea of “rolling” something to the Lord. The idea is that we completely give something over to God in dependence upon Him. When we “commit” our work to the Lord, we offer everything we do completely to Him.
The Hebrew syntax also reveals the idea that we commit our work to the Lord in order that our plans will be established. We must do the first part if we expect God to fulfill the second part.
If we completely depend upon God in our work, He will “establish” our plans. That is, He will “bring about” or “cause to happen” our plans. We can expect God to bring our work to fruition in God’s way and in God’s time when we depend on Him in our efforts. Part of committing our work to God, of course, is seeking and following God’s will; when our work aligns with God’s will, then success will follow.
Proverbs, as a literary form, communicates general life principles and not exact promises. In other words, we can generally expect God to bless our work when we operate according to His ways in dependence upon Him.”
The key piece of the above is “when our work aligns with God’s will, then success will follow”.
Knowing PAPA God’s will for our lives is an inside job. From the moment we encounter Him personally and engage with the Holy Spirit – committing the rule of our lives to Him; we are being made new from the inside out. What is difficult for us is recognizing who we are coming-to-be because the who we are becoming may bear little to no resemblance to who we think we are or thought we would become! We must open ourselves to His wisdom and understanding, permitting the transformation of our minds to begin seeing things of earth from God’s perspective. And that includes the “new me!”
And that includes EVERYTHING; especially our businesses or professions. If we are pursuing a path in life that we know in faith is what PAPA God desires of us; then ascertaining His will for each season of life will become an increasingly easier and simpler process.
But Before. . .
Before we can do all that is required of us stated throughout Scripture, we must first SEEK. We’re told to seek first His kingdom and righteousness and all else will be added to that. (or to us).
Over the past nearly 35 year journey with Heavenly Papa, I’ve learned that one of His favorite ‘games’ is hide n’ seek. When He hides from me, I’m more inclined to go seeking Him than when we are face to face so to speak.
Because it is His way that when we seek Him, we go deeper into His wisdom and understanding. We get to know Him in a deeper, richer, more profound and personal way. Something that would not happen if He didn’t appear to hide while urging us to seek!
But “seeking” is more than just a cognitive exercise. It is dispensing with all the masks I wear in an attempt to hide from Him. . . and others. It is saying “your will be done” and meaning it. It is being more vulnerable than we can imagine being with another living soul. It is faith . . . raw unadulterated faith without reservation.
Then . . . and only then; can we truly begin the process of setting goals that are not only “smart“, but in accordance with PAPA’s will for our lives. And our businesses!
More to come in the coming weeks!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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