Embracing God's Heart for the New Year
The start of a new year often brings about reflections and resolutions, but this year, my approach is distinctly different. I'm compelled to share with you a revelation that's been stirring in my heart, a revelation about aligning our plans with God's will.
Being both a businessperson and a pastor, goal setting is ingrained in my DNA. I thrive on challenges and achievements. However, this year, I'm prompted to consult the Master before embarking on any plan. It's not about what I want to accomplish; it's about what God wants to accomplish through me.
My prayer hasn't been about personal achievements but rather, "Lord, what can I do for You this year? How can I make a real difference?" This shift in perspective is significant. It's easy to trip over plans and ambitions, but the Bible reminds us that while we may have many plans, it is God who orders our steps.
In 2024, I sense a unique calling, a call not just for our community or church but for the global Kingdom of God. I believe God is asking us to walk closer with Him, to step up our game, because we are, in a sense, in the fourth quarter of life's game. The urgency is not in knowing the exact hour or day of the Lord's return – for no one knows that – but in being ready and aligned with God's will.
This readiness begins with seeking God's heart. It's about moving beyond the comfort zones of our church routines and asking the real questions: "God, what do you want to do this year? How can I be a part of Your plan?" Until we align our hearts with God's, we cannot truly impact His Kingdom.
The heart of God, as I understand it, is about love and compassion, caring deeply for what He cares about. It's about stepping beyond our own desires and truly asking, "How can I serve You, Lord?" This year, I'm embracing a journey to discover God's heart more deeply, seeking direction not just for our church, but in every facet of my life.
The scripture that resonates with me at this moment is Revelation 3:15-16, which talks about being lukewarm – neither hot nor cold. This passage is a stark reminder that indifference or a half-hearted approach to our faith is more repulsive to God than outright rejection. It challenges me to examine my own life: Am I truly living with God as my master, or am I merely consulting Him when it's convenient?
As we delve into the new year, our focus is to slow down, to pause, and earnestly seek God's will. This slowing down is crucial. It's about seeking God's plan, not rushing headlong into our own. It's a call to each member of our church to individually and collectively acknowledge God as the master of our lives.
This journey of alignment begins with understanding the heart of God. In Mark 12:28-31, Jesus sums up the greatest commandments: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. These commandments are the essence of what it means to have God's heart. It's about caring deeply for the things He cares about, loving others selflessly, and pursuing a life that reflects His love and grace.
As I reflect on this, I am reminded of Proverbs 4:23, which urges us to guard our hearts, for everything we do flows from it. Our actions, our words, and our life's direction are all reflections of what is in our hearts. If our hearts are aligned with God's, our lives will naturally follow that course.
Therefore, in these coming weeks, our church will focus on seeking God's heart. We will engage in a time of fasting and prayer, not as a ritual, but as a means to draw closer to God and to hear His voice more clearly. This fast is not about deprivation for the sake of deprivation; it's a spiritual discipline to help us tune out the noise of the world and tune in to God's frequency.
As we embark on this journey, I encourage everyone to actively participate in two key practices. First, earnestly ask God to reveal His heart for all things in your life. This might be challenging, as it requires us to step out of our comfort zones and be open to God's guidance in areas we might not have considered before. Second, as you read the Scripture this week, take note of what reveals God's heart. Write these insights down, ponder them, and let them guide your prayers and actions.
This approach is not about checking off a spiritual checklist; it's about transformation. It's about becoming people whose hearts beat in rhythm with God's heart. When we align our hearts with Him, we'll find that our priorities, actions, and words will naturally align with His will.
In closing, I extend an invitation to everyone in our community. Whether you're deeply rooted in your faith or just beginning to explore, let's start this year with a collective commitment to seeking God's heart. Let's approach Him with humility and openness, ready to be transformed and used for His glory.
Remember, having the heart of God is the heart of the matter in our lives. Without it, our efforts, no matter how noble or well-intentioned, are just noise. But with it, we can make a difference in the world for His Kingdom. Let's embark on this journey together, with hearts open and hands ready to serve.
- Pastor Robby