At the outset of this new year, we're making plans, setting goals, and forming resolutions for the days, weeks, and months to come. This is a good thing, and we do well to follow our Heavenly Father in His action based upon purposeful determination.
"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:8-11).
We do well also, however, to realize the vast difference between the Lord and ourselves regarding making plans. "His understanding is infinite... if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know" (Psalm 147:3; I Corinthians 8:2). God establishes purposes with perfect knowledge of past, present, and future. We do so with far less understanding, awareness, and analysis. Moreover, our Lord prepares and plans in the perfect certainty of outcomes. No such assurance accompanies our "best laid plans," as the poet refers to the imperfection of human intentions. Again, this does not preclude the rightness of heeding the Psalmist's counsel, "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). It does, however, remind us that structured resolve must be accompanied by solemn realization that "A man's heart deviseth his way. But the Lord directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).
We must set our goals and make our plans with much prayer and Biblical pondering. Perhaps the best question to ask regarding any purposeful intention is simply, "Does this align with the Lord's eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord?" This may not always be an easy question to answer. However, the attitude of heart that elicits the inquiry will go far in directing us toward the paths upon which the Lord would have us travel. Of this we can be sure, He will grace and bless the most important resolve to establish for this year, this day, and forevermore...
"I will glorify Thy name... I delight to do Thy will... Yet have I made myself servant unto all."
(Psalm 86:12; 40:8; I Corinthians 9:19)
Weekly Memory Verse
From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.