By Karynthia Glasper-Phillips
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ~ Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has ended, and the first month of the New Year is generally the best (if not perfect) time to reflect upon assessing previous goals and plans and consider new ideas/activities, especially for those who view life as functioning in a competitive world that measures value by success. Numerous “self-help” guides are promoted and sold, with steps guaranteeing success in nearly every venture (health, wealth, relationships, etc.). However, the bestselling book ever (the Bible) offers timeless principles that result in immeasurable as well as measurable benefits when implemented properly.
History has proven we can accomplish anything we imagine… remember the Tower of Babel? So why are we surprised when the ingenuity and technology of man can draft and construct the unimaginable? My question is does man always consult God first?
There are many times in my life when I have prepared and executed plans, but later felt “swamped” in doubt regarding the ability or means to successfully complete the project. Have you ever worried about having enough resources to pursue goals? What about more necessities such as food, clothing, and or shelter? I have, especially when the process of “doing life” distracted my focus from my heavenly Father, who knows what we all need always. Let’s look further at ways to access the unlimited storehouse of blessings from our good Father, who in love and wisdom cares and provides for all His creation, even “the fowls of the air” and “the lilies of fields”.
What happens when my calendar is overloaded with many tasks? I miss private appointments with the One who is the greatest Supplier.
There are occasions when I discover that my relationship with God has been compromised. How? By missing too many scheduled “God and me” appointments, those times I intended to meet God in quiet spaces to nourish my spirit, mind and body, and align harmoniously with the will of God. During achieving other personal, family, and professional goals, we can overlook the importance of maintaining quality time in our personal relationship with the Father.
Typically, when I am not in sync with the Holy Spirit life becomes imbalanced . . . sometimes filled with anxiety and weariness, which can open doors to confusion and chaos. This year, I would like to challenge you to practice the best strategy for successful living (by seeking God first each day, as Jesus did in Mark 1:35). Time spent in the presence of God is a direct link to a life that is constantly refreshed and full of joy, with clear discernment and direction that can guide you to accomplishing the unthinkable.
Although we are in a world filled with options beyond our imagination, consulting with the Creator first is most important to ensure we are in the will of God for our lives.
Jesus reveals the simple, yet profound approach necessary to receive daily needs/provision and other things we seek. In Matthew 6:25-34, He repeatedly told the disciples not to worry. In other words, don’t allow the concerns of life to consume your mind. Chronic worry leads us to do one of two things: operate independently (thinking we have the power to achieve in our own strength), or drown in fear. Both reactions are fueled by lack of faith.
When our thoughts and emotions are not fully yielded in the presence of God, worry produces anxiety which can affect our physical as well as spiritual and mental health affecting general well-being, inhibiting fruitfulness. Worry fragments the mind, depleting it of faith, hope and trust in the Father, and diminishes our sensitivity to the voice of God.
Instead of dwelling on past or current problems that you are unable to remedy, it is best to leave them at the altar, and focus on Bible reading, prayer, and worship. In sacred spaces, it is a safe place where we are reminded that God Is our Provider as we fully submit to Him.
During reassessment of your visions, goals, and resolutions include quiet spaces in your schedule to maintain your intimacy with God, who is the Creator, Provider and Sustainer of a truly successful life. In these spaces, you are reaffirmed, negativity is silenced, and your insight into the will of God for your life is clarified. Value your time with God more than tangible assets such as money in the bank and accolades… rest assured that He knows your needs and desires.
Lord, help us to keep our appointment each day with you as we serve, expand and accomplish the Unthinkable.
“With God, there’s always an appointed time for things, and when you put Him first, trust in His timing, and keep the faith, miracles happen!”
― Germany Kent