Don’t Give Up!

We are approaching a new year, a new beginning.  It causes one to look back over the past year and evaluate the gains and losses. I am not talking about weight but that might be one of those things you were concerned about as 2021 began!

Most people like to set goals, to start over. If you are like me, you set them high, maybe too high. Some have given up on even setting them as the goal was never realized! When failure comes early, you just give up altogether and make excuses for your failures. This has become a pattern for me in many things. Upon realizing this, it was time to get more serious, time to change my pattern of thinking!

What are reasonable expectations for you? Mine cannot be yours in certain areas. I will never excel in athletics of any kind at my age. I will never go back to school to accomplish some degree. Yet, there is something we can all do. We can change our mindset about our goals and our failure in that goal.

“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind”,               Ephesians 4:22-23.

When I look at a year, I consider spiritual goals and physical goals; each has it’s sub division. To me, the greater goal is the spiritual one that can reap eternal benefits. What can empower me against sin? What can be the means to bless and encourage another. What about reading through the Bible this year? Or memorizing the Word, praying more, hospitality?

I began this year with the goal of memorizing 1 Peter. It was a bit overwhelming to think that somehow I would work my way through 5 chapters or 105 verses. But I gave up on all the excuses that tend to dominate the thoughts as we face a big goal. I decided to stop listening to the lie that it was too hard or too much. I knew I had the time although it would require prioritizing time, which is another one of those lies that I succumbed to in the past.

What excuse do you use in any expectation or desire that you have failed in? I have come to hate excuses that I have lived by, that were really cover ups for my failure in commitment. Albeit, some excuses you cannot help; the highway accident, the weather, the virus…

Truth is, some goals while never fully completed still benefit the doer. If I could memorize even one verse or chapter I made progress. And so it is with all spiritual goals. 

Before you give up and quit on your goal, stop and ask yourself, “has the progress I made before I got off track been helpful”? Did I enjoy some benefit before I crashed? If so, then get back on the plan and keep moving forward. 

I believe the devils goal is to sway us to sleep, to trip us in some way that brings shame, pain and division. Once that happens, we turn and run or stop and cry or blame someone else but we rarely get back on plan. Don’t quit now! Take full responsibility and move forward.

We are in a battle in life, both spiritual and physical – a battle for truth! Stop listening to the lies purported by others and yourself. Set a goal, make a decision and press on to win the battle for your life; spirit soul and body! The Lord will always help in our weakness. But it’s up to us to be serious about it!

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:12.

God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth” Psalms 121:1-2.

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