I hate new year’s resolutions. I think they’re useless–what makes January 1st so special anyway? If you want to make a major change in life, just do it. Today. Whatever “today” happens to be. But I do use the calendar loosely as a guide for life goals. For instance, the past couple of years, I have concentrated on gratitude. I’ve asked God to help me be a grateful woman, and I’ve looked hard for reasons to be grateful regardless of my circumstances.
This year, I have felt a calling toward courage.
I spent time over the Christmas break meditating on my life–my spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and professional life. I asked God to show me where I need to change, to grow up, to reflect Him better. Painfully, I saw that even after nearly 40 years of walking with Christ, I still rely far too often on analysis, logic, and a fear of risk.
The good news is that God–when we give Him the reins and the freedom to act in our lives–kicks us out of the nest to fly.
King David had a passion for God’s house. He gathered literally tons of precious metal and jewels, exotic woods and stones, and drew up the plans for the temple. But God made it clear that David would not be the one to build the edifice. Instead, it would be his son, Solomon. In true humility, “David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the commanders of the divisions that served the king, and the commanders of thousands, and the commanders of hundreds, and the overseers of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, with the officials and the mighty men, even all the valiant men” (I Chronicles 28:1). He announced that, although he “had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God” (v. 2), God had chosen Solomon to build the temple instead. He reminded the powerful group of leaders how he had been chosen by God to be their king, and proclaimed that now Solomon would lead the nation: “…for I have chosen him…” (v. 6).
David then says something to Solomon so powerful, it nearly leapt off the page during my devotions this morning: “Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act” (v. 10). Even knowing that God had handpicked him for this work, Solomon needed a nudge from his dad.
Be courageous and act.
I’ve been mulling a rather large change in my life for several months, and I’ve analyzed the decision to death. My husband–a man who truly loves and listens to the Lord–has encouraged me to make the decision. One of my dearest friends–a godly woman of deep faith and prayer–texts me several times a week, telling me that she believes God prompts her to push me for the decision. And yet I stall…I weigh…I deliberate.
It’s not a world-changing project like building the temple for almighty God. It’s just starting my own company. And yet I know, because I am His precious daughter, He cares about the decision. He has a plan for me, even in my professional life. It’s so easy to turn to God for guidance in deeply spiritual matters, but my job? Let me get back to my spreadsheet measuring pros and cons, thank you very much.
Be courageous and act.
So God pushed me out of the nest. Two weeks ago, I got laid off after ten years with the same company. I’d been miserable for the past year, but I was firmly seated in the tree. Thanks be to God, today my fledgling wings flapped a few inches off the ground: LLC filed. EIN secured. Mailbox opened. Website content begun.
I started this morning’s devotional time looking for a verse that would uplift my son who’s been struggling. I found one and sent it to him–and then God treated me to some uplifting of my own.
Who needs new year’s resolutions when you have a Dad like mine?