"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14
I know Christmas is wrapping up and you're likely experiencing the hangover from sweets, chocolate, and 24-hour Christmas movie marathons! However, something is coming just around the corner we all need to be prepared for. No I'm not talking about tax season. We
In just a few days, Lord willing, a brand new year will be upon us!! This is HUGE. It's a once-a-year opportunity to start fresh, set goals, and charge ahead. I love New Years! Unless Jesus returns, 365 days stand before us ready to be cashed in. We can waste them or invest them.
I don't know exactly what the coming year holds for you or for me, but I know the One who does. He is sovereign and nothing, I repeat NOTHING, will take Him off guard this year.
With that said, after you wake up from the Christmas coma, here are 4 steps to prep for 2017.
1. Forget what lies behind.
For some, this will be easy. You had a rough year to say the least, and you are more than ready to move forward with 2017. Maybe you lost a loved one, lost a job, or learned you had cancer. For others, 2016 was a great year. Perhaps you got married, had a baby, or bought your first house. Maybe you did all three!
Paul tells us the first step to moving forward is forgetting the past. By "forget" he doesn't mean to "wipe from memory," but rather "to let go of." Your experiences this past year are not meant to be forgotten. Good or bad they are part of your life story. Hang on to them, but be willing to move on from them.
2. Reach for what's ahead.
Paul encourages us to live with anticipation. This means believing your best days are ahead of you not behind you. Sure, it's great to reflect upon the "good old days," but unless you have found away to turn the clock backwards, time moves forward.
We should live as though our best days are ahead of us, because guess what? They are!! If heaven is in your future, then your best days are yet to come.
3. Press on.
I'm not a forecaster, but 2017 will not be 365 days of bliss. There will be setbacks and road blocks. You will experience some form of loss, discouragement, and/or frustration. Make the decision now that you will press on through the difficult days or seasons. Never give up, and remember the promise that "He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (I wrote about that here.)
4. Focus on one thing.
There certainly isn't a shortage of things I need to work on to better my life spiritually, relationally, physically, financially etc. But what I have found is that if I try to improve too many areas at once, I don't get any traction. Paul shares with us the wisdom of focusing on one thing. "But one thing I do…"
What's the one thing you want to change in 2017? Wrestle with this question! Once you have your answer, go for it with all you have. Set goals around that one thing. Grow towards that one thing. Become an expert at that one thing!
It's never a wasted year, when you can grow forward in one thing. It may not feel like much this year, but 10 years from now you certainly won't regret it.