For my first post of the year, I’ve decided to share something I learned from Andy Stanley, lead pastor of North Point Community Church near Atlanta. Andy has written many good books, but this comes from a message he shared called, This One Thing. In fact, I thought it was so good and so important that instead of me preaching, we actually watched the message online during our worship experience this past Sunday at Journey Church.
Andy shares a refreshing take on “New Years Resolutions” although he doesn’t use that terminology. If you’re like me, you’ve made many over the years but ended up keeping few if any. Why is that? There could be many reasons:
- They aren’t rooted in God’s will
- We attempt to accomplish them via will power alone instead of by, through and with God’s power
- We have too many
- We get distracted by life
- They are unrealistic
Regardless of the reason, unfinished goals, dreams and expectations are often the reality. What’s the answer? I believe Andy Stanley shares some godly wisdom that will help us. He asks us the question, if there is One Thing you could do this year that would change our life if it was accomplished, what would it be? How would your life be different? Here are some examples:
- A habit to break
- A relationship to restore
- A relationship you need to end
- An addiction to overcome
- A business or ministry to start
- A project you need to finish
- A debt you need to retire
- Go back to school
What is that nagging thing that you think about every year (or every day for that matter) but never give it the energy and focus it deserves? With God’s help, why not make this the year that thing is put to rest, finished, or started? It will require God’s grace, laser-like focus and a sticky resolve. Andy gives us this encouragement from the ancient book of Nehemiah. In the book, Sanballat, a leader in the region, requests several meetings with Nehemiah in order to harm him and stop the progress of the wall he is building around Jerusalem. This is Nehemiah’s answer each and every time:
Nehemiah 6:3 NASB So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
Nehemiah wouldn’t let anything take him down off the wall. Why? He was doing a great work from and for God and to come down from that work would be to get distracted, lose focus and risk not completing his God-given task and calling.
What’s your One Thing this year? Write it down, make copies, hang it where you can see it each and every day, pray it, eat it, live it and step out in obedience as God directs. You won’t regret it!
I’ve also put together a post card to help you. Mine has four things but you simply circle one in the category that most concerns you or create your own card to help you!