Here it is again. The beginning of a brand new year. The time many of us take to reflect upon ourselves – our goals, our dreams, our actions, and lack of action! We examine the last year and make plans to change this next year. We write goals, action plans, and our desires for the next year.

Why do we do this every year? Because we are imperfect people, living in an imperfect world, knowing that we will never get it right 100% of the time. We strive to be better each year.

Adding to my examination time I fast for 21 days. Not to bribe God into doing things for me or miraculously changing me but to make me more aware of God and His plans for my life. To focus on relationship with God, thus clearly hearing His plans, His vision for me. My best thought out plans don’t come close to His plans. My most genius of thoughts fail in comparison to His thoughts. I genuinely want to know what God has to say about me, my life, my plans, my dreams, my vision for the future. Is it pleasing to Him or do I need to scrap it and rewrite according to His will and purposes?

I don’t fast because it changes God. I fast because it changes me.

It draws my attention to my Lord and Savior by having a focused time of seeking Him, reading His Word, asking for His guidance and direction. It drowns out the world and allows me time to spend with my Father. Not that I don’t do these things all year but it is a time set aside for just me and Him. A prolonged visitation if you will; when I make it a point to focus on relationship.

I consider it the first fruits of my year. I give Him the first and the best. During the year, I revisit the results of that time. I reread my goals for the year. I reconsider my actions, my failures, my victories. I adjust as I need to and go on from there.

There is nothing magical about January. That is just the time so many people consider “a new beginning”. Resolutions are made. Life changes are proclaimed. Often, by February failure is already proclaimed and most return to their old ways. Most are not resolute at all. Resolute means determined, persevering despite failures, steadfast.  When many resolutions are made, they are not made with this in mind. People don’t really understand “resolution”.

If I proclaim that I am resolute – I am saying that I will stand fast, persevere, face the challenges and will not give up. Despite falling down, I will get back up and continue moving forward. I Will Not give up! I am resolute!!

I am determined to fulfill God’s purposes for my life. Every day, every month, every year. Therefore I need to know what His purposes are. That’s why I seek Him at the beginning of every year. I seek His plans and purposes. I listen for His voice while I fast to remove the noises of the world. Concentrated listening! Pen in hand listening. Bible in lap, listening. I listen for His voice. His guidance. His plan.

Resolutions – are they sincere? Are you really determined? Are you steadfast in the decisions?  Make this year one of purpose. Make it one of fulfilling God’s plans for your life. Make it a year of victories!

Happy New Year!!