A new year is upon us! But what to do? Will we repeat what we’ve always done? Or will we see new growth this year in the areas that matter most to us?
I’d like to say, if we follow God’s way of doing things, there will be growth. And here’s why:
Blessed is the man [or woman] who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his [or her] delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law they meditate day and night.
He [or she] shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he [or she] does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)
I’ve never claimed to have a green thumb, but I have naturally observed how trees grow–a little at a time. And that’s why I know you and I will have growth this year. God compares our lives (from His perspective) like a growing tree; therefore, growth will come naturally to us.
Once Tod and I planted some fast growing trees as windbreaks around our house. Sure enough, within one year, the little twigs we planted had grown over 4 feet tall with an abundance of green leaves. We were delighted. But looking back, I realize now that those trees (although nice for the purpose we planted them) were not as strong as an oak or maple tree. The difference was time.
Over time, the stronger trees may look like not much is happening, but in the end they provide the greatest heritage of beauty, strength, protection, and substance.
I’ve wanted to grow fast at times. I’ve questioned God, and myself, about the slow process or seemingly lack of “leaves” in my life. But in actuality, I was only basing my value on what I could see outside and not what God could see from within. In essence, I was hurrying my season.
But in order to have a great season of growth, here’s what God has promised:
1. Blessings will follow good choices. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any plans to intentionally seek ungodly counsel, or spend time carousing in godless activities. Instead, I have found a delight in God’s Word. This simple choice makes all the difference in our growth.
2. Every season produces fruit. Now, what kind of fruit is up to us. But if we adhere to Lesson One above, we are promised good fruit. And that may come in the form of small victories (like new leaves on our branches) or exceed our wildest imagination with a harvest of fruit for ourselves and others. But one way or another, this next year is a season and it will produce something.
And here’s the key to unlocking God’s promises: If we’ll embrace these two understandings, we’ll prosper.
But what does that mean exactly? To prosper means to be successful or fortunate; to thrive or flourish; especially in the financial realm. That’s the definition, take it or leave it. (I think I’ll take it.) It’s a promise. God said it, therefore we should believe it… and expect it.
In other words, when we operate according to God’s way of doing things, we will never be disappointed.
So here we are… at the door of a new season! I pray you will take time today to look at the growth (or lack of) this past year and make adjustments accordingly. I know I will be, and I’m already expecting nothing but God’s best!