There is a saying that I have heard many times in my life, and I am sure you probably have too. It is: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” *
Since today is the beginning of a new year, it seems like that is a good “thought for the day” to put out there. Beginning a new year gives us a chance to take a hard look at where we have been and what we have been doing, then determine how to make our lives better in the future.
This typically tends to be a time when many people think about changes they want or need to make – they then make resolutions or set goals to accomplish those goals. But a person has to have a strong mental constitution to stick with the desire for those changes, and it is pretty rare that anyone actually does accomplish all they set out to do.
So I believe that we should try to be as realistic as possible about any resolutions or goals we set for ourselves – hopefully giving ourselves a better shot at being successful. So what about this upcoming year? What is something realistic that could result in some good benefits in our lives?
A few days ago while reading my daily devotional, I had a thought about how to accomplish success in any resolutions or goals established. The devotional for that day was based on a line of the Lord’s prayer – Matthew 6:10b (GNT) – “…may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The premise of the devotional was about how when we pray, we tend to be concerned about what we want. There is certainly nothing wrong with that – we are told to ask Him for what we need and want. However, are our desires truly what is best for us? Have we seriously considered God’s will first?
It said that we should express to God that our desire is not only to do this thing for us, but to use our prayers to accomplish what is truly best. After all – He sees all, He knows all – He has the big picture that we do not have. So our desire should be that He will take our prayers and use them as an invitation to accomplish what is best. “Prayer is…a rolling out of the red carpet for God to intervene in the world He created and owns.” **
We should never forget that we have an enemy in this world – Satan – that would love nothing more than to destroy our lives. He is referred to in the Bible by many names, but one of them is “the strong man”. Jesus speaking said in Luke 11:21 (ERV): “‘When a strong man with many weapons guards his own house, the things in his house are safe.’” but then in verse 22 He goes on to say: “‘But suppose a stronger man comes and defeats him. The stronger man will take away the weapons that the first man trusted to keep his house safe. Then the stronger man will do what he wants with the other man’s things.’” God is that “stronger man” that will come and defeat Satan on our behalf, but I believe we need to ask for God’s help to defeat that enemy. We should “roll out the red carpet” and allow God to intervene on our behalf.
For many months In my daily prayers I have been claiming for myself the words of Jeremiah 20:11 (NLT): “But the Lord is with me to help me like an awe-inspiring warrior. Therefore those who persecute me will fail and will not prevail over me. They will be thoroughly disgraced because they did not succeed. Their disgrace will never be forgotten.” That seems like it would be an excellent “red carpet” to put out there for God.
So, as we begin this new year – the first day of the rest of our lives – let us make our #1 resolution or goal that we will become prayer warriors. That we will roll out that red carpet for our God – praying for our needs and the needs of others with the idea foremost in our mind that it is His invitation to intervene, accomplishing His will for the best outcome.
Happy New Year! May 2023 be a year overflowing with blessings!
Written by Karran Martin – December 28, 2022
*Attributed to Charles E. Dederich, Sr.
**Quote from Chris Tiegreen