At the end of 2019 and the very start of 2020, the questions, “What are your goals for 2020?” and “What is your “word” for this new year?” were all over social media. If people weren’t asking about our “word” or goals they were telling us what their goals and word for the new year are.
It makes me feel a little pressured thinking I have to come up with these goals and words. Don’t get me wrong, I am always wanting to improve on the previous year. Therefore, I pray for direction from the Lord about what action to take if any.
This year, as I considered some changes and improvements I would like to make in different areas of my life, the Lord has been showing me one thing; “stay close.” My two words and goal for 2020 are to “stay close” to the Lord.
John 15:4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can bear no fruit unless you remain in me.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to be in 2020 is unfruitful or unproductive.
To remain means to abide, dwell, hang around, stay, stick around, and to tarry. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary App]
How can we stay close to the Lord?
We can read and study God’s word daily getting to know Him better. When we know God better we will trust Him more.
We can also spend time with the Lord every day in prayer. Not just talking to Him but also being quiet and listening to what He is speaking into our spirit.
You may say, “I’m too busy to spend time in prayer and reading the Bible.”
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We all get to choose how we spend those 24 hours. If spending time with our Creator and Savior is not a priority in those 24 hours then those 24 hours will have been unproductive and unfruitful.
“If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will, in the end, make no difference what you have chosen instead.” ~ William Law
It’s our choice! We get to choose how close we will be to the Lord. He doesn’t move away from us, we move away from Him.
James 4:8a Come near to God and he will come near to you.
What are the benefits of staying close to the Lord?
- Lack of fear
- Spiritual growth
- A greater understanding and knowledge of God’s word
- Increased wisdom and discernment
- Increased love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
- Increased faith
- Eternal assurance
- Increased hope
- Increased obedience to God’s word
- Decreased compromise of God’s word
- Not so easily deceived
The list could go on and on.
The sky is the limit for those who stay close to the Creator of heaven and earth. To the One who knows the beginning and the end. To the One who is in control of all things. To the One who loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Whatever your “word” or your goal for 2020 is, I encourage you to stay close to the Lord. There is no safer place to be. There is no more productive or fruitful place to be.
Colossians 1:9-11 … that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.
Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.