I know, you have heard time and time again about everyone’s New Years resolutions, goals etc. We start the year supper excited to do everything that God has laid on our hearts, but that excitement is not enough to complete our goals. Excitement will not help you finish that paper at 2 in the morning, or continue moving forward after many closed doors.
As great as it is to set goals and make vision boards, it is absolutely useless if you will not execute these goals. None of us want to end 2018 in the same way we started it. That is not my hope for you and I. So how will we conquer these goals? I have two VERY important practices that I will share with you all that has helped me grow and achieve my plans.
This may not have been what you imagined. You might be saying “ Karen, am I not suppose to be moving full force towards my goals?”, and yes you should be. Rest IS NOT a replacement for hard work. One of the purposes of man is to work. When God created Adam, He had him work! He didn’t just sit and rest all day. Furthermore, God himself worked, but He worked for six days.
The Bible tells us “ By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day, he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2 NIV). This verse reveals two things. 1. God finished his work 2. God rested. A lot of times, people fall into two extremes; On one end, some people only rest, they are lazy and all they do is have fun. On the other end, some people only work, and never stop. God worked hard and then rested, and that is what I am encouraging us to all do. Work hard, pursue excellence, give it your all, but also know when to take a pause.
Your Works Don’t Make You Worthy
Sometimes it is hard to stop in a world that is always going. You hop on social media and people are either talking about living leisurely for the rest of their lives or grinding hard, there is no balance. But we serve a God of balance. In your rest, God is working on your behalf, you will never lose by giving yourself a break.
I use to be one of those workaholics/busybodies. I found my worth in doing a lot, whether it be in school, ministry, work ect….My identity was attached to the services I could do on behalf of God’s name. I had to understand that my identity and worth was not attached to my works. You have been saved by grace and not by works. Your father in heaven doesn’t want you killing yourself by overworking, He is only asking for obedience. When it is time to work, give it your all, but when He asks you to rest, go ahead and pause.
Here are three benefits of rest in achieving your goals.
- Rest forces you to pause and reflect: Believe it or not, you might be moving in the opposite direction of your goals, and you can easily miss this if you don’t reflect on where you are and where you are going. Is everything you are doing truly important in achieving your goals? Are you doing everything the correct way? Are your priorities set well? Rest will allow you the time to think of all these things.
- It glorifies the Lord. I don’t know about you, but it is more amazing to say “ God did it” then “Karen did it”. I love situations where I can only give the glory to the Lord because it shows His children that He is REAL and AMAZING. In your rest, God will work out things that you could not have done yourself…because you are resting.
- It refuels you. I have seen so many people get burned out, and it is generally related to their inability to sit back and rest. Believe it or not, most things will not fall apart if you aren’t there (ouch, but it’s true). It will be ok, go ahead and rest so that you may gain the energy and passion to keep going. Honestly, it is often on my blog hiatuses that my creative juices flow the best…why? because I walk a little slower and give myself the chance to think and be filled.
2. Discipline/Self Control
Discipline and self-control are certainly all traits that we want to have, but it can be a very hard practice to build. I would consider myself a disciplined person and I think most people would, however, my discipline did not grow overnight and is a result of lifelong practice. You need to challenge yourself to be disciplined every day!
Discipline helps you say no to short-term desires in order to protect your long-term plans. By saying no today, you give your future self the ability to say yes. Discipline will be critical to pursuing your goals this year and onward. You have to learn to sacrifice certain things so that you may attain what you truly want.
Think Of Your Future
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you love clothes ( like I do), but you also have a desire to grow your savings account or start investing. You would need to discipline yourself enough to say NO to buying new clothes so that you can pour more money into investing. Now, there is nothing wrong with new clothes, but it might be the wrong thing for you in this season.
It can be extremely hard to be disciplined in a social media world where you are tempted by what you see online. It’s hard to see people jet-setting and wearing the very best styles while you are eating mac and cheese trying to pay off your credit card bills. I don’t know if that is your situation, but my prayer is that you will walk in your own lane instead of comparing it to everyone’s else. So what if everyone is doing this, that and that, it’s NOT your life right now and that is ok. Your present situation will not last. With the proper planning and discipline, you will one day be able to have those things that you desire. BUT we have to remember that there is a time and place for EVERYTHING.
Learn to think about your future and not just your present. It is very small minded to lack discipline. Think big here, your sacrifice will pay off.
Your very best life is not the one where you travel, don’t work or strut your stuff on Instagram ( unlike popular belief). Your very best life is the one where you obey God’s plans for your life, that will look different for each person.
My prayer today is that we would live out our very best life, the one that is pleasing to God. That we will not let comparison lead us to make bad decisions. That we would have self-control and that we would understand that our worth is not related to our work. That we would rest in God’s presence like never before and allows him to replenish us so that we may serve and live out of an overflow.
Comment below and tell me what principle you will work on in 2018, discipline or rest?