In the first week of yet another year, I am reminded of the first four words from the book of Genesis, “In the beginning God,” and it occurred to me that there is no greater way to start the year than by getting God involved at the very beginning of it. If we look back over the past twelve months on how we did when we tried to manage things on our own, some of us would see our pathways littered with mistakes, disappointments, failures, hurts, among other things. For others, it has been a difficult year in other areas as it seems we have been tossed to and fro by life’s contrary winds. Nothing up to now seems to make any sense.
Yet there is something comforting about having God by our side. This does not guarantee that we will not experience challenges because living in a fallen world is a challenge within itself. However, God assured the nation of Israel, “O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour” (Isaiah 43:1-3a, KJV). Because we serve Him who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), we can trust Him that the same promise He made to Israel can be applied to our lives. It is important to note the use of the word “when” because it affirms that we will go through some challenging times. However, if we engage God at the beginning we have His word that He will be with us in and through every situation.
The importance of engaging God is brought out by the Psalmist who reminds us, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they [labour] in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1, AMP). This principle can be applied in and to every area of our lives. Unless the Lord builds our homes, our relationships, our marriages, our businesses, our careers, our futures, our churches, we labour in vain who tries to build them ourselves. Because everything is under God’s control, we are ultimately dependent on Him for our success. With that in mind, it makes sense that as we deliberate our plans for the New Year, the most important decision we can make is to engage God.
Moses also understood how important this was. Leading the nation of Israel in the exodus from Egypt, he was not prepared to go anywhere unless God was with them: “If Your presence does not go [with me], do not lead us up from here” (Exodus 33:15, AMP). It is my prayer that we will adopt the same attitude as we navigate our respective journeys, “Lord if you are not going to be with me in this thing I want/have to do, do not let me do it.” Doing anything without Him is never, ever a good idea.
“In the beginning God.” Engage Him.
God’s very best to you and yours for a blessed and successful 2019.