“Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
A new year is like a clean slate. It brings renewed hope, along with the excitement of new plans and goals. Too many times, though, we strive to accomplish the wrong things. Since only God’s plans serve eternal purposes, we need His counsel in setting godly goals. So, how do we go about seeking the counsel of the Lord?
First, we find His counsel in His Word. The highest priority of a believer is to be in Scripture daily. Be careful, though, not to read the Bible from the perspective of what you want. Instead, genuinely seek what He wants to do in you and through you this year.
We also seek God’s counsel in prayer. Again, we have to be careful not to turn prayer into a shopping list for personal wants and desires. Our example is the Lord Jesus, Himself. In the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed, “not my will but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42). God uses prayer to prepare our hearts and minds to do His plan, His way, and in His timing.
Finally, we seek godly counsel from spiritually minded people. These should be fellow believers who love you enough to ask thought-provoking questions. We need people in our lives who challenge us to examine our goals and plans, along with the motives behind them. Humbly listen to their advice, expressing gratitude for their investment in your life.
So, think about your resolutions for the coming year. Is God just part of your plan, or is His plan at the forefront of your goals? Is your motive to glorify Jesus Christ in your accomplishments? This year, trust the counsel of our sovereign Lord to set godly goals. When you look back, you’ll be able to trace His hand of guidance, comfort, and provision.