Spiritual Vision

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Around 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. We have such good intentions, but we always seem to run out of willpower. We’re offered tips like these:

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

“You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.”

“Your life is up to you.”

“You have control of your own life.”

How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

“Behind every successful person is a relentless work ethic, the ability to block out distractions, and a well-defined six-pack of self-control. Find creative ways to work your self-control and keep making it stronger.”

F**k It Therapy: The Profane Way to Profound Happiness by John C. Parkin

“…the key to healing is in the very phrase ‘self-doubt.’ What’s the opposite of doubt? Trust? So replace self-doubt with self-trust. Start to trust what you feel more.”

One big thing I’ve learned from my walk with Jesus is that we sometimes must reassess our instinctual beliefs.

We say: “Do whatever makes you happy.” and “Take control of your life!”

Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

We say: “It’s up to you to exercise self-control” or “Hustle, and then hustle harder.”

Matthew 19:25-26 says: “The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.””

We say: “Follow your heart” and “Trust in yourself.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Instead of creating goals and searching for ways to achieve them (focusing on physical and mental vision), allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in setting your goals (focus on Spiritual vision). If we allow the Holy Spirit to guide and shape us, we can achieve the very things we’ve been trying to get on our own through New Year’s resolutions and self-help books.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.

Conventional thinking:
Set goals -> Make a plan -> Work REALLY hard -> Success

Biblical thinking:
Know/love/trust God -> Let go of control -> Invite the Holy Spirit into your goal setting -> Seek to listen -> Prayerfully do what he is prompting you to do -> Begin to see the fruits of the Spirit in your life

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, do you feel it is a God-ordained plan for you or simply a plan you have created for yourself?

How might focusing on a spiritual vision instead of a physical or mental vision change the way you approach 2020?

Next Steps:
If you are beating yourself up over failed goals, open your Bible. Search specifically for examples of God’s love for you, his creation. Ask God to reveal to you where he wants to see changes in your life. If you are having trouble, just keep reading. He is very good at revealing things when we first seek to know him.

21 Days of Prayer:
Day 2 – My love for God and others (Matthew 22:36-39)
Dear God, you said that the greatest commandment for me to follow is to love you with all of my heart, soul, and mind. Equally important is to love my neighbors as much as I love myself. Over these 21 Days of Prayer, as I connect with you, grow my heart so that I will love you more. And as my love grows for you, help me to love those around me more and more each day. Amen.

This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a blogger at GratefulSheep.com and a stay-at-home mom and wife. She loves writing for this team, and she hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.

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11 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    You’re right Ashlee. I stopped making the resolutions years ago, but I still start each year with renewed hope and vigor. My daughter is coming over in just a few minutes so we can get a work out in before work! It helps to have a partner, someone to hold you accountable, to take the journey with. I’m so glad that I found my way here and I’m on this faith journey with you and the other’s at Cedar Creek!

  2. Julie Mabus
    Julie Mabus says:

    Great post. We need reminded that while we are an important part of the goal process we cannot accomplish it by ourselves. We need to participate in but not run the process.

  3. Marna Ward
    Marna Ward says:

    Ashlee – challenging and fun approach to this, loved the thinking part and how visual it was! And the point that all we want is found in Jesus with the verse on what the Holy Spirit produces, is just what I needed today.

  4. Ben
    Ben says:

    Ashlee – great post! I know it is easy for me to start or solve struggles Me First….my strength my perspective my wants.

    I am so thankful for Gods patience and grace. He loves what He can do when we pray first and invite Him to lead!

  5. Lori Bridleman
    Lori Bridleman says:

    I really needed to hear about letting go of self-doubt and having self-trust today. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  6. Ashlee Grosjean
    Ashlee Grosjean says:

    Lori, while the idea of trusting in ourselves is reassuring, it is actually deceiving. When I quoted John C. Parkin, I wanted to point out that that type of thinking can actually lead to destruction. We don’t need the pressure of trying to trust ourselves because we have a savior who deserves our trust and won’t let us down. Meanwhile our own hearts are deceiving. Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” I hope this helps you and doesn’t discourage you.

  7. Chris Baney
    Chris Baney says:

    Ashlee, I am so thankful for this reminder. I love the way you articulated the struggle between trusting our own strength verses trusting God and letting that strengthen us. Thanks for making a difference.

  8. Josh Whitlow
    Josh Whitlow says:

    Thank you so much for this Ashlee. I can be so quick to make personal goals without inviting God into the process!

  9. Rebecca Roberts
    Rebecca Roberts says:

    I liked how you showed the difference between what the world thinks and what scripture says about it. It helps people understand the spiritual vision that we should be looking towards. For me instead of making a resolution, to help with spiritual vision, I will decide on a word that I want the year to look like. Then focus on that to help me grow and have focus instead of trying to plan things in my life.

  10. Luke Shortridge
    Luke Shortridge says:

    Great post Ashlee! It’s so tempting to trust in self and to convince yourself that we are in total control…when in reality it’s all God’s! Thanks for the reminder!

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