Thursday, 19 January 2017
The choices we make in 2017
The point is that your choices matter; your daily decisions matter; your attitudes matter and your actions also matter. These will culminate into what becomes of your life this New Year.
I believe that people can seek God’s face for the New Year. I believe that those that want to fast can fast and present themselves to God for whatever He wants to use them to do, even though it is not a prerequisite. I believe that there are many things in the future that are not within our control; hence we need to pray and adjust our lives to God and what He is doing to ensure that we are on the right side of the future.
What I don’t agree with is where people make false declarations because they want the church members to feel good. Some Pastors have put themselves under pressure to declare what will happen within the year. In the course, they declare strange things and lies that have no bearing to what God is doing, because of the gullible membership they have raise over the years.
I don’t agree with some people who use the time of seeking God at the beginning of the year as a time of bargaining and fund raising. If you want to raise money for your annual budget, set your target and urge your members to pledge, so that you will have the money to fund the programmes you have for the year. Trust God together with your members for His provision. But don’t manipulate them into thinking that their security and blessings within the year are dependent on how much they fast or give within the month of January. Do not manipulate them into thinking that they can use their money to “redeem” the year meanwhile behind the scene you are calculating how much is raised. The covenant we have with God in Christ and the terms and conditions recorded in the New Testament are enough for that.
Every January, there are bogus declarations by some church leaders. People use swelling words to hype the moral and emotions of others. There is nothing wrong trying to encourage the people to be positive towards the New Year, what is wrong is using lies to do that. God’s word is enough to make God’s people to trust Him. If God’s word is not able to motivate your people, then no bogus prophecies can make a lasting impression that has eternal value. Some have even gone into blessing holy water, holy oil, articles and “mantles” as instruments of anointing for the year. These are not proper and are deceptive. What carries people through is their relationship and faith in God which influences their daily choices.
Note that even though we make ourselves feel different in this month of January, the truth is that nothing really has changed; the days of this month will not be different from the other days of February, March, April etc. What will bring about changes are the choices and decisions we make daily. If you continue to make the same choices you have been making in the previous days, do not expect different outcomes in the days ahead. Prayer and fasting do not change the outcome of your daily choices.
Hence, instead of declaring false things to the people just to make them feel good and to raise money, use the occasion to challenge them to change their choices; to set new goals; to make new decisions towards the way they want to go; to take actions that will lead them to their new goals; to trust God and be faithful to Him because He rewards a faithful life. Let those who have been making bad choices repent and replace their bad choices with good ones. That is when they will expect a different outcome this year. Those that should go back to school should decide and start taking actions. Those that intend to take certification courses should decide and start making inquiries. This is the time to decide on any personal development you may want to engage in this year. Stop procrastination. Is there a small job opportunity to take up? Is there a ministry skill to develop? How many books do you intend to read this year? This is the time to take those decisions.
Declaring what God has not told you will only stir empty emotions but will not bring about tangible results. Leading your people to adjust their lives to what God wants to do in their lives this year is more important than whatever good words you want to tell them no matter what your intentions may be. It is good to bless your congregation, but it is important for you to note that God does not bless a sinful and disobedient life. So leading a faithful and obedient life is more important than any fasting and prayer that will not produce changes in people’s lives. When you are in good relationship with God, you will surely be found in the center of His will for your life.
These are the choices that will bring about changes in your life this year. If you are seeking God’s face, go ahead and pray but take note of the inevitable choices that you must make to accompany the prayer time. Do not be deceived. Refuse to be exploited. May God bless you in this year 2017!