Taking Stock

In case you missed it – for it came and went so quickly – we have already left the first half of 2010 and entered the second half.  Less than six months left until Christmas.  New school year just around the corner.  Football season imminent. . .  STOP!  Maybe, it is better just to live in the now.

Because time passes so quickly, however, now is also the time to take stock of the goals and plans we set at the beginning of this year.  In general, Christians don’t differ much from our counterparts in the world when the new year rolls around.  We might begin with times of prayer and fasting, rather than toasting, but we, too, set goals (the world calls them resolutions) for ourselves.  We begin the year excited about what we believe we will do.  If we take stock now, in July, have we made any progress?

While some have continued working toward their goals, the vast majority find ourselves pretty much where we began in January, except for the enthusiasm.  In many cases, those goals and plans are such a distant memory that they are basically forgotten.  Before charging forward from a dead stop, though, it’s important to reconsider what we thought we were to do.  Was it really the Lord’s plan, or just something we felt we needed to, wanted to, or should do as a Christian?

If it’s in the need / want / should category, release it to the Lord and allow Him to work as we simply continue to live in His Word.  If was the Lord’s plan, however, it hasn’t changed.  He hasn’t withdrawn it, nor is He surprised (or disappointed) by our delay.  He waits patiently for us to pick it up again – in His grace – and begin taking the necessary steps with Him to reach the goal.

Philippians 3:12-14 NIV  12 . . . I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 . . . Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Whatever our reason for failing to pursue God’s plans, forget it!  Isn’t that what Paul said?  Actually, we don’t forget the plans, just what we haven’t done.  Then we ask for Holy Spirit’s help as we begin to strain and press toward what is ahead in Christ Jesus for us.  He is willing and He is able.  Now is the time to pursue.  We can face the rapidly approaching end of the year with confidence that we will, indeed, make progress toward God’s goals for us as we go forward, not looking back.

It’s not too late.  The time is now.  Press forward!