Are you one of those people who is fairly consistent with professional goal setting? Are you starting the new year with a sense of confidence because you achieved your goals in the past and feel that you have figured things out? Congratulations! This is a good place to be.
But…are you also feeling a bit awkward about this? Are you unsure about your next step?
If you are someone who is accustomed to being challenged and being busy, having a season like this can be uncomfortable. Without the structure of goals, you are not sure how to spend your spare time. Without a pressing need, you are not sure what to seek God for. You feel no conviction, but you feel idle.
Has it occurred to you that quiet time is exactly what you need? A sustained period of peace allows us the freedom to seek God for new direction and in different ways than we may be accustomed. It allows us to be available to others for their edification and for our own.
The Apostle Paul wrote four of the New Testament epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon) while imprisoned in Rome. These letters were written to members of the early church. Paul’s teaching and encouragement helps us to understand key doctrines, theology and the deity of Christ (Col 1:15-17, 2:9, Phil 2:5-6); Salvation by faith (Eph 2:8); Christian conduct, service and hope (Eph 4-6). It was during this time when Paul had limited freedom and obligations that he was able to articulate these foundational principles and write them down.
The Apostle John wrote five of books of the New Testament. One of those was the Book of Revelation and was recorded while he was exiled on the island of Patmos. Revelation is the written account of a vision or message delivered by an angel. Jesus considered John a servant (Rev 1:1). Imagine being in such a state that Jesus entrusts you with a unique message to deliver to someone else. What motives and distractions would you need to eliminate in order to be used in this way?
This year, continue with the good professional practices you have established. However, do not be alarmed if God has not revealed a new goal for you. He is silent sometimes. That is a signal for you to seek Him. God may remove distractions through tragedy. Be thankful that he is sustaining you. Consider it a blessing and a privilege to fellowship with God by asking for new direction. Take this time to explore using disciplines such as study, prayer, meditation, worship and fasting. He will meet you during your times of devotion. At the end of 2017, you will reflect on your growth and the distance you have traveled.