“5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Happy New Year!” everyone shouted, as party horns blew and confetti reigned down. Baloons sailed across the room as a real war ensued. In the chaos, streamers were ripped from the walls.
Everything grew quiet as a morgue once the food was served, and everyone got down to the serious business of eating. All the guests were full to bursting once they were done, but they laughed this off and resolved to start their strict dieting plans tomorrow.
Then, going around the circle, they began to share their resolutions, which sounded strikingly similar to last year’s broken promises. When they heard the popping of firecrackers, though, they were alerted to the fact that the hour was growing late. As they gather their coats and purses, they steered the conversation to the next day’s work, and they eventually said goodbye and headed out.
Half an hour later, when all of his guests had gone, Jack shrugged his shoulders in discouragement. Instead of a party atmosphere, the house was now filled with an eerie silence that haunted him. Despite this, he mumbled to himself as he cleaned up the balloons and shards of paper which still lay everywhere. As he did this, however, the shreds of doubt he had struggled to suppress began to surface, and he started to speak them out loud.
Wondering what the new year really held, he sighed in despair, and straightened up from the task at hand. But in a daze and not watching where he was going, Jack bumped into the living room wall.
A moment later, when he had recovered from the shock, he aimlessly wandered into his office next door. Flipping on the light switch, the mound of paperwork strewn across his desk answered his former musings. The pile greeting Jack only reminded him of the pressures and deadlines which he had temporarily left behind while celebrating. Being tired, though, Jack only scoffed in depression as he poured himself a nightcap.
While the voice of his drink seemed to tell him to take it easy, a clearer voice penetrated the fog of his mind. In a lamenting tone it asked, “Why are you running from me?”
Jack bolted upright with a start, trying to shake off the voice. When this didn’t work, he knew that he could no longer ignore his problems. So deciding to search for some kind of resolution tomorrow, Jack turned back to his drink and tried to forget. He needed a good night’s sleep, after all.
Our situations may not resemble Jack’s, but during this new year, we all need to ask ourselves a similar question. I believe we all tend to run from God in some area of our lives. So even if you don’t agree, I am asking you to indulge me as I explain by using these three w’s: watching, worshipping, and waiting.
Watching is a constant theme in the Bible, either spoken of outright, or explicitly stated throughout scripture. For example, we are told to be watchful in 1 Peter 5:8. The apostle Peter commands us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
Jesus gave us a similar command when telling His disciples, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41, KJV)
Therefore, as His disciples today, and with all that will be going on in 2022, we need to follow this principle more than ever before. Figuratively speaking, the hour is growing late, and the clock may soon strike midnight in more ways than one. In order to se some things which that implies, let’s continue.
Worship is the second w, and it is both a form and a cousin of watchfulness. As a form, our need for God becomes more apparent as we draw closer to Him in adoration, and through watchfulness in the scriptures, He can search our hearts more fully. As our sinfulness is revealed, therefore, we can confess whatever holds us back and move forward, turning to Him.
On the other hand, worship can be separate from watchfulness, but related to it at the same time. We worship as we search God’s Word, which leads us closer to adopting a lifestyle of watchfulness and prayer. His spirit quickens His Word to our hearts, as we are conformed into the image of Christ more and more. Above all else, though, we should seek to please Him, and pursue characteristics like holiness and the eternal joy which He lavishes upon us.
Lastly, God wants to grant you the best new year you have ever had. Since life entails a lot of waiting, join His weight-training program. Simply existing while waiting for something to happen is not what the Bible is speaking about. Waiting for God should be continually seeking His face as you actively knock on the door of opportunity. Instead of going ahead of God and just walking through life while making your own plans, learn to listen for His voice.
So yes, ring in the new year with celebration, while letting God conform you into His likeness. Let Him set the tone for your day through meditation and revelation, and you are more likely to be singing with joy by next New Year’s Eve.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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