Updated: Aug 29
“Behold, I will do a new something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
Today marks the start of a new year. There is much excitement, eagerness, fear, and uncertainty as to what the year may bring. It’s the time of the year where many make plans, goals, and resolutions to start, restart, or reclaim those that fell by the wayside. We tend to start well, but for many of us within the first few months, the burning fire begins to dim, and our eagerness and determination begin to waiver. It’s melancholy, to say the last. We find our selves back in the same unfortunate conditions we tried so hard to escape. I, myself, struggle with the same dilemma as I strive to write more often this year.
Israel dealt with this same mindset. Wanting to make a change, but lack the effort, commitment, and grit to endure. The Book of Isaiah, by the prophet Isaiah, is a warning of judgment to God’s people in Judah. He conveyed a message of hope and the arrival of the coming Messiah that would make all their woes better. God’s people have since the beginning of time consistently fell short of the plan and goals he has for our lives. Recognizing our shortcomings, God, in His infinite wisdom, has used men and women to get us back on the right track with his word. He knows our weaknesses, lack of commitment, and unwillingness to change. Our failures can lead to hopeless, despair, and uncertainty.
God used the prophet Isaiah to speak these words to His people in Isaiah 43:19(NASB),
“Behold, I will do a new something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”
God was saying to His people back then and still speaking to us today that I know what I have in store for you, and it will come to pass if you allow me to work it for you. He says I’ll even make way for it to happen even when it seems impossible. Not only will I provide the way, but I’ll also provide the means as well.
As we approach this new year with new hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations, let us exercise wisdom and understanding that in this life, all significant accomplishments come with assistance.
Psalms 121:1-2 is an excellent reminder of this great assistance:
“1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven, and earth."
Whatever it is that we would like to accomplish this year, take time to consult with the Father. If we genuinely want a change in our lives, He should be our starting point. One of my former seminary professors, Dr. Thomas Barbian, recently wrote an article for the Columbia Metropolitan magazine title, “Reset Your Mindset - Contemplating Meaningful Change.” In his article, he states, “Even the best goal, and the most sincere desire, will not be enough to bring about change if the process is flawed.” When we embark upon new journeys, we should have an idea, plan and mode to arrive. Although God is our chief orchestrator, he’s enabled us with the ability to chart our own course. The question is, “Will we consult him about it?”
Our quest for achievement this year should be carefully examined and well thought out if we wish to obtain anything. Dr. Barbian gives a model in his article, that serves as a vehicle to arrive at our destination. He calls it the VIM Model, standing for vision, intentions, and means. I’ve taken the liberty to summarize his key points in the outline below. By implementing this process in our goals, plans, and resolutions, with the guidance, strength, and support of the Lord, we should be well on our way to success.
A. Vision - What is it do we want to change?
Set the goals - (be specific, measurable, and incremental)
Focus on what we can control - (leave the rest to God)
B. Intentions - Why do I want to make a change?
What’s my motivation?
Is it from negative or positive consequences?
Is it external or internal motivation?
C. Means - How will I make the change?
Am I planning my goals?
What type of resources do I have?
Are my resources external or internal?
Accomplishing goals is never an easy task. Yet, with the proper mindset, full-proof process, and the help of our Lord and Savior, we should be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. As we look forward to the “new things” want to accomplish, let us also be mindful of the “new things” God already has in store for us!
Barbian, Thomas. "Reset Your Mindset: Contemplating meaningful change." Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. 2019. Accessed January 1, 2020. https://columbiametro.com/article/reset-your-mindset/
Dr. Stephone A. Berry is an Associate Minister at Christian Faith Fellowship in Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated with a Master of Divinity in Ministry Studies and earned a Doctorate of Ministerial Leadership from Columbia International University.