In the beginning, God… These words probably seem familiar because they are the beginning of the Bible. And, what great words they are–of beginnings. I can think of no better place to begin reading on the first day of the year than Genesis 1:1.
That’s what I love about celebrating the New Year, it’s a beginning. The beginning of something new.
Beginnings are great, especially if you understand why there is a beginning at all. The best way to understand the beginning of your New Year is by looking at the beginning of the beginnings. In the beginning, God…
- Beginnings are deliberate.
If they weren’t they wouldn’t begin. In the beginning when God created, he created with and on purpose–deliberately. He began because He wanted to produce.
You have an opportunity to begin in many ways new, but this new beginning will not happen by accident. Beginnings never do. So, as you look at the beginning of a new year, what in this year would you want to see happen in your life? As you answer that question know this: your answer will never happen unless you’re deliberate in doing it.
Want to begin a new job? Want to begin a new hobby? Want to learn another language? Whatever it is, it will not happen unless you work at it on purpose.
- Beginnings have a clean page.
In the beginning of beginnings it all began with a clean page on which God could begin His narrative. “The earth was without form and void,” was the beginning with which God was working. He could make it whatever He wanted to make it.
This may not be as true for us, since we are not God, but we do begin the New Year with a clean page. A page on which to write your story this year. More on what to write later, but the only opportunity squandered is an opportunity missed. So, don’t miss a great opportunity that comes with a beginning, the ability to write your story.
It doesn’t matter what happen last year. You cannot live this year on last year’s successes, nor are you confined this year to last year’s failures. You are free from that past. That is why Philippians 3:13-14 mean so much to me:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13–14, ESV)
- Beginnings have a plan.
God began with a clean page but not an empty mind. He had a plan for that which He would create. He didn’t lay out the plan for His creation to see before hand but we can clearly see, through the intricacy of what He created, that He certainly had a plan. And God fulfilled the plan He had. Earth, Heaven, the sun, the moon and stars, fish and animals, and yes, even you and me are a result of that plan.
To adapt a statement from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, I’d rather try something and fail then try nothing and succeed. The best way to see your new beginning produce something deliberate is by having and working a plan. Without a plan you only have a dream. But, with a plan you ensure that you will always be doing something instead of nothing and something always produces…well…something.
Make a plan.
- After beginning comes rest.
God gave a very necessary example to us when He finished working His initial plan. He rested. Hopefully you’re thinking something like, “The infinite God of all creation cannot get exhausted like me, so He had no reason to rest.” And, you’d be right. He wasn’t tired. But, He did “deliberately” gives us an example.
This example that God gave became part of the Mosaic Law. We are not under that Law, something for which we should all be thankful, but we do have permission–permission to rest. And, we also have a need to rest. As I’m writing this I’m writing it to me: make sure you take time to rest so you will have the energy it takes to continue to work the plan. Give yourself permission to rest!
One more thing:
What story should I be writing and what should be my plan? The answer to this question goes back to the beginning; back to the beginning of beginnings. “In the beginning, God…”
Know that when God began deliberately, and with a clean slate, and with a plan, He had you in His plan. The best way to see success in your plans are to make sure they match His plans for you.
How do you know His plan for you? Well, let’s begin right here:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27, ESV)
God’s primary purpose for you is that you live and reflect His image. He created you for that. Here’s one more:
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son… (Romans 8:29, ESV)
As you deliberately write a plan on the clean page of your life this year, begin at the beginning God has given you, to reflect the glory of God the Son. Make sure your plans merge with God’s plan and live the New Year in a great way for Him. As Dr. Henry Cloud wrote: “God did not put us on the earth to fail to reflect His likeness.” Succeed in that and succeed in your New Year.
Be deliberate, start fresh, make a plan, and rest.
Happy New Year!