A Year of Purpose: Unpacking Top Resolutions and Their Impact

by Dwayne Moore

I’ve never been much for New Year’s Resolutions. I tend to forget most of them or fail to keep them for over a few days or weeks. But I’m hopeful this year will be different. The goals I’ve set for myself in this new year are vital to my success–in my ministry, family, and life. Here they are:

  • Trust and obey
  • Share and say
  • Always pray
  • Seize today

I like how those convenient rhyme because that helps me remember them better. I’ve memorized them so I can roll them off easily. I try to say them and repeat them daily to keep them in front of me. These are goals that I feel the Lord led me to set for myself strongly, so I take them very seriously. I want to unpack what they mean to me and why. Perhaps they could be beneficial to you as well.

Trust and Obey

The starting place for me is to trust and obey God in everything. Ultimately, that’s what matters most- to trust and listen to Him and then do whatever He says. Like an old hymn I grew up singing teaches us:

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

If we want to be fulfilled and have the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10, and if we want to be at peace in our lives, then we must do more than give him lip service. It’s not enough to say we trust Him. We must obey the Lord in everything he leads us to do–even if it sometimes goes against conventional wisdom. One of my lifetime verses is Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your understanding. Seek hHs will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (NLT; italics mine).

God expects us to search the Scriptures and live according to His Word. If we don’t trust and obey him every day, then we shouldn’t expect to find true prosperity and success in this year or any year, for that matter. What he said to Joshua also applies to us: “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do” (Joshua 1:8 NLT). Psalm 1 says, “They delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (NLT).

What’s more, we don’t have the luxury of keeping skeletons in our closets, so to speak. We can’t keep pet sins hidden away. They are offensive to a holy God. He sees and knows everything we do, say and think. Therefore, “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a NLT).

Share and Say

I must trust and obey, and this year, I am determined to share and say. This goal may need some explanation to see why it made my “Top 4” resolutions.

I’m grateful to be the CEO of a growing nonprofit organization. God has given me the responsibility and stewardship to help move this global ministry forward. That includes raising money to fund the huge vision the Lord gave us. And while I know God leads people to give, I believe it is my responsibility to help share our vision with them.

How should we go about sharing our mission and vision with others? Again God’s Word gives us some clear direction. God told Habakuk to “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it” (Habakuk 2:2 KJV).

Write the vision. We can glean from Habakuk that we need to write down the vision God has given us for our organization, church, family, or business. The vision God gave Habakuk was to be posted publicly so others could see it. Similarly, we need to share our vision in a public way through social media, emails, messages, letters, websites, etc. We should use every means possible to let others know what the Lord has put in our hearts.

Make it plain. It should be clear and concise. Some theologians believe that “so he may run with it” means that “even the runner, one who hastens by hurriedly, may be able to read it…fluently and easily.” The idea is that even someone running by a poster could still catch what it says and understand its meaning. We should have our mission honed down to one simple sentence. Experts say we should aim for ten words or less in length. That way, we can state it quickly to someone at a coffee shop or during a passing conversation at the store.

Run with it. I want to not only share the vision but to say the vision. This year, I need to do a better job opening my mouth and talking about what God is doing through NLW International, our vision for the future, and what resources we need to fulfill that vision.

Carry the message. Whereas the KJV says, “so he may run who reads it,” the New International Version gives a different possible meaning for the reference to running in Habakuk 2. It reads, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” The New Living Translation supports that interpretation: “Write my answer plainly on tablets so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.” What is it about our vision and the way we share that could motivate others to want to “run with it”? Are we presenting a simple and contagious message people can easily share with friends and colleagues?

More important than sharing our mission is sharing God’s mission. Jesus came to seek and save those who were lost. His glorious Gospel can change a person from the inside out and give them life eternal and abundant. If we have any doubt about someone’s salvation or their state of heart, we should start by sharing the Good News with them that Jesus died, was buried, and is now alive forevermore.

It’s been said that people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. In 2024, I want my initial thought when I meet someone to be how I can show love and compassion toward them. I want to first listen to them and, in some way, share Jesus’ love with them. Then I could also get to share with them the exciting news about NLW International and how our ministry is taking the message of Jesus to the world.

Always Pray

The King James Version of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says we should “pray without ceasing.” Other translations put it similarly: “Pray continually,” “Pray continually,” “Never stop praying,” “Constantly pray,” and “Pray unceasingly.” There is no way around it: We should always pray.

  • In Philippians 4:6, Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Our responsibility is to bring our requests before God” (NIV).
  • James said we don’t have because we don’t ask (4:2).
  • Jesus himself placed huge importance on prayer with His Father. He often went off alone to pray for hours on end.
  • In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had this to say about prayer: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Mathew 7:7-11 NLT).

My goal in 2024 is to have a more consistent lifestyle of prayer. From the moment I rise until I lay my head on my pillow, I want to be constantly talking and listening to my Heavenly Father. I want to consistently pray HE, WE, and THEY, as I wrote in my most recent book.

Seize Today

Today is really all we have. We can’t change yesterday, and we can’t control tomorrow. But we have today. We need to seize this day and make the most of it. Jesus taught about this in his Sermon on the Mount when he said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?…So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries” (Matthew 6:25-27, 34a NLT).

What We Shouldn’t Do
We could sit around and feel sorry for ourselves about past regrets. We could hide our heads under our covers and be consumed by worry and dread. But what good would that do? Anxiety and fear only serve to freeze us in our tracks and keep us from moving forward. They can blind us to the opportunities and blessings right in front of us. In 2024, instead of letting worry get to you, join me in preaching these words to yourself:

  • I choose to say no to fear and doubts.
  • I will not be overtaken by this.
  • I will get up and go to my Father.
  • I will get up and do something right now.

What We Should Do
Paul said we should focus on “making the best use of the time because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16 NIV). Even in the worst of circumstances, we can seize this day. Nobody’s had a worse day than Paul and Silas did in Acts 16 when they were beaten, shackled, and thrown into prison. Yet, they made the most of their situation. They praised God during their circumstances. We need to do the same!

I love what this old gospel song says…

I’m gonna walk right out of this valley
Lift my hands and praise the Lord
Not gonna ole’ Satan get me down, down, down
Why should I stay here til I die?
Heaven’s awaiting just a little bit higher
I’m gonna walk right out of this valley with my Lord

Hazel Trubee

It should be noted that to “seize” a day doesn’t mean we should try to pack it in with a lot of activity. Busyness doesn’t necessarily equate to effectiveness. We need to be wise with our time. We need to pray and ask God what He wants us to do. Write it down. Make a list and prioritize that list. Know our priorities and how those align with our bigger vision of what God wants us to be in each season of life.

Preach Away

The four resolutions in this article are goals we need to remind ourselves of. We need to preach them to ourselves often. Why is that? Because our brains tend to forget. Our enthusiasm from yesterday may fade, but God’s love for us today has not faded. His love endures forever! Say those words to yourself, and let them pour over you now.

Jude 20-21 is my theme passage for this year: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (ESV).

There is hope for today as long as there is breath in our lungs. So, let’s keep building up our most holy faith. God has given you and me another day to make a difference. What a joy. What a privilege!

Are you feeling out of focus for 2024? Enjoy Dwayne’s writing? Join Dwayne and others for our ONE DAY ReFOCUS event. Click on the image below for more information.

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