Changing calendar, unchanging God

Published 10:18 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2019

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Everybody is talking about goal-setting and vision board parties these days. Most of the influencers I follow are promoting their secret sauce for a successful year. It has even been said that a new year means that you get to start the year with a clean slate. That sounds all well and good. There’s nothing wrong with wanting an opportunity to start afresh. Yet, could it be that a new year just means it is a continuation of something already in progress or unfinished?

How is it that every year, people start with a new set of goals? It could be that some people are just great goal getters. They make a list of 10 things in December and 10 months later, they have checked off all 10 things on the list as accomplished. So, they need a fresh list. But that is not most of us. We are in the category of those who have seen the same goal written on our list year after year. I know I have. In fact, I came across two notebooks over the past month that confirmed to me that I have been saying I was going to do something since 2013 and I have not done that thing yet. When I prayed about my goals for the year, I was convicted. God reminded me (in fact he showed me in my own handwriting) that He already answered this request. He has not changed His mind. I need to complete the tasks He has already assigned.

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Earlier in the month, I passed a marquee sign that read “Changing Calendar, Unchanging God.” I believe I saw the message in front of Magnolia United Methodist Church as I was traveling down Wilroy Road. I am not certain. Although I cannot remember exactly where I observed the statement, the message has been with me ever since. In fact, I believe these very words ministered to me regarding my goals for the year. I came face to face with a truth that a changed calendar does not mean unfinished business from the previous year escapes the will of God.

We should be so happy that God’s will does not change like the seasons. When I looked back in that notebook, I was disappointed for a brief time. But then I rejoiced for the grace of God that reminded me that He has not forgotten His plans for me, nor should I.

I believe there are some things we just will not get to until we do the difficult things God has asked us to do. A great part of overcoming unfinished works is being convinced that you can do nothing without faith in yourself and in the Lord to see you through the thing He asked of you.

In the Bible, James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (NIV).” That nagging idea, that relentless desire, and that want in your heart that made its way to your goal list was planted by the one who does not change His mind. Be glad about that and let that fuel your pursuit of the goal.

Give your goal list to God. We have learned that S.M.A.R.T. goals start with being specific. Well, I encourage you to surrender instead. It is not up to you to finish what he started. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).” Smart goals start with surrender. Surrendered goals end in victory.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.