gracetidings:with dr doug mamvura
We thank God for having brought us into the new year.
A new year gives us an opportunity to redefine our vision and purpose. We need to stretch our minds and heighten our standards. The degree of success we achieve will always depend on the amount of desire we possess. So why settle for mediocrity?
A word of caution: Unless you change the way you were in 2019, 2020 will be just a continuation of the previous year. Who do you want to become in 2020? You have to intentionally design your identity based on your desired future self.
How much time do you spend imagining your future self?
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Often, identity and personality are reactions to life events, circumstances, and habits. Few people intentionally define and shape their identity, based on who they plan to be, and then become that person.
The new year gives you another opportunity to redefine yourself or reimagine yourself. Most people underestimate the power of imagination. There is no limit to what one can imagine. We see the power of imagination in Genesis 11:6, in the story of the Tower of Babel, God Himself said: “Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
Paul says in Ephesians 3:20 that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above that which we can think or imagine”. My question to you is: Have you spent time imagining yourself in 2020 and beyond? What kind of person do you want to be by the end of 2020? What accomplishments or goals have you set for yourself?
Your future self isn’t you. Your future self should be evolved and different from your current self. To stay the same, although it is expected and even culturally celebrated, means you’re not learning, advancing, and changing. Instead, you’re stuck in a story, avoiding new experiences, and limiting your potential. Refuse to be like that in 2020.
There’s another reason why viewing your future self as a different person from your current self is essential for making big changes in your life otherwise your 2020 will just be identical to 2019 if not worse.
Without viewing yourself in an imagined and different way, it’s actually not possible to engage in “deliberate practice”. Your behaviour has to be deliberate.
You have to leave the junk and baggage you had in 2019. Be intentional. There are certain friends you have to get rid of if you are to accomplish your goals in 2020. The Bible says bad company corrupts good character.
There are certain habits you have to get rid of if you are to succeed in 2020. You have to have a goal and your focus should be targeted directly at that goal.
The practice is purposeful and measured, not random and based merely on a “love of the process”. You need something to be working toward. You need a vision that gives meaning and purpose to your life. That vision then requires a concrete plan to accomplish it.
This is what you then need to commit to the Lord. It is very important for you to realise that as a believer your foundation has to be Christ. He has to be at the centre of these plans. Proverbs 16:3 clearly states that if we commit our work to the Lord, our plans will succeed.
I know most people are currently fasting during this month of January so that God moves on their behalf. Fasting is very good, however, you have to be very clear about why you are fasting. Don’t just be religious.
Please note that you don’t move God by fasting. God is not stuck. It’s you and I who need to renew our minds. When we fast, we are the ones that change and we are the beneficiaries of the fast. Our fasting doesn’t change God for the scriptures say in Malachi 3:6: “I am the Lord, I change not.”
Secondly, unless you have a clear plan of what you want to do in 2020, you can go on a 40-day fast, but nothing will change in your life. At times we waste a lot of time praying and begging God for the things that He has already given us. It’s because we are ignorant and stuck in tradition and religion.
For example, you can’t ask God to prosper you because for your sake though He was rich, He became poor (2 Corinthians 8:9). You can’t ask Him to bless you in 2020 because “He has already blessed you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). You can’t ask Him to heal you because by His stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:21).
God has already provided everything that you need in order to live a victorious life, hence the Bible says: “His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3). All you need is faith to appropriate what God has already given you.
Stop asking for what He has already given you. What you lack is either knowledge. When you therefore fast, you are aligning your mind to the spiritual man. You want the flesh to subject itself to the spirit so you are able to hear God, who is Spirit. You want to make sure that your spiritual acumen is sharp and you are sensitive to the Spirit of God. Your flesh can’t comprehend the things of God.
Fasting for success without a plan is waste of time. You have to have something that you are expecting God to give you victory for. Make sure it is in line with the Word of God. Do you have a scripture you are basing your prayer request on? Prayer and fasting is not just abstinence from food. Prayer and fasting, includes regular intervals of prayer, study and meditation of the Word.
Having mentioned about the importance of planning, as you move to 2020, it is important to review your past year. What worked? What didn’t work? What were the key highlights of the previous year? What were your major failures or challenges last year? What are the lessons you have learnt from those experiences?
You then want to see if your vision or purpose is still relevant as you proceed to the New Year. Everything has to be driven by your future self. How do you see yourself by end of 2020? What is the key vision that will drive you? What are the key goals you intend achieving in various aspects of your life, financial, family, health, spiritual, academic, career etc?
What daily, weekly and monthly routines do you need to follow if you are to accomplish your goals?
My challenge is to stretch your imagination. Forget about the economic climate or inflation as a believer as you plan. God will supply all your needs not according to the economy of Zimbabwe, but according to His riches in glory through Jesus Christ. You should attempt something so big that without God it is bound to fail.
l Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura