02 Jan, 2024 New Year, New Process: Embrace the process to fulfill your purpose
By Jenna Ditsch
It’s that time of year when people talk about things like “goals,” “vision boards,” and “fresh starts.” Many resolve to somehow make this year different than all the years before, yet most won’t achieve their goals. The pull to drift back into old, familiar habits is strong — you might even call it a stronghold.
While the New Year is a great time for reflecting and being intentional about the upcoming year, the truth is that if the daily habits of your life don’t support the “New You” of your dreams, it’s not very likely that your vision will come to pass.
Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
God’s Word says that we are transformed when we refuse to conform to the ways of the world and instead renew our minds. What’s the world’s way to affect change? By lots of doing, for instance, setting goals, taking classes, buying organizers, joining gyms, and the list goes on. But God’s way does not start with doing something different—but thinking something different. We are told to have the mind of Christ. You’ve probably heard this before—but what does it actually mean?
I don’t think having the mind of Christ means we learn to think like Him through things like Sunday School and study—but rather we let the Spirit of Christ think His thoughts inside of us—through intimacy and abiding. If the sheep know the voice of their shepherd, they will not follow the voice of a stranger (the world and its ways). If you want to do God’s will—you need to do it God’s way.
Isaiah tells us that God’s ways are higher than our ways and Proverbs says that we are not to lean on our own understanding, but to instead acknowledge God in all of His ways because finding pathways of promise is His doing, not our own.
Less Goals, More Gain
I’d like to encourage you this year to set down your goals and to pick up your purpose, instead. Goals come from your own understanding, and you often try to accomplish them in your own strength. Sometimes when we set goals we jump ahead of God or leave out His process altogether, as we strive to “make things happen” based on our own efforts. But purpose is something that comes from God. He knew your purpose before He even created you.
Goals are about what you do—but purpose is about who you are becoming. Behind every purpose—is process. Is it possible that God has a process for you that you could never have planned for yourself? God’s purpose does not often come wrapped in the process we’d expect.
Process: The Pathway to Purpose
Process is the pathway to manifesting your purpose. It is imperative that you submit your perspective to God and trust in what He can see—that you cannot. You can’t anticipate all of the unexpected twists and turns that are sure to show up in your life and in the world in 2024—but God can. In Romans 8:28 God says that for those who are called according to HIS purpose, HE will work all things together for GOOD—even those things that the devil throws at you in an attempt to take you out.
When you understand that Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith (faith being the steps of obedience that you take to fulfill God’s purpose for your life), you can rest in the one-day-at-a-time process that God has planned for you.
Everything Will Propel You into Your Purpose
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Do you know how freeing it is to live each day knowing that no matter what comes at you—the good, the bad, or the ugly—that God can use it to actually propel you into your purpose?
Think about Joseph, for instance. God gave him a dream—this vision was a picture of his life’s purpose. It was exciting. So thrilling, in fact, that Joseph couldn’t help but brag about it to all his brothers. God never showed him all of the pain points that his process would contain. Joseph would have probably said, “No thank you! You have the wrong guy!” had God revealed the process of the pit and the prison on the way to the palace.
God has designed a very specific pathway—or process—so that on the way to your future, you can become the person you need to be to stand in the too-big-shoes of your purpose. God never calls us to something that we can accomplish apart from Him. Process is how we build trust with God. It’s the proof of our faith. And faith is how we please God.
From Mess to Masterpiece
One last thought as you step into the new: I encourage you to be willing to let go of the old. Perhaps you’ve been praying and asking God to open new doors for you — maybe in a job or a relationship. But walking through a new door means first walking through the process of closing old doors.
So go ahead and write down that vision from God. Make it plain, as Habakkuk 2 says, but then be sure to look for God’s process to show up in your everyday life, often in the form of challenges, trials, and problems (James 1). This is what will refine and chisel you into the image of the person God has purposed you to be. This is what will grow you into a person of mature faith. A person with mature faith—well that’s just the kind of person God can use to change the world.
Let the stronghold of “self” be broken in your life this year and remember that Romans 8:28 is a promise that we can see come to pass in our lives only if we partner with God’s process. Whatever comes at you this year—give it to God—and resolve yourself to be clay that is pliable in His hands. He can’t help but to take all the broken pieces of our messy lives and to turn us into masterpieces.
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
“No pain, no gain,” as the old saying goes. But what about when there seems like there’s a lot of pain—but no gain? Meet Jenna, an ordinary single mom, who had an extraordinary experience from “graveyard to garden” in the midst of a traumatic life collapse. In the span of a few weeks, she lost her husband, a close family member, her house, her job, and her dreams for the future. Jenna had reached the end of herself and had nothing left but a desperate plea for help, knowing that without supernatural intervention, she wouldn’t survive.
Jenna had a spiritual encounter in which she learned how the graveyard of all that had died in her life could in fact be the rich soil of a garden in which a new future could be grown.
Jenna is a versatile, forward-thinking strategist with extensive experience in education, writing, ministry, and coaching who desires to help the overwhelmed parent, educator, or writer desiring creative alternatives to “one-size-fits-all” parenting, education, and publishing.
If you long for more but feel stuck settling for less, join Jenna on the journey to find God’s way through. Visit her website for more information!
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