6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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Summary: 4 questions to help provide clarity and discernment about our “Just one thing” this new year (From Craig Groeschel's book, "Weird: Because Normal Isn't Working"- Chapter entitled "Just One Thing")

HoHum and WBTU:

It’s time to make those New Year’s Resolutions- often things like losing weight or giving up smoking, spending more time with family or starting a new project. Unfortunately, by the end of January, 40 percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions break them. By Valentine’s Day, that number jumps to 75 percent. At the beginning of a new year, many of us try to imagine all the things we’d like to be different about our lives, and we try to tackle them all at once. Some people might even try to get organized and make lists capturing their goals and action plans. Usually, we spend more time making those lists than we actually spend doing them.

Need a different approach. Need to ask, “What is the one thing I want to be different in my life next year?” Rather than focusing on many things, need to focus on one thing. Since we trust God’s wisdom and direction, we need to ask and seek God’s help in finding that one thing.

What is the point of focusing on 10 things and not making progress in any of them? Focus on just one thing in the new year and change that one thing entirely, fully, completely- then over the course of a decade, our life will look dramatically different. A decade of 10 just one things. Ten changes. 10 disciplines. Ten steps closer to who God wants us to be.

Most of us have good intentions about following through on our resolutions. Good intentions fail to change us or improve our lives without action. It’s normal to make resolutions, have good intentions to keep them, maybe even keep them for a while, but ultimately let them slip away. Even focusing on one, how can we follow through? “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12, 13, NIV.

Forget it, gave up on making a resolution because always break them. ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18, 19.

Maybe God wants to do a new thing for us and through us.

Thesis: 4 questions to help provide clarity and discernment about our “Just one thing” this new year

For instances:

1. What one thing do we desire from God?

If God were to offer us, “I’ll do any one thing that you ask,” what would we ask for? Solomon had this happen to him- asked for wisdom. Solomon had a good example in David his father.

David narrowed his focus here- “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalms 27:4, NIV. The Bible describes David as a man after God’s own heart, and this verse goes a long way in revealing why. Whether in good times or bad times, David knew the thing he needed most: to feel God’s presence through worship

What is the one thing that we desire from God?

Maybe someone close to us is not a Christian, and the one thing we want is for God to use us in bringing this person into a saving relationship with Christ. Maybe we are struggling with an addition or some other sin, and it’s keeping us from deepening our relationship with God. Or perhaps when we look at our marriage, we know it’s not where God wants it to be. Might be tempted to ask God to fix the other person in that relationship. Instead, consider praying, “Lord, please change my heart. Please make me the person you want me to be. As much as it depends on me, please give me the grace to live peacefully with my spouse. Please heal our marriage.”

Maybe it’s time to slow down and honor the promise we’ve been making- and breaking- to our family for years. Time fast forwards as our kids grow up, our spouse ages, our friends come and go. And we’re missing it- lost in the commute, the office, the business trips, the household chores, the bills, the obligations, and all the rest that life seems to demand. Is this really how we want to live our life? Is this really how God wants us to live?

Maybe not married and it feels like everyone around us is. We are happy for them but at the same time it’s making us feel so alone. May even really desire somebody to love in that way, but it’s just not working our right now. Maybe start praying, “Father, please be enough for me. Please help me to be satisfied with you and with whatever you bring my way.”

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