I am entering 2018 joyfully sober.
Today, as I thought about the coming year, the word SOBER kept ringing in my ears, so much so that I looked up the definition. Of the many differing definitions, this is what stood out to me,
Quiet in demeanor, Free from exaggeration, showing self control
Going into a new year, we tend to be SO LOUD. There’s so much to prove because no matter how great, or how horrible the current year has been, the next year must be better, bigger, and greater. So we eagerly pop off to our friends, loved ones, and followers, proclaiming all of the many things we are going to accomplish in the coming year. Yet, today as I pondered my own desires for 2018, I challenged myself not to be intoxicated by the possibilities of a new year, without being disciplined enough to count up the cost of my goals. Jesus said,
But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it (Luke 14:28-30).
Everything I hope to accomplish, and everything I hope to become in 2018 will cost me greatly. There is no way that I can consider the cost of my goals with an intoxicated mind filled with the pride and exaggeration of what I can accomplish in my own strength. That is what intoxication does, it boasts of unrealistic strength, intelligence, and courage, without considering cost, and that is foolish. I refuse to enter another year high on possibility. I have done that year after year, and just like the effects of any other mind altering substance, possibility highs eventually wear off.
In 2018, I really want what God wants for me. I don’t want the hype, I don’t want the poetic slogans, and I don’t want the high. I only want Him, and I want what matters to Him to rule my life. At this very moment, I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I know this idea of sober-living came from God. This is what He wanted me to know about the coming year, and I am most excited about this adventure that God is inviting me into.
So prepare your minds for action, be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed (I Peter 1:13, AMP).
Tonight, as we prepare to enter a new year, I pray God’s best for you! I pray that you would courageously and soberly count the cost of the things God has called you to do, so that you can secure your “finish”. I pray that you will experience the utmost success in 2018, understanding that real success is found in our obedience to God.
As always, thank you for reading.
Until next time, keep your hope LIVING.