As we look to a new year, we face change. In Psalm 25, David offers insight to guide us as we make resolutions, plans, and goals for the new year.
Reading maps has always been a challenge for me. One of the best inventions ever, as far as I’m concerned, has been a GPS. Between that, MapQuest, and an app on my phone where I can speak a request for a route to a destination, my confidence level has soared.
But dealing with life decisions and direction is not as easy. We can’t talk into our phone and ask, “Which job should I take? Where should I live?” I can’t enter, “Should I continue in this relationship? Should I make this investment?” into a search engine for an answer. I can’t arbitrarily take a right or left turn or choose the scenic or fastest route when it comes to life changes. Good and reasonable choices may be ostensibly good but what about the better and the best? What about God’s choices?
David’s Challenging Life
David’s Psalm is a picture of our need for help along life’s complicated journey. His life had many seasons: a shepherd boy, warrior, fugitive, and king. His life had episodes of extremes: failing God and complete abandonment in worship. He asked for forgiveness and was called “a man after God’s own heart.” Our lives have chapters and seasons, too. We may have glided into them or fallen in abruptly.
If we could ask for a scenic or shortest route, life would be simplified, but instead, we meet detours, take wrong turns, slow down due to construction, and are on puzzling flight itineraries that go south to go north.
Change in the New Year
As we look to a new year, we face change. We reflect on the past year, evaluate, and learn from mistakes we don’t want to repeat. We are thankful for wise choices and celebrations. We may want to develop new skills or relocate.
In Psalm 25, David offers insight to guide us as we make resolutions, plans, and goals for the new year.
- Look to God first as the One to direct you, rather than asking Him to bless your decisions and plans. David says, “To you O lord I lift up my soul”. (Psalm 25:1 KJV)
- Recognize our enemies–obstacles, temptations, relationships, and influences that distract us from focusing on God’s purposes and plans. David pleads, “Nor let my enemies triumph over me.” (verse 2)
- Pray for direction: “Show me your ways, O lord; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (4, 5). Be willing to wait until you hear. Know that He is your hope and trustworthy.
- Remember God is loving and will faithfully show you His direction. “All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.” (Psalm 25:10)
Be Guided by Truth
Before we write goals and make resolutions and plans for the new year, let’s look at David’s model. Position yourself to pray, listen, and learn from His Word, be guided by truth, and live in trust. Regardless of what the journey holds, we can get through with confidence and joy, because we have a companion who has directed us on the right path and faithfully travels with us. We will find we’ve taken the scenic route.
Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25: 4-5 NIV