End o’ The Year Evals

I don’t know many people who prefer to evaluate their past year. Most who I talk with prefer to “forget the past” and just keep their eyes on what’s ahead. end-of-year

I resonate with that thought, for sure… but at the end of the year, it’s good to evaluate just a little.

Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

This was written about the people of God in the Old Testament, but let’s break this into pieces for us:

Remember… One the most powerful words in the Old Testament of the Bible is “remember”. Why? Because we so easily forget. We move forward so quickly, so often, moving to the next thing in life w/o evaluating our learning experiences. God calls us to remember, so that our current situation might be more full of life and meaning.

… how the Lord your God led you all the way… Wait! The Lord continues to lead us, not just a little ways, but “all the way”. We can’t help but think of Romans 8:38-39, where nothing can separate us from the love of God. So, God leads us through everything, good & bad, for His good. We don’t see that bad things can lead us to God’s good for us, but it’s true, and leads us to the next idea…

… in the wilderness… God leads us through the wilderness of life, but remains with us in the valley. Like Psalms 23 where the Lord leads the Psalmist through the valley of the shadow of death, thank God that He doesn’t leave us there, but leads us through it. How could something so painful in my life turn out to be anything good for me? God only knows how these kinds of things work out because he sees it all and understands the outcome.

Why did God take them through the wilderness? … to humble and test them, in order to know what was in their heart… Let’s be honest, doesn’t that sound mean of God to humble us and test us? It only sounds mean from our perspective, but not from God’s. He wants to evaluate what is in our heart. He has every right to want to know how committed we are to following Him and to know how much we are in love with Him.

If you’re a parent, don’t you desire to know what your kids are thinking, or feeling? Doesn’t it warm your heart to know they love you? Some of the hardest times of parenting are when your kid is apathetic or lethargic. So, wouldn’t it be God’s desire to know what’s in the heart of the people who call Him Father?

… to know whether or not you would keep his commands… ouch!!! I don’t think there’s much to say about this portion. Not one of us has kept the commands of God this year, though we so desire it in our heart. God’s infinite wisdom comes into play here where His own Son was the sacrifice for our sin in this regard. Since no one can keep the commands of God, Jesus is the only way to establish perfect relationship with God the Father again.

Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Not just believe in him, even the demons believe in Jesus… but do you know him personally?

I don’t know how you evaluate your 2012, but I know this, God the Father loves you with an inescapable love, and your 2013 depends on knowing Jesus.

Whether or not you like to evaluate your past, there’s something to evaluate at the end of this year, with just a few hours left of it.

Ask yourself these questions:
– Did I think to remember God leading me through the wilderness(es) of my year?
– Did I trust that God was leading me for His good purposes?
– Could the events in my past 12 months do anything to lead me closer to God?
– Am I going to honor God with the possible “wilderness” events that are coming in 2013?
– How can I remember God in all the ways He leads me from now on through the coming year?

Happy, or not so “happy” New Year?

May we always remember how God leads us for His good, to know what’s in our heart and draw us closer to Him.

Published by Reid Olson

I was a pastor who still knows a personal connection with God and I like to share thoughts and insights to make God's Kingdom a little more tangibly, while sharing conversations on leadership insights. Now I'm a funeral director, still seeking to share about Jesus.

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