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Success in 2022 Starts With You Preparing For It Now

“Prepare, prepare, prepare, and involve God in the preparation” is one of my top convictions. Years ago I distilled it as the number one priority in my annual repentance plan. Preparation is debatably the most important ingredient in the recipe for success. For example, if you want to get a good start to your day, organize for it the night before.

If you decide to take on something much bigger such as setting yourself up for a whole year ahead, then take time to prepare for it a month before the year starts.

For me, the upcoming year of 2022 is one in which I want to be more intentional than ever about doing what I can to please the Lord. Really I am focusing on II Corinthians 5:9:

Therefore, also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

Perhaps the best commentary on this Bible verse is a very famous book that set people’s hearts aflame and ignited the First Great Awakening in America. The title of the book is A Serious Call To A Devout and Holy Life written by William Law in 1729.

In the 18th century, this volume pricked the conscience of William Wilberforce in England and loaded him up with enough moral courage to take his costly stance in British Parliament for the cause of the abolition of slavery.

Having genuinely set his ambition on pleasing God, William Wilberforce was soon hit by unprecedented attacks: his good name was smeared in the newspapers; he was physically assaulted; he faced so many death threats that he now had to travel with an armed bodyguard.

But God helped him.

God helped William Wilberforce just as God helped the prophet Daniel after Daniel consciously chose to please God no matter what and was consequently thrown into the perilous pit of a government-funded den of ferocious lions. Daniel’s startling testimony is chronicled in Daniel 6:22 when Daniel answered Darius, the royal Mede who sincerely wanted Daniel to survive. Daniel said to King Darius: “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O King, I have committed no crime.”

Do you and I realize how close God is to us, and how much He longs to help us in our time of need?

God’s help is right here, but too often we miss out on it because we do not even bother to make it our real aim to please God in the first place.

William Wilberforce’s life evidences the amazement of God’s help. Did you know that it was none other than John Newton, the ex-slave-trader who wrote the classic hymn, Amazing Grace, who personally came to Wilberforce’s aid? John Newton said to Wilberforce: “The God whom you serve continually is able to preserve and deliver you; he will see you through."

Newton’s advice was sound in that it echoes the truth of Scripture found in Psalm 34:19:

“Many are the affiliations of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

Are you inspired by this as I am? If so, will you join me in resolving to make 2022 a full year of doing your best to please the Lord? We’ll talk more about this later. For now, I humbly ask you to prepare for a whole year of making it your aim to please God everyday. A good way to prepare is by pausing to consider and memorize II Corinthians 5:9:

Therefore, also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

In case you’re wondering, when the apostle Paul writes the phrase, “whether at home or absent,” he is simply saying that his ambition is to please the Lord now in his physical body and later after he dies and is made anew as Jesus was when He rose from the grave.

What is your ambition deep down in your heart? To achieve something? Become something more in the eyes of your family? To make a name for yourself? To earn a fortune?

What might your life look like if you seriously lived with the heartfelt aim of pleasing the Most High God?

For William Wilberforce, he achieved renowned success literally two days before he died.

I leave you with this quote from William Law:

“ . . . we must not look upon ourselves in a state of common and pardonable imperfection,

but in such a state as wants the first and most fundamental principle of Christianity, i.e.,

an intention to please God in all our actions.”

Sarah Sumner, President

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