Don't Overlook this Key to Success

A new year brings time for reflection and new perspectives. New dreams, a fresh start. Pastor Matt Barnett said, "Don’t have dreams of achievement but dreams of maximum effort wherever God puts you."

We often build dreams or visions that don’t connect to reality. Or, we limit our dreams by our past disappointments. But each of us can move toward maximum effort no matter where we are.

God is about things that are new. He is an ever-creative Father. Lamentations says, “The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies are new every day.”
God created time for us. He didn’t need a new year, but he understands that we need times to refocus our lives.
How would you like 2016 to finish? What does this year’s story of your life look like? Where will that story land this December? Take that story and start the first sentence this week. One word. One small action.
Here’s a key that will help you roll out a great year. It’s a simple truth, but profound.

What you feed grows stronger.

What you practice each day of this year will build what your life looks like at year’s end. Seemingly small decisions about spiritual health, community, personal accountability.
What you practice actually reshapes your brain, your thinking and your responses. Stress doesn’t make a man, it only reveals a man for who he really is.
Create an atmosphere of behavioral response. Read Proverbs every day. Get to church at least once each week. Regularly. Pray during quiet times, pray with your loved ones, pray with your community.
Then, do it again, and then again.
Your life is not about your present circumstances. They will change. How you conduct your life throughout the circumstances comes from developing and practicing spiritual habits that connect with God… habits of Godly response…
Whether you’re following Man United or Sao Paulo or the Green Bay Packers, champions are not made in the middle of the game, but in the middle of practice for the game.
It’s not the “will to win” that brings victory. Every team wants to win. It’s the willingness to prepare to win that leads to victory. Robert Barriger says it best: “Preparation is proof you expect something to happen.”
Feed your faith, feed your soul, feed your hope. What you feed will grow stronger. Don’t feed bad habits or bad attitudes. Feed what makes you stronger.
God said in Revelation 21, “Behold I make all things new.” Hold onto the promises of His Word, feed your faith—and launch this year strong.