“After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh” – Matt. 2:9-11
Happy New Year! And welcome to 2016. What do you suppose is going to happen to you in 2016? What are your New Year “Resolutions” and your goals and dreams? Perhaps the better question to ask is, “What is the difference between January 1 and November 17?” January 1 is just a date!!!!! We all get excited about New Year and this and that – but the serious Christian should take a lesson from the Wise men who came from the East to seek Jesus. Those men travelled a distance of 550 miles or more on horse, Camel and by foot because they saw the star of Jesus!
How did they see the star? Because they observed the heavens and understood the times. In other words, they listened to the message God was speaking into the heavenlies. They were diligent to observe the signs and then they acted. Because they were diligent and acted correspondingly, their actions were recorded for time and for eternity – they achieved their desire to see the King.
There are 3 keys we can learn from that guarantees success for today, for 2016 and beyond:
- LOOK FOR GOD: God’s signature is all over nature. Natural phenomena and natural laws are only a confirmation of spiritual order. If you will be honest with yourself, many times before you take a decision, you can tell whether God is with you or not. Some of the more obvious ones – i.e. actions that are contrary to God laws are easy enough. For the more difficult ones, you must be sure that you see God in the transaction before you get involved. Pay attention to the signs of the times. What is God up to in Nigeria TODAY???? How do I fit in with His plans??
- PAY ATTENTION TO GOD AND FOLLOW HIM: God told Joshua that if he would study, meditate and follow him (Observe), Joshua would be assured of good success. Following God requires diligence and commitment. Going 550 miles by car, train or plane in 2016 is not an easy task. Can you imagine how dedicated those wise men were to their assignment? They came through deserts and countries by foot. More importantly, they came prepared! They were already carrying their gifts with them! What is your expectation as you follow God and carry out his instructions going forward? I fully expect God to honour his word concerning my life – so following Him is the only option I have.
- TAKE CORRESPONDING ACTION – There is no point making a New Year resolution if you don’t back it up with corresponding action. The prodigal son, said, “I will arise and go to my father and I will say unto him …..” – Luke 15. And then he indeed arose and went to his father, and he did say to his Father, all the things he had purposed to say! Your will never lose even 1 kg of weight if you do not back it up with corresponding action – healthy lifestyle, right choices in food, abstinence and moderation, exercise etc. You will NEVER improve in you prayer life if you do not get up to pray when the alarm goes or schedule your time deliberately to invest in prayer. Action MUST follow your decision or you are just a self-deceiver.
How now shall we live as citizens of the Kingdom? Understand that in this Kingdom, all eyes are focused on the King. As those wise men did not allow their attention to waver as they followed the star of Jesus, the key to success in life is to fix your eyes firmly on the King. Peter did not sink while walking on water as long as he was focused on the Master. It was when he began to focus on the “other facts” – wild waves, blowing winds etc that he began to sink.
Do not be shaken by any of the news shouted in the Newspapers or on TV, we are in the world but not of the world. It does not matter what anyone says about the economy, security, the stock market, the value of the Naira etc. As long as you are following the star of Jesus, you will be fine.
“We expect a bright tomorrow, all will be well ……”