How did 2017 go down in the history book that is your journey through this life? If you have taken the time to evaluate and reminisce through the events, opportunities and trials of the past year, do you have regrets? If given the opportunity to go back, what would you change? How might you have better spent your time and your life?

Of course, I have assumed that people even stop to evaluate and investigate their own lives. We live in a world of “out of sight, out of mind.” We capture trivial events on social media while failing to interact with the weightier matters of life. Our snapchat and instagram mentalities infect and disable the deep contemplation of our existence.

Since this blog is written from a Christian perspective, I assume many who read it are searching for spiritual truth or seeking some form of help to put their life as a believer in perspective. Therefore, I am writing to you who are interested in being successful in your walk with Christ in this new year.

In a real time of introspection of our journeys through 2017, we must consider whether or not our lives truly lined up with the truths and demands of scripture. Did our choices and pursuits honor God or deny him? Did we represent the holiness and righteousness of our Heavenly Father to those with whom we interacted,or did we live like He was not really important?

Was God truly the center of your daily accomplishments, or did you live to satisfy your own desires while giving him occasional recognition? Did you make a lasting contribution to the kingdom of God? Did you reach out in the name of Christ to a person who is bound for eternity in hell? Did you participate in proactively seeking to serve God and your fellow travelers?

Realistically we cannot go back – but we can go forward. We can make a difference for the sake of the kingdom this year. However, before that can happen, we must repent of indifference, laziness, and obstinence. In order to live a life that is pleasing to God (successful) we must first surrender to him and his will for our lives. Surrender cannot be a reality without repentance.

Success in the kingdom is not possible without surrender. Jesus must become the Lord of our lives before we can accomplish anything meaningful for his sake. We must set aside our agendas and walk the narrow path that leads to life. We cannot compromise with the darkness that has infected this culture in which we find ourselves.

We cannot be both repentant and compromising at the same time. We cannot have a light view of sin or a low opinion of God and hope to be in line with his plans for our existence and prosperity. Successful journeys through 2018 require changes to three major areas of life. Intellectually, we must align our thoughts with God’s thoughts as revealed in scripture. Emotionally, we must align our hearts with the heart of Christ to reach a world that is lost and hopeless. Volitionally, we must change our will to align with God’s will that none should perish but all should find eternal life.

It won’t be easy to be successful in this new year, but what matters most usually doesn’t come easy. With God’s help we can get to the end of 2018 and celebrate the victories he has provided, as well as our own personal spiritual success for his kingdom. As we journey toward eternity, may God be honored and glorified because we allowed him to use us as faithful servants for the cause of Christ this year.