Last week, one of my study times came from Exodus 33. The people of Israel have yet to make it to the Promised Land and God is not happy with them, but they are still His people. The Lord has told Moses to tell them that if they were to go to the Promised Land right then, the His presence would not go with them. In verse 15, we get a glimpse into the heart of Moses, a heart that God himself molded, "Then [Moses] said to Him, 'If thy presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here."
As I think about the end of this year and the beginning of another, I know one thing: If my God's presence does not go with and before me, then I want no part of it. Since we now have the Holy Spirit and those who know Christ have Him always in their heart, His presence can be more seen as His will or blessing; however, His presence or blessing is all that matters. My desire for this next year is to be kingdom focused, to spend my time and energy on bringing God's kingdom even more so here on Earth.
Often I think about how hard it is to truly follow Christ in our American culture, not just because of the obvious attacks on our faith, but the seemingly harmless things too, like the pursuit of education, a career, a house, a family. I want to pray about everything and pray that my desires are His desires so that every step I take can be with His blessing. No matter what those of the world tell me, that I need to go back to school, be successful, reach my (earthly) potential, travel excessively, whatever it may be, I know that I am content doing whatever I'm doing as long as His presence goes before me, even if I'm doing nothing but waiting on Him.
May this New Year be filled with His presence in your life. I know that's my resolution.