I know this is going to sound negative but hear me out: The date on the Calendar has nothing to do with change.
While it’s tempting to believe that 2021 will miraculously be the cure for 2020, that’s just not true. But here’s the good news: You can change your future any day, at ANY moment.
When Solomon takes the throne of his father David in 2 Chronicles, we see the start of a “new year” of sorts for the nation but particularly for Solomon himself. He’s stepping into an unrehearsed reality, taking the throne of a mighty and numerous nation. He has no kingly experience and comes from the ungodly adulterous union of David and Bathsheba. You can imagine he was filled with the same insecurity common to all, maybe even more.
So what does he do first?
2 Chronicles 1:2–3 (ESV) Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to all the leaders in all Israel, the heads of fathers’ houses. 3 And Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon, for the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness, was there.
Solomon’s first act is an act of worship. He seeks God at the start of this new season of his life. Moreover, Solomon was exceedingly interested in worshipping the Lord.
2 Chronicles 1:6 (ESV) And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the LORD, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
Solomon starts his new season with worship and giving. NOW… into that moment, God gives Solomon the opportunity of a lifetime:
2 Chronicles 1:7 (ESV) In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.”
It might be tempting to think this is a “genie in the bottle” moment for one man in history specifically chosen by God to ask for whatever he wants but scripture is clear: God wants us all asking all the time.
Matthew 7:7 (ESV) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
So what does Solomon ask for?
2 Chronicles 1:8 (ESV) And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9 O LORD God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”
We are asked from the text to see a few life-altering events:
First, worship and self-sacrifice invite the presence of God and the Word of God into our lives. This is why we start our gatherings with singing, followed by giving. That’s why Sunday worship happens on the first day of the week when Jesus rose because we have access to God in worship through Jesus’ sacrifice wherein we offer our lives a living sacrifice in spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).
Second, every new season in our lives demands wisdom above all else. Solomon does not ask that his new job be easier with a greater army, or the death of his enemies, or more money. Those are just physical adjustments to his status. Solomon could have had all those things and still failed in another way. Instead, Solomon seeks wisdom so that he might be better equipped to handle whatever obstacle came his way. I can think of no better plan. Here’s why:
No one could have told you what 2020 had in store one year ago today. No one can tell you what 2021 has ahead of you. What you NEED is wisdom.
2 Chronicles 1:11–12 (ESV) God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”
Here’s how you really change the date in your life: Start with worship, giving, and seeking God’s wisdom. The past year was tough, filled with problems. This year will also have its share of issues. More money, more friends, better success are all immaterial to the unexpected challenges you will face in the next 12 months. You might be reading this well after January 1st, and that’s perfect. The God of heaven is not bound by time and scripture says He “founded the earth by wisdom” (see Proverbs 3:19). You can get in on that right now and best of all, He wants you to.
BTW: I’ve written a book about moving forward with God. You should consider ordering it.