I wonder why it is that we often procrastinate to make a change - whether it be a diet, fitness, or any new "reform" - until the beginning of a week, month, quarter or year? Can anyone else relate to this? In fact, I think I've been saying for a week now that this coming Monday (tomorrow) I will start a diet to get rid of the ten pounds I don't want.
I think that we like clean slates. We like to put the past behind us, forget about it and move on to be better people in the future. Today is the start of a new year, and as my pastor said today in ychurch, God wants this year to be yours and my best ever. God wants the best for us every year. I wish each of you, my readers a great new year as well. My friends, this is my prayer for you, in your spiritual journey, from Colossians 1:9-11:
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
I love this prayer of Paul's. The key to this prayer is Paul's desire that the church at Colosse become close to God. The key to our closeness with God and the strength that comes with it is how much time we spend with Him in His Word and in prayer. Paul had the keys to strength and power, do you?
Practical things to attempt this year:
1) Spend daily time with God in His Word. - Start with an achievable goal, both with amount of reading per day and the number of days per week. (e.g. If you don't read at all now, set your first goal at 3 times a week & one chapter per day. When you achieve this goal, increase your reading)
2) Keep a journal of your daily bible reading. In my opinion, this is crucial to your spiritual development. It serves as accountability to yourself because you will see by the dates and chapters mentioned in your journal how often you have been reading. You won't like seeing lapses between dates! In addtiion, writing your thoughts down about what you've read helps in pondering the scriptures. In your journal, write down one thing from your reading time that you could pray back to God, asking Him to apply it to your life.
3) Memorize scripture. I really want to increase this discipline for myself this year. For starters, try to memorize one verse per month. Find a verse from your daily reading/teaching, put it on a notecard or post-it note and keep it with you at all times. You'll have it memorized after repeated readings. This discipline is very effective in combating the ups and downs of life. Being able to recall scripture has gotten me through numerous challenges.
4) Scheduled Prayer. If you've been reading with me long, you know that I am hoping to see a dramatic change in my prayer life in the future, starting now. I've read alot about this topic and different ways to make my prayer life more fruitful. My suggestion for a better prayer life is to just do it. Go to as many group prayer meetings as you can. They are awesome. When you sit down to pray, don't quit praying until you have really prayed. And, schedule your prayer time into your day, just as you do your daily reading.
That is all for now! This post turned out longer than I expected. Happy New Year everyone!