Rolling into a new year has always brought a sense of renewal for me into an otherwise dreary season of January’s gray days and cold nights in Minnesota. I have changed majors, gotten engaged, started new business ventures (btw, not a good idea to get your real estate appraisal license right before a huge housing market crash!) during the first part of various years. It is a natural season of introspective reflection and I often have increased leaps of faith. Whether it is new business endeavors, changing majors or any other life changes, the new year is a hopeful look to the future. I even give myself something to look forward to by planning spring break vacations.
Sometimes though, this season is filled with confusion, regret and failed resolutions two weeks into a new year. I think one reason why we find ourselves into fear-filled predictaments is our lack of believing God has a bigger plan for our life than our current circumstances warrants. And a big factor in not believing, is because we fail to believe a Holy Spirit lives within us, much less listen to that voice; instead we stuff little debbie snack cakes, money or alcohol down it’s throat or try to make it stupid with the idiot box.This season I propose something new.
In Ephesians 1:13-14 It reads, “It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this message of your salvation), found yourselves home free-signed sealed and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.” Let’s be more intentional at listening to the word of God. Three suggestions I have for the new year are:
1. Attend one additional church service per month (or find a church and start attending- I recommend http://www.evergreenpinecity.org!) Ephesians 1:23 “The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.”
2. Engage in morning prayer time for ten minutes each day for 30 days. Go to http://www.youversion.com for some really easy study plans to get you started in the word.
3. Choose one life change and before you do anything, pray for thirty days about that one decision. John 16:13 “But when the friend comes, the spirit of the truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said.”
When we are more thoughtful with life’s choices we are able to hear the Holy Spirit guide us, which gives us strength and courage in all of our decisions because we take comfort that the answers come from God. We can make all the promises and resolutions to ourselves we want but without works it is meaningless. Make 2012 count!