As this new year begins, I feel like it is Spring my heart. As I draw nearer to God in prayer and studies, all is warmer, brighter, more fragrant. It is not all picking daisies and smelling roses though. In just a few short weeks I have sought fellowship with the Father more and in turn have been bombarded with confrontation from the enemy. There is a process taking place resembling that of weeding the garden or cleaning out the closets.
Still, the new year brings a lot of excitement for me. I love the feeling of a fresh start. I am not so good at the disciplines of dieting or exercise so those kinds of resolutions have no appeal, but I rejoice at the chance to make new goals for my spiritual life and grow in godliness.
Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:7-10)
So I have three New Year’s Resolutions:
1. I resolve to “toil and strive” to “set my hope on the living God” this year. To do so, I have chosen to study the Promises of God. I want to know more of them, know more about His character from them, and be able to apply them to my spiritual walk. I have chosen two scriptures as my theme.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
2. I resolve to read through the Bible at least once this year and study the Promises of God throughout. I am using a reading plan on my You Version Bible App called, The Discipleship Journal Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan. So far I have read through Genesis, most of Exodus, some of the Psalms and Proverbs. As I am reading I am marking God’s Promises and I have already lost count. I cherish each one and love seeing the Redemptive History in the Old Testament.
3. I resolve to grow in the practice of the spiritual disciplines. I am co-facilitating a class on fasting and prayer for my local PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) and a huge part of the class is looking at Fasting and Prayer as disciplines. It is a spiritual exercise, if you will. We may not always have the great desire to do them, just like passing on that cupcake or going for a run, but when we do take that first step of obedience, we are carried into the path of God’s grace and we grow in godliness.
I plan to write much more this year on the Promises of God and the Spiritual Disciplines. I also plan to write more on fasting as the season of Lent draws near. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all and I hope to encourage you in your walk with God this year. May we all grow in godliness and in doing so “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29).
Have you made any resolutions this year? Have you already suffered confrontation and struggles? If so, I encourage you to take that step of obedience again and see the rewards in store for you. May God bless you and keep you.
Abiding in Him,