I tried not to write a post about the New Year and goals and positive changes; I really did.
But no matter how much I tried writing about other valid topics such as accountability, godly friendships, and mental health, I realized what I needed so desperately this January is the same thing that many others also need as they ease back into their routines:
To let God direct every day of my life.
I can sense you groaning at the italicization of “every day” because you have an idea of where this might be headed. You don’t want to start a daily devotional, even though my recent Amazon search informed me that you can get one with basically any theme you could possibly imagine. For instance, the deer stand devotional.
To be clear, this post does not advocate the purchase of a daily devotional, no matter how interesting or surprising its theme might be. Daily devotionals are great and all, but they’re just not the point of this post.
Instead: I’m advocating you ask God three simple questions.
1. How will I experience you this year?
2. How will I serve my brothers and sisters this year?
and then...taking the emphasis off of us:
3. How will You change me this year?
I am in the process of hearing from God in response to these questions and am not yet sure of the answers to all of them. However, I’ve already received a desire to know God in a way I never have before. I’ve been reminded of how important it is to connect with God every day BEFORE the world determines what every day should be. And I’ve been given peace to streamline my life and focus only on the essential. It seems simple, but I’ve been reminded not to fill every hour of the day so God can fill them for me.
The following verses comes to mind when thinking of how God can use us if we allow ourselves to fully experience Him and His will for us.
"Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:20-21; NIV)
I long for the things described in this verse to happen in our church, in our city, and in our world … for us to let God equip us and direct us on what is good, what is pleasing, and what is important. Imagine what would happen if we completely opened ourselves (and our schedules) to God doing His will through us. Imagine the peace it would bring us and everyone we know. It might look something like this:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2; NIV)
I pray for a wonderful New Year for anyone reading this, and that by opening ourselves to God’s will, we will make the world a brighter, more Christ-like place.