So we are officially a few weeks into the new year! In fact, we are well into February now. Yikes! Where does the time go now that I'm an adult? How has the year gone for you all so far? Have you started your new year resolutions yet? I think when that new year comes around we all like to review the last year and consider ways to improve our lives and state of being.
Last year I decided to have a "Word of the Year". I didn’t want anything too elaborate that would be difficult to accomplish, just a specific focus to be very intentional about throughout the year. Last year, my word was "Surrender". How'd that go for me? Well I think I would have to ask God about that, but judging by the change I felt within myself I feel as though I had a good margin of success. Surely, I will continue to work on surrendering to Christ for the rest of my life. However, this year I will have a very different focus.
Let me tell you a story... (Queue flashback montage.)
One early morning as I sat at my mismatched kitchen table, I asked God what He wanted me to work on in this next year. I really didn’t think I would get a clear answer right away. I didn’t think I would be able to come up with something in that moment either. (How pretentious and foolish of me to think that I could lead myself in my faith walk?!) But to my surprise...almost immediately, “Relationship” popped into my head! I distinctly remembered feeling as though God was saying, “ In this new year...I just want a relationship with you.” Wow. God just wants a relationship with me.
Interestingly, 2019 had been kind of a strange year for me in terms of my relationships. Some relationships flourished, some were revitalized and others floundered. Having the discernment to determine that God wanted me to improve my relationship with Him, led me to believe that perhaps other relationships would follow suit if I obeyed. I can’t do anything about the happenings of my connections with family, friends and surrounding community. After all, there are several hearts involved when it comes to relationships. But God can. He's certainly in the business of changing hearts, right!?! Even my own!
So I've decided to simply lay it all down at God‘s feet, and just focus on Him in the new year. I’m going to consistently read His Word, meditate on it, pray unceasingly, and be vocal with Him in regards to everything. It doesn't have to be perfect communion with Him....just communion. The Bible says ”But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33 NKJV) Oh how I desire to seek Him in this new year and decade! Consider these scriptures as well:
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. "
Revelation 3:20 ESV
"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. "
James 4:8 ESV
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me."
Proverbs 8:17 ESV
Do you know what these Scriptures tell me? They tell me that our God is always looking for us. He doesn't give up on us, but is really rather patient. He sits near to us and waits for us to turn to Him and talk with Him. He loves easily, and opens up His arms to us. He loves for us to be near to Him, and freely gives counsel and comfort. In the moment, He makes Himself readily available. He cares about the big things as well as the small things.
There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus! NO NOT ONE!
I'm so excited to be drawing closer to God this year!! I'm praying that many of the habits that I'll be working on will soon become lifelong lifestyle changes for me. I also pray that you have laid whatever you may be working on this year at the feet of Jesus. My greatest hope is that you have talked with Him about it, prayed over it and feel good about the path you wish to walk down. Whatever your plans may be, don't forget to keep the lines of communication open with our Lord and Savior! Never forget that He is your closest friend and ally. He laid down His life for you...His friend (John 15:13). He truly cares for you!