[cross-posted to www.stepforwardtoday.com]
This is not the typical goal-setting, list-making, organizing-your-life type of stuff that you normally read at the beginning of a new year. Whether you’re at the top of the mountain anticipating all that 2019 has waiting for you, or you’re trying to lift your hands in worship from the trenches of brokenness, the key to this next year – and really, the rest of your life – is to take it step-by-step, second-by-second, with God…not just “God with us at Christmas,” but every day. This year: Prioritize deepening your spiritual life.
Walk with God Every Day
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)
- What are your first thoughts when you wake up? Are you dashing out of bed into the day without any minutes to spare? Even if you can’t set your alarm earlier, make it a habit to tune your thoughts toward God. Thank Him for this new day and ask Him to walk with you through it. If you have concerns, doubts, fears, tell Him. If this is new for you, stick a reminder on your bathroom mirror or other go-to spot to help you recognize God first in your day.
- As you go through the rest of your day, can you see Jesus with you? Sitting in the chair next to you? How about the passenger seat of your car? In your meeting at work? Working out with you? What would you say to Him? What is He saying to you? God is with us 24/7, but since we can’t visually see Him, use your imagination to picture Him next to you.
- What time of day is best to call on Jesus? Every second! He’s walking with you and He wants to hear from you. Any moment is a good one to call on Him, talk to Him, thank Him, and bring your needs before Him. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
Make Your Decisions with God
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.” (Isaiah 58:11)
- No decision is too big or too small for God. If you’re making a decision about anything at all, ask God for His wisdom and guidance…and then be prepared for His answer. He will direct you and inspire you – but you must also be open to His plans and be willing to change yours accordingly.
Practice Being in His Presence
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)
- To love God and follow Him is to know Him and make time for Him. In addition to walking through the day with Him and consulting Him, the best way to deepen your relationship is to spend time with Him. The silence can be uncomfortable, but simply resting in His Presence is powerful. Maybe you would enjoy sitting in a comfortable spot or going for a walk. There’s no right or wrong way to spend your quiet time with Him…and if you find yourself nodding off, don’t feel guilty; discipline takes practice.
Embrace the Power of His Holy Spirit
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
- As you’re walking with God daily, consulting Him, getting to know Him through His Word and spending time with Him, rely on the power of His Holy Spirit. It’s His strength that will get you through difficult situations and allow you to take the risks He wants you to take to accomplish His plans and explore the gifts and talents He’s given you.
If you want 2019 to be different, if you want to take charge of your life, if you want to see real change, spend this year with Jesus. If you have questions or need help deepening your spiritual life, reach out. I’m not an expert, but I’m here to walk with you!
Pursuing God with You!