A major theme at the beginning of a new year for born again Christians is spiritual growth. Basically the thought goes something like this, "How do I get going again, spiritually?" Or this feeling, "I must know something I don't know." In other words, something is not right and this year I'm going to do something about it! This is both common and wonderful! It is the Holy Spirit nudging you to choose to live your waking hours in unbroken communion with Him. When Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.
I believe he truly meant it!
We can walk with God in unbroken communion! Think about what it is to worry about something, all your waking hours worrying about your job, a child that's rebellious, or a looming financial crises. Things like these in life cause us to become worry warts. An unbroken concentration on something that is negative. If we can worry without ceasing, we can walk in unbroken communion with God. Let's flip it in 2017!
So, at the beginning of a new year what can I do to jump start my spiritual life? Here you go!
1. Guard your time alone with God. Begin again to simply read God's Word unhurriedly.
Did you know that reading 2 articles in a local newspaper are equivalent to reading: Philippians 4 chapters; Galatians 6 chapters, Colossians 4 chapters, 1 Thessalonians 5 chapters, 2 Thessalonians 3 chapters, 1 Timothy 6 chapters, 2 Timothy 4 chapters, Titus 3 chapters, or Philemon 1 chapter.
Think about it!
Consider reading each day from the Chronological Life Application Study Bible (New Living Translation). I recommend not using a daily reading plan, simply reading at your own pace with the freedom to stop and meditate or look things up for more understanding as you realize more of what God is saying in His Word.
2. Begin spending more time listening to God in prayer, than talking.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 - Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.
In Scripture it was the Pharisees that made everything pertaining to God a work to do instead of a life to live. Personal or corporate prayer is not a time to convince God, ourself, or others of something. Prayer is simply talking and listening to God. God is our Father and friend and the Bible tells us so.
3. Respond to sin in your life quickly with genuine repentance.
1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Let me illustrate. A speck blows into your eye. Because the eye is so sensitive you quickly remove the speck. We should be this quick to confess and repent of sin in our daily living.
4. See everything in life as coming from God, the good and the bad.
“Nothing can get to God's sheep unless it comes through the Shepherd.” - F.B. Meyer
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
God sometimes uses the hard things in life to conform us to the image of His Son.
In times like these you can't help but think of the Potter and the clay, “Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still.”
5. View service for God as an honor and not a burden.
Work motive – “I have to in order to get God’s acceptance.”
Love motive – “I want to because I am accepted.”
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men ... Colossians 3:23
My friend let's consider these 5 jump starts to spiritual growth in 2017!
I am believing this will happen:
An increasing awareness of His presence wherever you are.
Acts 4:13 - Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.