A NEW New Year’s Resolution

Posted on Dec 31 2015 - 10:45am by jennynweston

A New New Year's Resolution

As we approach the New Year, inevitably our mind turns to New Year’s Resolutions. Many of us make them, most of us don’t keep them.

For 2016, consider committing to a different kind of New Year’s Resolution. These past few years, I have done just that, and have grown quite a bit in the process. Instead of asking, “What am I going to accomplish?” I’ve asked, “What does God want me to learn this year?”

After all, as Christians, we don’t ever arrive in our spiritual walk. Instead, it’s more of a journey, or as Paul refers to it, a race: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14)

In Corinthians he says, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (I Cor. 9:25) So how do we plan to train this year to become more like Christ? What training do we need for our race in this life?

Lessons the past few years for me have included, “You’re not in control” (which was my theme for two years – apparently I’m a slow learner) and “Live life with intentionality.”

How do you know what God wants you to learn this year? Here’s how I decide what my theme will be…

  • First, I believe that God is not in the habit of keeping us in suspense.
    • “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
    • As Christians, we are given his Holy Spirit, about whom Jesus says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13a)
  • Second, because he’s not in the habit of keeping us in suspense, I listen!
    • To God in prayer and scripture – I Cor. 3:9 says, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” He wants to work with us. I assure you he will be faithful in seeking him, he will be faithful in speaking to us.
    • To God through the words of others – My husband recently preached a sermon with some great practical tips:
      • Start your day in stillness with God. Ask him to help you to listen.
      • Pause long enough to allow God to get a word in. Listen!
      • At the end of the day, reflect on your day.
  • Third, I wait.
    • My first year trying this, I knew within the first month or so what I needed to learn. Because I had asked God to show me what I needed to learn, I was open to hearing from him. When there were recurring situations with the same theme, I was able to pause and think, “Hmmmm….maybe there’s a lesson here.”
    • This past year, however, it wasn’t until well into the year that it came to me. Stay faithful.
    • For 2016, I already know that my theme is prayer. See? It’s different each time. God is not on our timetable.

Listening and waiting are the hard work of a thriving spiritual life. Try it and see what God reveals to you. What have you got to lose? As we close out 2015, are you willing to join me in the challenge of a NEW New Year’s Resolution?

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