Once again, the time has come to make new year’s resolutions. You know; getting in shape, reading more, eating less, slowing down, being more productive, staying more hydrated. Unless you’re like me and had previously decided to give up on some of those dreams entirely.
At least that was my mentality going into 2023. Now here we are, 4 days in and I’m feeling a little convicted by that decision. You see, I’m like everyone else. I often set a resolution in January and then somewhere by mid February that plan hits me in the face right along with reality.
I used to think that “reality” was the problem. That my decision to skip setting resolutions was my “smarty pants” way of being “realistic” with myself for not having too high of expectations for what I could handle. What I’m coming to see, though, is that the “reality” of that mindset is actually “laziness” or better yet, “apathy”.
I think we all have a tendency to become apathetic about things and justify that apathy with being realistic. Now sure, if I set a goal to save a million dollars in a year and stop being late for everything that may, in fact, be unrealistic for me, my bank account and the human I am. (Insert dramatic eye roll)
It’s ok to be honest with yourself and with your already packed schedules but it’s not ok to be complacent. So often we allow ourselves to be complacent in the areas that matter the most. Sunday morning Sam said something in his sermon about throwing away all the resolutions we had made for 2023 and replacing them with the prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
If I’m honest, I think I’ve become a bit apathetic in my walk with Jesus mostly because I’m not intentional about the goals or resolutions I want in my relationship with Him. Being filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t just happen.. It’s something to be intentional about.
I think if we all looked at our lives and thought about how we wanted our relationship with Jesus to look it would be that of submission, consistency and devotion. You know what all of those things have in common? They are choices.
The way to combat apathy is to be intentional. It’s to recognize and fully be honest with ourselves that we have more time than we think we do to give to God in 2023.
Instead of setting some resolution that will possibly end, in some cases, before they even begin. Let’s make a choice to set a goal to be closer to Jesus this coming year. Yes, with that decision comes effort.
The trick is to find a method of study and devotion that works for you. A system that keeps you wanting to stick to it. One way Jeff has been teaching the youth to do this is by doing the Prayer, Scripture, Praise method.
Each day make time to talk to God without any distractions.
Read God’s Word if it’s a book of the bible or just a chapter or two make time to read or listen to scripture.
Listen to worship music. Maybe set a worship playlist in your headphones while you’re cooking dinner or doing lawn work. Fill your heart with music that brings glory to Him.
I really believe God is guiding us to shift our focus this year. To be more intentional about Him and our walks with Him. To give Him more of ourselves and in turn He will do the same.
And that’s a resolution I can actually get excited about!
Pray with me!
Jesus, help us to focus more on You. That this new year you have blessed us with will be filled with Your Holy Spirit. Help us to make ourselves available to Your nudges and your voice.