One way Christians think about the New Years is how they might use their time to spend more time with God. Whether it’s reading more of the scripture, more time in prayer, or devoting more time to church, Christians think, this might be the year I develop a richer more lively relationship with things that would help me feel more connected to God.
The life of devotion, quiet times, and/or spiritual reading is not done in order to facilitate a particular spiritual high, it’s not done to minimize the stresses or fears or difficulties that accompany life, it is done so that we might more actively experience God’s graceful presence.
That we might know with Psalm 90
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
And have it more deeply known to us the living memory of God’s faithfulness to us and our family. A faithfulness that is at times unexplainable and well beyond circumstances. Where we have seen faith be present in the lives of family members who were so different from each other and may, especially if you are an American, have been planted among different cultures, traditions that except for God’s faithfulness how else could we explain the continued blessing of his hand among our immediate generations.
As we approach our resolutions it’s important that we set aside a regular time for the prayer, or bible study reading. Pick a time that is not so lengthy as to be unattainable. Although you might want a 30 minute prayer life every morning, to get there, much like thinking about lifting weights, start with 10 minutes. Long enough to get the habit to feel like it has asked something of you, where you could feel the weight of the doing, but not so long as to become more excessive than you are ready for.
There is such a thing as excessive activity in the Christian life. You must slowly take on and integrate a life more completely devoted to God and Christ. To look at each area of your life and with God’s help and prompting slowly take it every more captive to the Christian life. The life demanded of us as a normal part of Christian maturity.
So simple practice. Take that New Years Resolution and right not take five minutes and plan how you will attend to it this week. Don’t put off things in the Christian life. Don’t wait until you feel in the right mood to make the commitment, start now what needs to take first priority in your heart and affections, mainly how to pursue God with all our hearts, minds, and souls. How to place first the things of God within our day to day life.