So once again we have come to the end of another year. We all know the cliche “new year new me,” but how many of us really stick to this. Many of us start the year positive but then it gets to the middle of the year and it’s like we’ve forgotten what we set out to do or we lose all motivation.
When you look back at 2017 can you say that you managed to reach the goals you set yourself in January? Did God teach you anything new? For me, I blinked and 2017 came and went, however there was a lot of self-reflection. I was also able to launch this blog site at the beginning of December which was something that I had procrastinated launching since April 2016.
Towards the end of the year, 16th November 2017 to be precise, God really challenged me on several things which included consistently reading my bible, prioritising praying for people (who knows sometimes our prayers can be very self-centred), journaling daily and blogging consistently.
Spiritual Growth and Change:
At the beginning of 2017 I set myself a goal that it would be a year of spiritual growth and change. What do I mean by this? I wanted something different, a deeper relationship with God and to be more spiritually mature. I also wanted to change my mindset and attitude towards a lot of things. God really took me on a journey where lessons were learnt.
#Lesson 1: Forgiveness.
As a Christian forgiving people should be a lifestyle. I learnt about the importance of forgiveness and letting go of past hurts. The parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18 really helped with this one and taught me that I needed to forgive others just as God forgave me. I also learnt that harbouring feelings of unforgiveness really does prevent you from moving forward.
#Lesson 2: Overcoming offence.
It was this year that I caught the revelation that offences will come as written in Luke 17:1. I began reading The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere which gives more of an understanding of the dangers of holding on to offence. If you have not read this book I recommend that you read it, as it is an amazing read.
#Lesson 3: Stability in my spiritual walk.
Matthew 13:20-21 began to really stand out to me. This scripture is about the seed that fell on stony ground. Initially receiving the word with joy, however because you are not rooted in the word, when trials and offence comes you immediately stumble.
I’ve read this scripture on many occasions but for the very first time I really felt it related to me. I realised that anytime I was offended I was ready to give up. This reflected on my church attendance, prayer life and bible reading. I decided to make the change of being more stable in my walk. Challenge yourself to receive the word of God Like the seed that fell on good ground. Jesus promises that by doing this your life will be fruitful.
“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.””
~ Matthew 13:23 ~
Encouragement for 2018:
1. Buy a journal.
In January 2017 I began journalling in a way that I have never done before. One of my prayers was to make spending time with God a priority.
Start journalling as part of your communion with God. Be specific about your prayer points. Write to God in the secret place, hear Him speak back to you and write it down.
2. Commit to consistently reading your Bible.
This was something that I personally struggled with. It takes a lot of discipline to read through the Bible. I found that I would start reading a specific book and then stop half-way. You can study the bible in many ways, from reading about characters, topics or select specific books to complete.
3. Set Goals.
Set yourself goals about things you would like to accomplish over the course of the year, whether this is losing weight, travelling more, setting up a business. Write your plans down.
“Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”
~ Habakkuk 2:2-3 ~
4. Step out in faith and make things happen.
This is the theme that I have set myself for 2018. Challenge yourself to be the best version of you that you could possibly be. Step out, do the things you love, set goals and make them happen. I remember my pastor preached a sermon on 11.01.2017 called what is your plan? The more structure you have over your life the more effective you’ll be.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
~ Proverbs 16:9 ~
It is okay to have a plan for your life as long as it does not contradict God’s word. If it is God’s will, God will surely direct your steps.
5. Start as you mean to go on.
Continue what you start and do not give up. Be persistent and consistent because consistency is key.
Trust that God wants the best for you. Step out in faith and do something for God. Do not be confined to the four walls of your house, church ect but spread the gospel by all means possible.
Happy New Year and God Bless from Nkay