As this year draws to a close, I am excited to see what might unfold in the next. The danger is we approach next year without a plan. If we don’t determine how we will endeavor to draw closer to Christ and to better reflect His love, odds are we will accomplish neither. There are plenty of articles out there dealing with setting New Year’s resolutions. I don’t want to talk about resolutions you may or may not keep past February. I want to discuss reorienting your life around Jesus not just today but for the rest of your life.
Have you taken time to put any thought into this? If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, you must continually learn more about Him and live your life in a way that looks just like Him. This year can be the year you quit pretending and finally make the leap of committing fully to Jesus.
A deeper walk with God will never happen by accident. You must do the work and flex the discipline to make it happen. In order to foster any relationship, you must spend regular and consistent time with the other party. So the first step in living life as a disciple of Jesus is to commit to a regular dedicated time spent in His presence. This needs to be a daily time set aside to simply listen, learn, and communicate with your Father. Don’t be overly rigid about this. Life happens and there may be the occasional day when it is all but impossible to keep the appointment. God knows your heart. He understands your circumstances. He also knows when you are simply making excuses and putting other things before Him.
How long you spend with God is up to you. Personalities and schedules will dictate what will work best in your life. But before I let you off the hook with ten minutes a day, let me challenge you to consider what the amount of time you devote to God reveals. If Jesus is the most important thing in your life, the amount of time you spend with Him each day will either confirm or deny your confession. Whether or not you are a morning person, I recommend your time with Him happens first thing after you wake. For the night owls out there who want to save it for late at night, I caution you leaving your time to the last thing you do is a recipe for it getting pushed aside by everything else in your day.
Starting your day in God’s presence ensures it gets done and also sends the message if you get nothing else done that day, you are committed to at least spending time with your Creator and Savior. This doesn’t have to be the only time you spend with God either. You can carve additional time out at midday and in the evening. If Jesus is the prize beyond worth and comparison (Matthew 13:45-46), it is impossible to get too much of Him. In Part II of “Your Best Year Ever”, we’ll look at the type of activity in which I recommend you engage during your time with God. The secret to your best year ever is putting God first and spending time in His presence each day. You’ll never regret it and the results will be more than you ever hoped for or imagined.