Christmas is over, the New Year is fast approaching, many of us are making “New Year Resolutions”, and some are starting new diets, new exercise plans, or whatever else our hearts desire to do better in the upcoming year. For me, I stopped doing New Year Resolutions many years ago. I stopped because I very rarely completed the goal I had set before me. I had a preacher once tell me that resolutions were all well and good, and there was nothing wrong with them, but the question we should be asking ourselves is how can we draw closer to God? That to me was life-changing. How can I draw closer to God in the New Year? What areas of my life still need His presence, His touch, His Holy Spirit? So, no more resolutions for me, just the usual prayer to my God, “Lord, what do You want to change in me?”
As I ponder on this question, a million things about me and my relationship with the Lord come flooding in. I am truly a work in progress and have not arrived yet! But one scripture comes into mind, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) I know that if I lay my heart down at His feet, He will do the work in me that needs to be done. “For He who began a good work in you will complete it,” (Philippians 1:6) So, where do we start then? Where do we begin to allow the Lord to change us? That is up to you and the Lord God. He knows your heart, and He knows what areas He wants to be allowed in to, it is up to you to allow Him access.
First, go to the Lord God in prayer. Open your heart to Him, allow Him to come and meet you where you are. Ask the Lord God, in all expectation of getting an answer, what areas could you draw closer to Him in. The best place to start is by reading your bible every day. His word will change you; His word will draw you closer to Him. If you are like me, taking time to be with Him every day can sometimes be a challenge, and can sometimes feel more like a chore than an actual desire. But, if we can commit to reading His word every day, then we will begin to see the changes that are needed come to fruition in our hearts.
If you do not have one, I encourage you to get one, and that is a One Year Bible. I am beginning a One Year Chronological Bible study at the beginning of the year. It is a bible that has been laid out in Chronological order. But a One Year Bible of any kind is a great place to start. I was given a One Year Bible by my pastor’s wife of many years ago, and I must tell you that it changed my devotion time with the Lord. It made me accountable to read every day. It kept me focused on Him, and it kept Him in focus, and when I missed a day, there was a lot of ground to catch up on. It kept me on track, and He began to change me. If you don’t want to purchase a One Year Bible, go on the web and look up the reading plans for reading your bible in one year. There are recourses at your beck and call, and I cannot encourage you enough to do it. It changed my life, and I am confident that He will change yours.
After you have a One Year Bible, or reading plan, find some good commentaries that you can go to. (I have given you some suggestions and links at the end of this blog, they are the ones that I use) Always make sure you have a notebook, pen, highlighter and a heart to receive from the Lord next to you as you read. Secondly, find the time of the day that best suits your schedule, and block that time out to be with Jesus. My family and many of my friends know that between the hours of 7:00a.m. and 9:00a.m. I am unavailable, for it is my devotion time. My door is shut, my phone is off, and if you need me for anything during that time period….leave a message. I do not allow any distractions to come in between me and my time with the Lord Jesus. You have to make this known to all your family and all your friends, believe me when I tell you that they too will be ministered by your commitment to make Jesus first and foremost. Not only that, but they will begin to see the changes the Lord is making in your life.
Also, it is a good idea to have a journal of some sort. You can use a notebook to take notes, things that you see in God’s word that stick out at you. As you write these things down, ask God what He is trying to teach you. Use your journal to pray back to God or just write down the things He is ministering to you. I have kept a journal since the first day I became a Christian. Every once in a while I will go back through them, I see the Lord speaking and directing my life, and He ministers to me once again through them. I hope that one day, I can give them to my daughter, and she can see the Lord through them also. What a great way to leave a legacy for your children, to have something they can hold that explains your walk with Jesus.
Now that you have a plan to read God’s word daily, and you have the resources at your fingertips, what is stopping you? You need to ask the Lord this question, and be prepared for His answer. I see too many women today suffer from a dry faith because they allow their time with Jesus to be interrupted, they allow other things to come in and take over their thoughts and their hearts. If you desire to change, to draw closer to God, to become the woman God has intended you to be, then may I encourage you with everything that is in me to get with Him every day. There are too many of us that are suffering because we don’t want to take the time to get in His presence. Maybe you are afraid of what He may show you about yourself, but take courage, and know that no matter what He brings out of your heart, He is faithful and able to change it and make it more like His.
His desire for us, for His women in the upcoming year is to draw closer to Him. It is for us to take up the commitment to spend time with Him, every day. Can I do better at this, absolutely, I can. Can we all do better at this, of course we can! Trust me when I tell you that the more time you spend with Him each and every day, the more you will want to be with Him. He will open your heart to new and wondrous things. He will show you the way to Him, which begins with a ready heart to read His word. He will give you insight into His word that you never thought possible, and your future with Him will become a reality more and more. All we have to do is make a commitment to spend more time with Him. Will you join me, ladies, in starting a journey together? Let’s make a commitment to spend each and every day in His presence. No matter what obstacle may come our way, no matter how we “feel”, no matter what excuse we want to give for not having the time, let us not waver from our commitment, let’s hold each other accountable and get with Jesus every day. Do not wait one minute, do not tarry, for time is not in our hands, it belongs to the Lord. He only asks that the time He has given you, be spent with Him.
I pray that all who read this blog today will take up the commitment to spend time with You, Lord Jesus. You promise that if we seek You, we will find You. You promise to do mighty and wondrous things with our lives if we only submit and surrender our time to You. I pray that each and every woman who reads this will be renewed in their passion for You, and that we would begin this journey together, a journey to draw closer to You, in all that we say and do, today and in the New Year. In Jesus Name, Amen.
(Text Commentaries recommended: Matthew Henry Complete Commentary, Jon Courson's Application Commentary- New and Old Testament Versions)