This begins a new series on New Year’s Resolutions from Paul Kim.
2018 is soon upon us, and with the New Year comes an opportunity to reflect on where we are and where we’d like to be. It’s a time for resolutions, be that for our eartealth, finances, career or relationships. The apostle Paul had some ideas of where he wanted to be:
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
I don’t believe Paul made New Year resolutions, but the New Year gives us an opportunity to be intentional and perhaps make some resolutions to help us grow in our spiritual lives.
But first, let’s back up and think about what we’re trying to do. Or, just as importantly, what we’re not trying to do. The goal is not to cross off a checklist: to read through the Bible, or pray every day, or get more involved at church.
While those things are great, the real goal is to see Jesus, and to nurture greater love, trust and intimacy with Him. So the real question is: what are some habits that would help your mind and heart to see Jesus, rest in Jesus, enjoy Jesus?
Bible and prayer are obvious foundational habits. But maybe there are other options you could consider such as practicing solitude or gratitude, cultivating relationships with prayer partners, or creating space for personal worship.
The other side of that question is, what are some things that get in the way? What habits take up too much time and energy or are too big a distraction and temptation for you to more actively pursue Christ? Perhaps you need to limit social media, Netflix, or shopping. Do you constantly check Instagram? Maybe there are good things that have become too consuming, like work, exercise, certain relationships, or managing money. It’s possible that you’re overcommitted and need to make some space for your spiritual life to flourish.
Pause to reflect on what particular things help you and hurt you from drawing near to Jesus. May 2018 be a year we “press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”