We’re just over a week into the new year. How are you doing so far? Working toward some goals or getting on track with your word for the year?
On a very superficial note, I’ll say that we’ve had several days of beautiful weather here (after lots of cloudy, rainy days), so I feel like 2019 is going well!
While I didn’t choose change as my word for the year, I definitely want to experience some change in my life this year, especially spiritually speaking. I don’t want to be the same person on December 31, 2019 as I am today.
For example, one way I need to change is in not being critical in my thoughts and words. We had some of that beautiful weather on Sunday afternoon, and my husband and I were out walking in the neighborhood. I caught myself starting to say something critical about someone, but thankfully I backed off and didn’t take the conversation any further. I’m not always that quick to control my tongue, but I’m thankful that I listened to the prompting of the Holy
I’m guessing we all want to change in some way. It’s not just change for the sake of change, but rather so that we can become more like Christ. That’s our ultimate goal.
So how might God change us this year? Here are ten things He might use to make us different as we walk with Him in 2019.
1. His Word
As we read and study the Bible, the Holy Spirit uses it to convict us about sin. Or, He may encourage us to step up to the plate and do something for Him that we’re not currently doing.
I’m not so good at this one. I’ve done the method of write a verse on a 3×5 card and put it in a prominent place in the kitchen or put a sticky note on the bathroom mirror, but after a couple of days, it’s like I don’t even see it anymore.
But I know meditation will help me – for example, with my critical spirit,
We might think more of prayer as a way God might change others, but the act of praying can change us, too. God can increase our faith as we see prayers answered. Including praise and thanksgiving in our prayer time focuses our thoughts on the greatness and goodness of our God.
Being under the teaching of God’s Word, whether in a church service on Sunday or watching an online Bible study video during the week, can cause us to grow spiritually. The Holy Spirit can use a sound Bible teacher to show us truths and principles from God’s Word.
Every time I’ve had a major trial in my life, God has given me a song to encourage my heart and draw me to Him. Sometimes I’ve heard it randomly on the radio or in church. At other times, a family member or friend has shared it with me.
So this one scares me. Yet I know if I’m going to change, I will likely face some hard moments in 2019. How you and I respond to these trials will determine whether or not growth and change happen.
God can use our service for others to change us. I would guess we can all relate to a time when we went to be a blessing to someone else, and ended up getting a huge blessing ourselves!
I feel like this could go one of two ways. We may develop a new friendship with someone who edifies and encourages us in our Christian life. Or, God may place a difficult person in our lives who makes us see how unloving we really are. Learning to deal with him/her could bring about some very positive changes in ourselves, whether it effects that person or not.
This wouldn’t necessarily be a trial, but just something that comes along, perhaps that’s unexpected. In God’s providence, He may start us moving in a different direction than we had planned.
How important is it to read good books! A couple of books that I think are worth reading every year are Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss and Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. I’m currently reading Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray. While it’s written in an Old English style, I’m pulling some great truths from it.
As we continue through January, I hope we’ll keep our hearts open to areas in which God wants to change us. We can trust our loving heavenly Father to do what’s best in each of lives as we go through this year.