I haven’t made new year’s resolutions in probably a decade or so. But this year I’m truly not interested in making worldly resolutions. But I am interested in gaining a closer relationship with our Holy Father. So I have found several articles that together are the resolutions I want to make, and I share them with you now.

The number one resolution on a Christian’s list for the New Year should be something that will result in a stronger relationship with God. Reading the Bible for a specific amount of time each day, praying in your prayer closet for a certain amount of time, or working in other ways on your relationship with God are some examples of great New Year’s resolutions for Christians. This year, I have made four specific resolutions.

#1: Improve my relationship with God and submit to His will

I plan to do this by just spending more time communing with God. “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “(Matthew 4:4)In 1 John 5:14-15, we see further evidence of the importance of God’s Word in prayer.“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him.” When we know God’s Word, we know His will and then we know how to pray and we know the answers are on the way. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:10)

#2: Get healthy and lose weight

The Bible says that my body is a temple. This lets me know that I need to care for my body. I need to improve my eating habits, develop a regular exercise schedule, and lose some weight. We will eat more fruits and fewer sweets. We will spend more time moving than sitting. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). While I’m doing my regular daily exercise, I will also listen to either Christian music or a series, such as from Dr. Tony Evans on my phone while I work out.

#3: Work more toward financial stability

We aren’t where we would like to be financially. The Bible tells me that I must be a good steward with the resources and blessings God gives to me. I don’t feel that I have been doing that to the best of my ability. We will help those whom God leads us to help. We will also volunteer more. “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). There is only One truly worthy of our trust and our worship.  No mere earthly idol can ever replace the love that God has for each of us.

#4: Remove the clutter in my life

CLUTTER – unnecessary, unorganized, sometimes even unwanted elements that are roadblocks to success. We have too much around us, physically, emotionally, and perhaps even spiritually; and what we have that we do need is often not organized in a way that helps our lives function well. We’re trying to pile one thing on top of another without thought to what we actually need for this season of our lives. We seem to have a hard time letting go, so we buy more storage containers and bigger homes. We pack our schedules tighter with less and less room to relax. “Yes” seems to flow from our lips so much easier than “no.” We hold onto emotions that drain us and hinder our growth. No wonder so many of us feel overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed, disorganized, and weighed down.

As we focus on organizing our schedules, our spaces, and our keepsakes, we must also make certain our minds and hearts are ready to embrace the experiences ahead. Taking our personal inventory may also identify emotional clutter we need to clear away: disappointments, hurts, unmet goals, broken promises, and unfulfilled dreams. If left unattended, they take up space in our minds and hearts where peace and joy want to reside. It’s time to repair what needs to be repaired and set aside what needs to be set aside, to make ready for the fresh start that is waiting as the new year unfolds.

As we continue bringing closure to yesterday, it is important to reflect back on the life lessons God has taught us that we need to carry forward. Some experiences were cause for celebration. Others we’ve been grateful to survive. Through them all, He has taught us how to trust Him in all circumstances, to listen to His voice and follow His commandments, to care for ourselves and minister to others in His name. He has stretched us, pruned us, and molded us as we’ve yielded to Him, revealing His mercy, His power, His goodness, and His unfailing love. Through yesterday’s experiences, we can find truths to build on in the days to come. Nothing wasted, but rather wisdom to invest in the future.

God has a plan for our lives. He does know what lies ahead and has promised that if we draw close to Him, He’ll equip us with all we need to move through the days to come and He’ll walk alongside us on our journey. The challenge is ours to remove the obstacles that may hinder our walk as we prepare our minds and hearts to embrace all He has in store.