I haven’t publicly made a New Year’s resolution in several years. But I will let you in on my private one I made at the end of December. I thirst to know my Lord more and more each day. In the words of John the Baptist, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)
Many of you who read my posts don’t personally know me. I have a big personality (to go with my big Texas red hair), I’m loud, opinionated, and far too often I don’t heed the words in James 1:19, “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” I am flawed, but I also accept that the Lord created me with my personality for a purpose, flaws and all. And, thankfully, I am a child of God through my faith in Jesus Christ and my repentance: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) And praise the Lord, His grace transforms us from sinners to saints: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
God indeed works in mysterious ways, or so it appears to me since I sometimes don’t pay attention to His urgings when they first come. Back in May 2016 I purchased the book, The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations. I even purchased a second one for a friend. But I didn’t read it. In June of last year I was interested in joining an online study guide for the book with an accompanying study guide, The Daniel Prayer Study Guide: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations. I purchased the study guide, but didn’t get past the 2nd of 6 weeks of the study. Some time ago (sometime between May 2016 and June 2017) I thought of purchasing the book Into the Word: 52 Life-Changing Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups. Both of these books are by author Anne Graham Lotz. Honestly, I thought I did buy the book, but since I couldn’t find it, I ordered it before Christmas as it is a year-long study that begins in January.
Now here we are in January. My ladies’ weekly Bible study just began our study of The Daniel Prayer and on my own I have begun my year-long study of Into The Word. The Lord has obviously been urging me to go deeper in my Bible study and prayer life, and the tools are at hand. The first week of January (in Into The Word) is about remodeling my life, while the first chapter of The Daniel Prayer is about committing to pray. As I just told you in the previous paragraph, I have too many times taken commitment far too lightly. But I believe that God is calling me to come closer and closer. These words jumped off the page at me, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Heb. 12:1). And if those words weren’t strongly worded enough, I was then drawn to: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24)
So apparently 2018 will be about remodeling; not a house, but my heart and mind. A surrender of myself to His plan, His will, and His timing. I humbly ask for your prayers in my endeavor. It’s past time to throw off everything that hinders and allow Him to mark my race. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13) I just need to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (Prov. 3:5-6)