As we open a new calendar year, many of us are reflecting over the previous year and making plans for the year ahead.
There is just something about the blank slate of a new calendar year that makes you want to start fresh, get organized, and be intentional with your time.
We inevitably turn our eyes to doing.
We want to:
- Get back on track with our Bible reading,
- Get more organized,
- Eat healthier,
- Exercise more,
- Whine less,
- Get rid of stuff,
- Do this.
- Do that,
- Improve this, and
- Improve that.
This is all really good stuff.
As Donald Whitney says in his book, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health,
“Where eternal life through Christ does exist, there should be not only health but also growth” (page 14).
“We are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
We are created in the image of God, and we are created to glorify Him.
To know Him. Walk intimately with Him.
All of this got messed up in the garden, but God made a way for His purposes to prevail – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But remember that God created us as human beings, not human doings.
It is in Him that we find our motivation for doing.
Choosing Bible reading plans, setting goals for personal growth, and resolving to do things a little differently this year are all good things, but we must not neglect the most important thing – simply being in Christ.
So before you get started this year with your grandiose plans, be still before the Lord.
Read the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Soak in the words of Jesus for a little bit, especially chapters 14 and 15.
I particularly like to meditate on John 15:5:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
We tend to get a little swept away this time of year.
We get swept away into doing good works and forget to simply abide in Him.
He is the vine.
We are the branches.
Apart from Him we can do nothing.
Set your beautiful new planner aside for a moment.
Pull out your Bible and simply soak in His words for a little bit.
You don’t have to journal. You don’t have to do an intensive Bible study.
Just simply read through the Gospel of John and be in His presence.
Then, pull out those plans and maybe use a guide to help you set up your new year for His glory.
But don’t set another goal or make another plan until you have simply sat with Him. I promise you won’t regret it.
What about you? What are you most excited about this year? What do you like to do at the turn of a new year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
When you’re ready to sit down and make a plan for your new year, I have something that can help.
I wrote Live for Him: A Grace-Filled Look at Planning because I needed a way to evaluate my life in light of God’s Word.
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