A Challenge for the New Year


There’s nothing like starting the new year off right. So I have a suggestion; why not devote a block of time to be alone with God and have a one-on-one with him? Sound crazy? Not at all. I will give you a help in the form of a spiritual exercise. Then you try it. Okay?

A Spiritual Exercise

Sit with Jesus for a little while and talk to him about your life as you would with a good and trusted friend.

Open your heart; tell him of your dreams and fears, loves and losses; the hellos and goodbyes. Your secrets are safe with him. Ask him to help you to be wise and loving and free in your relationships.

Remember that he loves those you love even more than you do. Perhaps you can relax a little and leave things with him for a while.

I challenge you to the following.

I find the beginning of the year to be a perfect time to take stock of where I’m at in all areas of my life: Spiritual, physical, relational, emotional, familial, intellectually, financial and so forth. I also look at the past year and write a log of the happenings throughout the past year. I record them in the back of my journal. I do this every year. It is an amazing examination. I find myself thanking God for the way he took care of my family and me and all that was accomplished. I invite God to guide me the coming year.

Three other suggestions for a good way to begin anew:

  1.  Read one chapter per day from the book of Proverbs for the month of January. There is wisdom in this book and I am certain God will draw your attention to certain verses. Then meditate on them and see how they apply to your life.
  2. Participate in a Daniel Fast. This helps cleanse your body of toxins and resets you physically. You gain some spiritual strength in the process. The two go hand in hand.
  3. Choose a word as your word for the new year. Pick something that will both benefit and challenge you. Then write the areas that this will impact in your life. Commit to using this word in your life. It may be something you want to cast off or it may be something you want to learn, or want to grow better at.

Every year is a chance to get it right and do better in your life. Blend that with your spiritual side and you’ve got something good going for you. When life is hardest, God shines brightest. He walks with us, so look to the good and you will find it.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; and may the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.  (adapted from Numbers 6, NIV)