Spiritual Life in 2020
January 21, 2020
I think it’s a common thing for people to reflect a little about the past and look toward the future, particularly mentioning things they want to improve or accomplish. Most people will focus on physical improvements, like getting healthier, losing weight, taking care of themselves in a variety of ways. Others will focus on education, equipping themselves better, or household things—the list is long.
The problem is that most people do not give enough consideration to their spiritual life. A primary question to consider is “How am I going to grow and develop my relationship with Jesus Christ?”
Now you and I know that we plan for a perfect year, but it never works that way. We live in a fallen world. Wise people have said in a variety of ways, “He who knows what the future holds and doesn’t prepare for it is a fool.” We know that we are going to experience losses, disappointments, and challenges, yet we often do not prepare.
Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
God has given us all kinds of resources to prepare for the unknown future and not crash and burn. When you are unprepared for the unknown curve balls, Jesus says you are like someone who built a great-looking house on an insufficient foundation. I want to suggest a few things that I have found to be some of the greatest growth factors in my life and the lives of others. Think about these and add some of your own. What is something you should and could be doing that would strengthen you and get you ready to live life at your best regardless of the circumstances?
- Commit to consistently attending the weekend service. The Hebrew writer enjoyed many awesome and wonderful experiences, and also knew great trial. In Hebrews 10:25, we are urged to make sure we don’t neglect our time together with other believers, “even more as the day or his return draws closer.” I find that every time I am with other believers to worship, pray, and grow together I am empowered in a way that can’t be delivered electronically.
- Begin to serve in a strategic way. Using your gift to help others will grow you in a way nothing else will. You leave your comfort zone to serve and that allows a vulnerability that opens you to God in new areas.
- Live in community. One of the things that we discover as we study strong, effective leaders is that none of them ever have been lone rangers. The people you admire most didn’t become who they are alone. God used the influence and example of people in their lives to shape, mold, and develop them, and He used them to help others. You need to be part of a small group. The intimacy level as you read and study the Word together and do life together is life-sustaining, energizing. Make this the year you develop some lifelong relationships. There will come a day when they will be your lifeline.
- Develop a consistent time with Jesus Christ. You can follow a certain plan for reading if you’d like help in staying consistent. YOU VERSION is an app you can find on your device with many versions of the Bible, so you can choose the language that is best for you. It also has many topical studies and books of the Bible studies you can choose from, and the app will remind you if you miss. 😊 You need to read, pray, and listen.
- Go on a mission trip. Whew. I can’t even tell you what God has done to my growth and strength in this way. I went on my first mission trip with Athletes in Action when I was in college. That trip to the Philippines opened my eyes to what God was trying to do in the world, and forever ignited my passion for the whole world to know.
- Attend DISCOVER Track and complete it. It will give you clarity about NewPointe and where God would like to take you.
This is your year to grow. Think about your spiritual life. What you do in every other area (physical, educational, household, etc.) is all good, but one day it will be gone. Obsolete. What you do or don’t do spiritually will live forever.