Christians, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 2018!!! I pray that you had a great 2017 and that you flourished in ways you never imagined. For 2018 on roadcrew we are under the banner of FULFILLMENT! We are believing that God will fulfill many of His promises and plans this year. So what does that mean we need to do? Our Part!
God has plans, desires, dreams, goals to complete on this earth, and He uses us to complete those goals. What we need to do is be led by God to do His will for this year. One quote I cannot shake from my spirit is: “If you want to see something you have never seen, you must do something you have never done.” Let me give you an example.
Last year I had some exercise and health goals for myself, so I made a plan. I made a spreadsheet for the entire year, I had push-ups, running, bicep curls, ab workouts, etc. Let’s just take push-ups for this example. At the beginning of the year, I could do 3 sets of 25 push ups-for a total of 75! This was a good start and at the beginning of the year, pretty difficult. My last workout of 2017 I did 3 sets of 75 push ups for a total of 225 push ups! How? I did something I have never done, and I saw results I have never seen before. It took A LOT of work, it took perseverance, it took setting goals, it took encouragement from others (my wife) to achieve this goal. To be honest, I not only achieved my goal, I surpassed it.
Now as we start 2018, I am sure many of us have physical fitness goals, and that’s good. I believe in good physical health, strength and that they are Godly attributes. As I was reflecting on my workouts on the end of the year, I thought to myself, with the results I have seen physically, how do I translate that to the spiritual realm? That is where it is most important. Where there are eternal rewards to be enjoyed.
For this year, I’ve made a Spiritual Workout Plan for myself. There are things I want to see change, areas I want strengthened. So I need to work out those spiritual areas like I never have before. Praying, Reading the Bible, Listening to Different Christian teachings, reading different Christian books, Serving, Ministering, Reaching out to others, like never before. If the thought of this seems overwhelming, let’s remember to start small, 3 sets of 25 right?
I would love a gym membership…in college, a buddy and I would go multiple times a week, and it was great to see improvement and work towards goals. Part of the reason I chose push-ups was so that no matter WHERE I was, I could still do my workout. I didn’t need a bench press, weights, bars, gloves, etc. I just got down on the ground with the strength I had, and worked it out. PRAYER is our spiritual push up! No Bible, no book, no media player, no PROBLEM. Talk to God, and LISTEN for His direction in your life. Pray in the understanding, and pray in the Spirit. Let this be something you can do anytime, anywhere. Start small. 3 sets of 5 minute prayers (don’t make them all about God bless me, give me this, do this for my life). Think of others, pray for their needs too and talk with God – not at God.
As you consistently work out your spiritual muscles, you will find you can increase your sets and repetitions. 5 minutes will be too easy, don’t stay at this level, go to 10, it should be challenging to start with, but it will get easier. When I first went from 3 sets of 25 to 3 sets of 33, I thought “what am I doing?” But I COULD do it, it was just MORE challenging. After time it got easy. I then did something that radically changed things up. Beginning in October, instead of doing push-ups once a week, I did them three times a week (at the same time I went to 3 sets of 50). December started, 2 sets of 75 and mid December finished the year at 3 sets of 75. Now my personal push-up regimen could be a silly thing to talk about, it has little value, but I am using that example to set my prayer goals for 2018.
Anytime I feel that it is getting too easy, that I can pray longer, or more frequently, I want to push up my time, I want to do something I have never done, so God can show me something I have never seen. I want to set my goal to be like David. To be in His presence, to inquire. What spiritual goals and ambitions do you feel for your life? What are you waiting for? Let’s cast aside all hindrances, which so easily entangle us, and run this race, run for the prize! I pray that as we seek Him out, as we press in this year 2018, that God fulfills the plans He has for us, the plans for our welfare, for our good. We will find Him when we seek Him with our WHOLE heart, let’s make that our goal in 2018, in Jesus name, AMEN!
Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. 1 Corinthians 14:15 (NLT)
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadow boxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NLT)