If you are a believer in Jesus- every goal you set for 2017 is pointless if your primary goal is not growing in your spiritual disciplines. We should long for the glory that is heavenly, keeping an eternal perspective.
Look at it this way- considering the most popular goal made at the start of every year.
The diet! A desire to lose weight is temporary. It won’t stick. It usually ends at King Cake season here in Louisiana. But- a desire to honor God with your body. That is eternal. That is the change and motivation we need. We don’t need temporary goals but Godly, spiritual disciplines. They are vital to experiencing God’s best for your life. They are crucial to fulfilling the proper Gospel-mission God has for you in your family and in your circles of influences.
Here are 7 reasons why spiritual disciplines matter:
- They reveal our heart. If we don’t spend time with God daily, that choice tells us something about ourselves. Perhaps we are more self-dependent than God.
- They strengthen the church. People who spend little time with God tend to spend less time challenging others to be with God. Their stories of personal victory are often more past tense than present tense. We want 2017 to be the best ever for Fellowship? It depends on you.
- The Bible is all about hope and life. We hear every week about the promise of resurrection and new creation, all the while wondering if even God can revitalize stagnant (or even spiritually dead) people. We need to be reminded regularly through the Word that God brings life out of death.
- They strengthen our faith. Reading the Word and praying are more than just disciplines; they are lifelines to the Father. Knowing that God divides seas, collapses walls, slays giants, and empties tombs strengthens our trust in Him. Talking to Him and recognizing He listens to our prayers magnify our wonder of Him.
- Prayer builds our relationship with, and dependence upon, God. When we pray, we express the truth that we cannot do in our power what God has called us to do. The reverse is also true- our lack of prayer is an expression of idolatry of the self.
- Disciplines don’t allow our circumstances to take the focus off of God. It’s the apathetic man or woman that is headed to destruction. Unless we are regularly focusing on God via study and prayer, then any trial we face will throw us into the wind.
- Disciplines help to turn our heart outward. It’s hard to read the Bible consistently without seeing God’s heart for our neighbors, friends and the nations who are far from God. The resounding message of the scripture is that the God who desires a prayerful, intimate relationship with us loves the world. We follow suit.
Let’s make eternal goals- and be spiritually disciplined people of God in 2017 and beyond!