I love to do lists. It is how I stay organized at work and at home. As I get older, my brain doesn’t remember things as easily as it did in my 20s, and sometimes I need visible reminders of stuff I need to get done. I can prioritize what really matters and has to be done in a day versus getting every single item crossed off. I can go to sleep with things not marked off that list knowing that tomorrow, God willing, I’ll wake up and get another chance at finishing them.
When praying over what I hope to accomplish in 2017, I was excited to think about what I was going to get to mark off my list this year. What came to me instead was this anti-resolution list of things. I say anti-resolution because these goals aren’t things I can accomplish and mark off my to do list. Doesn’t that sound daunting? But instead of being discouraged, I’m excited. I’m energized. I’m challenged to take the next step into what God has planned for my life and my family’s life.
Over the next few days, I’ll share my focus areas with you. Let’s start with the first two: prayer and discipleship.
I have experienced prayer and believe in its power. Writing out my prayers help, but prayer is a discipline with which I struggle. Discipline usually isn’t fun, but it is rewarding. It changes things. It’s also not very popular. Our culture teaches us that we’re entitled to a fun and an easy life. If it’s hard, just do something else instead. I learned this when getting through reading the Word. I didn’t always love reading the Bible, and it wasn’t always easy. Yep. I just said that. But, I do now…truly, and that’s real and genuine. I know that the love of prayer will follow this season.
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
“Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:1-3
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I want everyone to know this God that I serve. I want everyone to experience the love and peace and joy that I know I have because of Him. I am a sinner that is so thankful for grace, and I want everyone to know that there is nothing they can do to not be loved by God. But I need someone to keep me in check. How is my heart doing? With what am I struggling? We weren’t meant to do this life alone and having someone to disciple and to be discipled by is very important.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
What are your focus areas this year? Have you been intentional to figure out what needs to change in our life? Now is as good of a time as any… Think about it, write it out, and hold yourself accountable!