Pastor Jeanne Miller
It’s time for New Year’s resolutions to be touted on the talk shows and in the media. I don’t know about you but they don’t do much for me. Not that we shouldn’t look over the old year and see where we might do better this year. It’s just that most of the resolutions that you hear about are all worldly and that’s not where it’s at for me. I’ve found over the years that if I keep my spiritual life in order the rest will follow. So at this time of the year I stop and sit with the Lord to find out what needs to be done in the New Year. You notice I didn’t say where I failed in the past year, but instead where I need to stretch and go further this year. The Lord doesn’t spend a lot of time on telling you where you failed. Instead He tells you what will help you in the future. Everyone needs to continue growing spiritually all the time.
I can give you some concrete examples from years past. When I knew I needed to lose weight, I went to the Lord and He told me to spend more time with Him. When I went to Him about walking in love, He told me to spend more time with Him. When I went to Him about ministry needs, He told me to spend more time with Him. When I went to Him about health issues, He told me to spend more time with Him. Are you seeing a pattern developing or is it just me? I finally got the point that no matter what the need may be, (family issues, marriage issues, anger issues, oppression issues, financial issues, etc.) the answer will always be the same: spend more time with Him.
Now that seems to be too easy! Especially when you know how you’ve struggled in the past with these issues. I can remember when I was trying to lose that weight that just kind of crept up on me. I thought, how is spending time with the Lord going to help me say no to that candy or those chips? Yet that is exactly what the enemy would have you think so you’ll pass it off as nonsense. How many times have we heard from the Lord and said, because of our own reasoning, that can’t be God? Yet what I found was the only way I could withstand those temptations was by being stronger in the spirit! God knows what’s best for us. During that time He took me to scriptures that I still remember. Here are two. Proverbs 23:2, “And put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.” Proverbs 23:21, “For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.” Spend some time meditating on those two scriptures and see what happens!
In II Peter 1:3 the scripture says, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” Now I believe that all things that pertain to life and godliness pretty much covers it all! However, if you were to stop right there and not finish the verse you could stand on this part of the verse all day for many years and not obtain all things that pertain to life and godliness. The “all things” are obtained only one way—through the knowledge of Jesus. And the knowledge of Jesus only comes one way. That is by spending time with Him. That is the only way you get to know Him.
Now we get to the only way to success for a Christian which we hear about all the time. We need to spend time in the Word and in prayer, or as it says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!” When you get your answers by being still before the Lord and you walk them out with success, then God is exalted among the nations and in the earth! And this strategy works! I have found it works better than the ways of the world or than me doing things in my own strength—which never works.
How come more Christians don’t have success in this area? Mainly because the enemy will use everything in his bag of tricks to stop you from spending time with the Lord and he’s usually successful to one degree or another. He is a liar and a deceiver and he will try to convince you through your reasoning that this is just too easy and therefore could not possibly work. However those who have success in their walk with the Lord know that it really is just that simple if you will buckle down and do it.
In 2012 let’s determine in our heart to do only one thing but do it well. Spend time in the presence of the Lord through prayer, praise, the Word and just being still. I believe it will bring more blessings to our lives then anything we could think up on our own. Be blessed in 2012!