Happy New Year!! 💕
At the beginning of each year, we almost always make resolutions. When making them, we often do so with the aim of becoming a better person (“New Year, New Me” sound familiar?). We fixate on the ways we might have fallen short the previous years and resolve to do better. For our spiritual goals, we resolve to read our bibles and pray more, listen to more messages, etc. Now while these resolutions are very necessary, it is important to question what drives them.
Why do you want to pray more in 2020?
For myself (and a lot of people, I suspect) these resolutions usually came from a place of fear that I did not please God in previous years because I “did not do enough”. So I’d begin the New Year vowing to read my Bible for xyz hours or pray in order to be a “better child” of God. All this did was set me up for constant performance anxiety, afraid that If I underperformed in some way, God would no longer be pleased with me. This led to a vicious cycle where I’d have an intense period of prayers and studying followed by a period of relaxation, till my spiritual high faded again and I’d be spurred by guilt into another bout of intensity. So I’d have sporadic bursts of intensity, but no real consistency.
I think it’s important to point out that in all the accounts of Jesus’ baptism in the scriptures (Mat 3:13-17, Mk 1:9-11, Lk 3:21-22) it was noted that the Spirit of God descended on him and said, “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”.
It’s important because this happened BEFORE Jesus began his earthly ministry. If it had happened say after Jesus raised Lazarus from death, we could have rationally thought, “God was pleased because of what He did” but Jesus hadn’t done anything that we know of. I’ve talked about how God’s love doesn’t depend on us <here> and I think it’s something we need to remind ourselves as we step into the New Year.
I am starting this year with the knowledge that I am God’s beloved daughter, chosen and marked by his love, and that he is well pleased with me. His greatest delight is in me. Right now. Today.
So I’m not reading my Bible more this year because I’m trying to earn his favor. I’m doing it because I love him and I want to spend time with him.
I’ll tell others about Jesus, not to rack up evangelism points, but because he’s too wonderful to not talk about.
And if peradventure I miss my bible reading one day, I won’t feel bad because I think he’s annoyed with me. I’ll feel bad because I prioritized something over my greatest love.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Mat 3:17 (NIV. Please read it in KJV, MSG, TPT and AMPC as well)