It’s a new year. We have been here before. People write things to try to inspire you to make a new attempt to try something, or get going on something old again, like last years goals. The new years resolution get’s to live for a few days. It very often has a shelf life.
So what could I possibly want to speak about, if I already seem to believe that anything you try won’t last?
Well, here is the wonderful thing. God is in your life. God never fails. God is faithful. God wants the best for you (even though we can’t often tell what is actually best.) When we do what God wants us to do, He is the one that powers the goal, we don’t.
Getting a new view of your identity in Christ is not about your will power, it’s about His power, and He wants you to have victory in your identity in Him.
The school of identity exists to help you know your identity in Christ, in practical terms. We want to give you whatever we can so that you may experience victory in your identity. What I’m so grateful for, is that it’s not my job to make you have victory, it’s not your job either. It’s Jesus’s job, and He is waiting lovingly to be your identity.
My role is to inspire, encourage, equip and direct you to Him and what He has showed me. Your job is to line up with Him. So here is a few things I would like to ask of you this year.
1. Seek His Kingdom First
Jesus told us to seek the Kingdom of God first, before our own lives. This means that practically, we need to think about the His Kingdom daily. We need to take action and not simply use this as some theoretical concept, but actually think regularly throughout the day, “What choice should I make to advance the Kingdom of God?”
Practically look at it like this. I’d love an apple watch. They are cool. I love these types of innovations. But if I save up all of my money to get one, will that be best for the kingdom? Right now, I must say, NO. But if I use my money to advance the work of the school of identity, I believe that the Kingdom of God will advance. So right now in my life, this is how I practically seek God’s Kingdom first. This doesn’t mean that I will never get an apple watch, but right now, other technology is more important for His Kingdom. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these other things will be added to you, in His time.
2. Read Your Bible
Ok. You have heard this before. But here is the deal. I think that we are all drifting away from it. This is what I have practically experienced. This is what I typically see of many Christians in North America.
We have a problem, so we try to find a scripture about how to solve it. It gives us a little insight, but ultimately, we don’t use the advice, but simply say we read the Bible so people believe that we are trying.
Now hear me, this is not sin, but it’s incredibly ineffective. Reading the Bible is not about checking someone’s status update, or reading this blog, it’s about sitting down with your boss or coach before you go in for a big life changing meeting or game.
So here is my challenge for you. This is actually what I did many years ago. I’m a little embarrassed to share it with you, but I’m going to, because I’m seeking God’s Kingdom first, not my own dignity.
For 7 days, read one word of the Bible daily. That’s it. In one week you will have read 7 words. That’s all you need to do.
This is what I did. I recognized that I had not been consistently reading my Bible, so I made this plan. I hate goals, but I thought that if I can’t do it, I really suck at my faith. What happened is that after I had read that 1 word, I would read more. You see, reading wasn’t the problem for me, opening up the Bible was.
3. Pray and Listen
We are so stuck in prayer. We have become people who look at prayer as simply being honest with God, which it is. But honesty without willingness to except or hear what your caregivers encouragement is, is again ineffective. When you pray to God, you have to give Him time to speak to you.
Now again, you have probably heard this before. But here is my practical advice for it.
Consider this. If you had a friend for years, and every time you to talk to them, you don’t let them speak. How likely would they be willing or even ready to speak if you finally give them a chance? They probably wouldn’t talk to you first time. They are probably just waiting for you to say more, as is your pattern. It would take some time to trust that you are actually wanting to listen.
This is the same with God. If you have not listened to Him for a long time, in my experience, He will let you sit there for a while before He speaks. He is not angry, He is just waiting for you to pay attention. Perhaps for the first time. Now He is very excited to talk to you, but He will wait until you prayer life becomes about listening, more then speaking. But when He starts speaking to you, watch out, it will blow your mind and change you forever.
This year is not about you getting your way, let it be about God getting His way. Trust me, He wants more for you then you do. He just doesn’t want for you, the things that you may think will fulfill your life. So here is my challenge to you. This is what I want to ask you to try. Make this year about Him.
When you make this year about the Kingdom of God, God will make this a Year For You.