New Year's Resolutions: Know Yourself, Focus on God, and Have Fellowship with Him
By CCD contributor: Wang Xi , February 08, 2018 00:02 AM
But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)
The past is gone. Since the 2017 has become history, the right thing to do is live in the present. At the beginning of 2018, make a good and practical plan to live each day of the new year. Here are three points you may need to consider.
The hardest thing for people is to know themselves and correctly face themselves.
It's natural for people to choose what's good about themselves and avoid their problems and disadvantages. However, God doesn't want us to be ostriches, but expects us to be true to ourselves, have a genuine fellowship with Him, and get along with others authentically.
Moses recalled the bleak history of the Israelites and even shared why he couldn't enter the land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 4:23-29, Numbers 20:1-13). He told the Israelites that nothing could be hidden from God by opposing to skate over flaws during his life.
David once prayed to God, "Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure- you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts." (Psalm 7:9)
One can only make right prayers in front of God and humble himself before people as long as he knows himself and his inner needs.
Turn your eyes on God
We normal people leading normal lives have to face all kinds of trivial matters.
God never forgets us no matter what we encounter during our faith journeys. At peaks or bottoms, His rain moistures and waters us. Paul said, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
There is always time to have problems and trouble, but don't be discouraged because Jesus promised to be with us and give us peace. The point lies in whether we have faith to cast our difficulties on him.
Focusing on God is more than committing our trouble to Him --- it is a process of waiting, trusting, and practice. Pay attention to how to increase our faith, make our lives more mature, keep patient in difficulties, and quiet in joy.
Have fellowship with God
The Lord Jesus told us, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15 )
It's comfort and encouragement that the Lord Jesus, our master, calls us friends instead of servants. Friends keep no secrets from each other, care for, and encourage each other. This is an invitation from the Lord and moreover, his trust in us.
Some categorize "inappropriate" Christian prayers: murmuring to oneself, chanting, paying vows, preaching, shouting like maniacs, and shouting slogans... They regard these prayers as improper.
Prayers are not limited to certain forms. We can pray to God anywhere at any time. A person can use different prayers based on surroundings. The key is to be sincere and straightforward in prayer, that is to say, worship God as the center and tell your situation to Him. God knows your prayer that is made with or without words.
There is no need to move God with forms of prayer. All we need to do is to tell Him our situation and face difficulties. Then wait for the work of God and look upon His grace by faith.
(The author is a preacher of a local church in Jiangsu.)
- Translated by Karen Luo
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