Am I giving God enough?
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? Too many who profess to follow Christ, this is something, that may be weighing on your heart as you look to begin a new year, full of grace, mercy, and of promise. This question is meant to help challenge you in your walk with Christ, in a positive way, promoting any areas in your life that need to be examined. And if you are going to be truthful, there are probably many of them that need to be evaluated.
According to Vince Lombardi, I am not successful, at least when it comes to my service of God. It is safe to say that I am not giving nearly enough of my time, my talents, or my resources. So, I am left with the question, does God really want my all, or is He content with me giving Him what I can. I mean, after all, He understands that I’m busy, right? I’ve got a demanding job, kids, a social life, pets, and a honey to do list that is a mile long. At the end of the day, how can God expect me to give to Him what I don’t have?
If you find yourself asking this question, you are not alone. I remember when becoming a Christian, I was on fire for God. The very nature of serving Him was all I could think of. I was consumed with serving in my local church, spending my time reading my Bible, and quickly joining as many groups as I could. But today, am I still that same person, or am I finding myself lacking in my daily spiritual walk with God? Is my daily Bible reading, prayer time, and devotional time shaping me or am I shaping the time I devote to them? Sadly, I find that it is the latter of the two is where I stand. I have slowly become the person I vowed not to be. Just as Peter told Christ, He would never do the things that would dishonor Christ, yet he did them, just as it was foretold. This reminder given to us by John, records well the account in John 13:21-30. I often think of myself as the Apostle Peter. My heart is intentional but my flesh is weak. So, giving God my all, is something that I need to focus on more directly. But how does this work, how can I redirect my flesh to walk as it once walked in fire for the spirit? The answer, in my humble opinion, comes in the form of seeing why we need God in the first place. If we only view God as a means to the end, we will never value all that He is. If I profess that God is my rock and my redeemer (Psalms 18:10, 19:14, 22:3, 28:1, 59:11, 62:2 & 7, 75:10, 91:2 & 4, 127:2) yet I treat Him as if He is my friend I only hang out with for two hours each Sunday, then what am I actually saying about my Lord? I am vigilant and eager to become that which I was, and serve God with more than my words, I want to serve God as the Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3:17 “17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I would like to offer a small yet very objective set of goals to you. These goals are what I am doing this year, and they offer a very rewarding way of spending time with God, while not becoming overwhelmed. I would suggest that you begin your year with a “one year calendar of reading your Bible”, these calendars are found online and you can print it off, or simply download the app to aid you in your reading. Secondly, I wanted to suggest doing a 10x10x10. This is:
10 minutes reading your Bible
10 minutes pray (speaking to God)
10 minutes pray (remaining silent and listening to God)
If you start by doing this 30 minute a day challenge, I have found it to be very rewarding. I also found that if I miss out on something within my day, I can always jump right back into where I left off. This helps build your confidence and self-esteem when it comes to serving God in a very practical way. If you continue to do this model, you can eventually increase the time you spend with God each day. However, I would recommend you follow the 10x10x10 model for at least two weeks before you attempt adding more time, only due to the nature of building on success.
For those who are more apt to spending copious amounts of time with God during your day and are looking for something more routine, I also suggest you follow this model, perhaps you can begin with larger time frames. The goal to this, and any thing we do, is to become greater followers of Christ. I really hope you have great success with this model, just know that you are loved and that Christ wants nothing more than, for you to take one step closer to Him, so that He can move closer to you! (James 4:8)
My Prayer for you this upcoming year, is not to focus on having only one day a year to start new, rather, Christ opens that option up to us daily. Christ gives us a new beginning each and every day, not just one day a year. May this new beginning find you right where you are, may it bring to you what that peace that only God can give through His grace and mercy. May you always look to the starts and find hope for a better today, and an even greater tomorrow. May you step up your game for God today and forever! Amen
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26