Ahhhh..Here it is…the first full week of 2015! My approach to starting a new year is more of an assessment time for me. A time for reflecting, evaluating, and hopefully coming up with a plan of action. Not a resolution but more about putting tangible things in place for my life so I can improve from the previous year. As I mentioned on my “About Me” page, I recommitted my life to Christ in the fall of 2012. However, the spiritual warfare to be completely surrendered to Christ is an ongoing battle each day.
Ever since I was a teenager, as a baby Christian, my mother would use a phrase with me that I still remember to this day. She would tell me…”Horace Jr., “you love to straddle the fence” meaning you are a child of God but you love seeking after worldly pleasures. I was definitely not completely surrendered to Him. I would make compromises or even rationalize in my mind that whatever I chose to do was not hurting anyone. However, the compromises kept me from living out completely the life that God has planned for me.
So being led by God, I decided to put together a “complete surrender action plan” for myself and I tweak it when necessary but there are five habits that have become priority. These habits help me to put Him first in everything I do as I desire to be pleasing to my Lord and Savior.
1-Start every morning with a prayer of thanksgiving for God allowing me to see another day. ( this gets my mind off myself and my worries for the day)
2-Right after breakfast, I try to spend at least 30 minutes of “quiet time” on average reading, studying my bible and praying for daily guidance. I try do this before checking emails or making phone calls. I’ve noticed that I am distracted during my quiet time if I’ve read emails or had conversations prior. Sometimes, I know this can’t be helped but you want to try and find a place for you and God where you are not distracted
I must say that my time spent was initially probably only 15-20 minutes but the more consistent I became in doing this, I could not get enough! Now sometimes it may be an hour or two especially on the weekends. I am always encouraged and strengthened for the day’s activities by reading about God’s love for me and understanding that He is with me always. During the quiet time He gives me direction for the day or even reminds me of some task I need to complete or follow up on.
3-Throughout the day I pray constantly asking God for wisdom and direction before making decisions. Now, I don’t have to pray about which color socks to put on in the morning but I do pray asking for guidance about things like where should I move to or how can He use me today. I want to focus on His will not mine.
4-At nighttime I try to spend at least 10-15 minutes reading some devotions from favorite Bible teachers or pastors or scripture verses at night before going to bed. . It is so uplifting and encouraging every time I read these devotions. There is always one that hits the spot!
5-Before I close my eyes and drift off to sleep, I say a prayer, thanking God for his help and guidance throughout the day. Also, any prayer requests,confessions that have arisen from the day’s events, activities, or conversations, etc.
I must say that “complete surrender” was a scary thing to me ever since I became a Christian. I always thought that if I surrendered myself to God my life would be boring or maybe He would ship me off somewhere far away out of my comfort zone. Now I truly understand that God wants what’s best for me and He wants me to live a joyful, fruit producing life. So whatever His plan is, I am ready and willing because I know “all things will work together for good.”Romans 8:28
Food for Thought
How do you approach the New Year ? Share with me!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/11308024@N07/8333599549″>IMG_2991b</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Horace Williams Jr is the oldest son of a pastor who went to be with Jesus in 2020. He is an award-winning author and amateur chef who loves Jesus Christ. His passion for Christ inspires readers to draw nearer to the God who loves them.