Your Best Year

Starting a new year is so refreshing because we get a blank canvas to look at the year ahead. We can evaluate the year that passed, and we can make any changes that we need to make. We can look at goals, desires, and ambitions we would like to achieve in the year ahead. These are all good and right, and we should do this. I’m just not sure how many times we are including our spiritual life into this thinking. To take it a step further, I would like to suggest that having spiritual goals should be one of the most important things we can decide on for the year ahead. I say that because: It will be the best year, if it’s your best year spiritually. Clearly, throughout the Scriptures, we are told to prioritise the Kingdom of God. If we put God first then other areas of our lives will also be blessed. Therefore, this would make it the most important area of our lives that impacts every other area of our lives, good or bad. Consider these Scriptures:Matthew 6:31-33
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Mark 8:34-37
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

John 15:4-5
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Developing your spiritual life will have the greatest impact on your marriage, friendships, business, etc… than anything else. I am not saying that we should only focus on this and do nothing else. What I am saying is that it’s not a matter of either this or that, but rather priority. If we prioritise our spiritual walk with God, we will have the best year. This does not exclude trials and difficulties, but it means that when we go through those our experience will be so much better and healthier.

The benefits of living a God prioritized life includes:

• answered prayer (Jn 15:7)
• joy (Jn 15:11)
• love (Jn 15:12)
• love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23)
• faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love (2 Pt 1:5-7)

Who doesn’t want more of this in their life? I know that the people around will have a better experience of us too.

Here are 3 simple ways that you can put into practice today to have the best year, and the devil do his best to keep you away from them:

1. Pray everyday

Phil 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A resource that has helped me in the past, that can benefit you also is the Pray First App. It is a guide to teach you what and how to pray everyday. Visit https://prayfirstapp.com for more information.

2. Read Scripture everyday

“Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy. However harmless it may be” – A.W. Tozer

This should be our mindset everyday. If you can do this, even if only a few Scripture verses, you will be filling yourself with living words from God.

Psalm 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

If it will help you find consistency, learn how to have a devotional, or even just to try something new, you can follow my daily devotional (Monday – Friday) on my video and audio channels:
– YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@svensteffens
– Podcast: https://anchor.fm/sven-steffens1/

3. Connect to godly relationships this year

1 Cor 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” We become more like the people we surround ourselves with. If we want to grow in relationship with God, and have the best year, we need to be connected with people who are on a similar journey that we are. This is how the church was organised in the beginning, and it’s still what happens today… a community of believers, following Jesus together. This might be the year you make some Christian friends, and in the church, join a life group. If you would like to join a life group, or get more information, you can find it here: https://revivechurch.co.za.dedi1920.jnb1.host-h.net/ministries/life-group/ In conclusion, Don’t take it for granted, make it your priority to build a healthy spiritual life this year. If you do, it will be your best year. It will have significant impact on your marriage, your friendships, your work relationships, how you run your business and do your work.

Article by

Sven Steffens

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