A new habit for a new year

If I want to be thirty pounds lighter by this time next year…

On January 1 2021, you scribble these words under a sticky note with the title ‘Room for Improvement’ and stick it onto your fridge door. But seconds later, you open the fridge door and fix your eyes longingly on the leftover triple chocolate mud cake from last night’s scrumptious feast.

However, before you reach for the chocolate cake, you recall staring at yourself sideways in the bathroom mirror that morning. Then, remembering how you devoured a generous helping of dessert yesterday, you do a quick mental calculation of how many trips to the gym that’s needed to work off those calories. For Christmas, your family’s paid for your gym membership. But now it’s up to you to decide.

Sighing deeply, you step back from the refrigerator, cross your arms over your bulging abdomen and slowly shake your head. It takes all of your self control to avert your gaze from the cake and close the door. You know you need to form new habits over the coming months. In order to achieve your goal, it’s not enough to make a resolution on paper. It’s going to take commitment to see results. This is going to involve changing your diet choices and lifestyle completely.

Perhaps shedding some extra pounds might not be on everybody’s ‘Room for Improvement’ list this year. But since we’re around the time in January where people start losing motivation to follow their new year resolutions, I’d like to ask you a question.

What areas of your life do you want to see transformation in 2021?

This is the time for us to realign our priorities with our Lord’s. As God’s children, we’re encouraged to find out what pleases Him. Let me propose that cultivating a heart to seek the Lord’s face should be number one on that list. Seeking the Lord’s face conveys the idea of intensely longing to dwell in His presence every moment of the day. Jesus’s precious blood bought us the privilege to be in God’s presence. We can fellowship with God on an even deeper level than Moses ever could. And Moses was the man with whom God spoke face to face (Exodus 33:11)!

King David continually sought God’s guidance in every decision he made (Psalm 27:8). He encouraged Solomon to do the same, promising that if he sought the Lord, he would find Him (1 Chronicles 22:19, 28:9). In Chronicles, every king of Israel and Judah was assessed based on whether he sought God wholeheartedly. The kings who did were greatly blessed. Even wicked King Manasseh’s life was transformed when he sought God (2 Chronicles 33:12).

Alluding to the analogy of losing weight, setting your heart to seek God isn’t easy. It’s a habit requiring commitment, discipline and lifestyle changes. But the results are far more rewarding than staying physically healthy. If we want to bear much lasting fruit, we must learn to abide in Jesus. When you grow more sensitive to His voice, you’ll begin to see the transformation. The spiritual fruit you produce is a reflection of your dependency on God. How evident is the fruit of the Spirit in you?

Leading worship, teaching Sunday school and other ‘spiritual activities’ are all good but there’s no substitute for seeking intimacy with the Father. Time spent with your Heavenly Father is what He desires most from you. His eyes search throughout the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9). Of the nearly eight billion people on this planet, the Lord seeks for those who have fully devoted themselves to Him.

During your moments of intimacy with Father, He wants to empower you with the ability to impact everyone in your sphere of influence. As writers, we’re given the privilege to speak words of encouragement and hope into the lives of our readers. Words that can be used by the Holy Spirit to bring healing and restoration. These come from the overflow of the refreshment that the Spirit gives.

May I encourage you to prioritize spending time with Him as your new habit this year. He’s waiting for you to draw near to Him. Will you?


Author Bio

Ellice is a radiographer living in Melbourne, Australia. She desires to share her faith through her writing and is in the process of publishing her debut novel The Master Healer. Since she was in her teens, she has always been passionate to write devotionals to mentor younger believers. You can visit her blog “Living Stones” to check out the other devotionals she posts here: https://theholygeneration.blogspot.com/ 

When she’s not typing away on her computer, she loves honing her green fingers (that’s the Aussie way of saying “green thumb”) and experimenting with food.

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