When the New Year comes around many of us take time to reflect on the previous year and decide to make some much needed changes. Magazines, internet articles and people around the world are notorious for talking about, giving tips, and looking into how to lose weight, eat healthier or make positive changes for the New Year. People make lists of what to do and not do in order to bring more balance to their lives.
I am one of those people who like to do that. Starting a new year gives me the sense that there is hope for doing better in all areas of my life.
So, this year I am making lists and praying about God’s will for my life in light of what He has inspired me to do, to love Him and love others.
What am I doing to help me stay more organized this year?
- I’m implementing a daily planner and monthly wall calendar to help keep me motivated to accomplish my goals. I can use all the external motivation I can get when the internal motivation is low.
- I’m committing to talking to God first thing in the morning and the evening before bedtime, and prayer journaling. Prayer journaling helps keep me accountable to God and myself.
- Finally, I’m hosting a once a month book study by Sally Clarkson, “Own Your Life”, in my home for women. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions and finding beauty in the brokenness of life.
To find out about my “Ladies Time-Out” events, you can go to my website at www.socorrogill.com.
Just before 2016 ended my family and I had a chance to get rid of our old drafty home windows. They were replaced with new, energy efficient ones. Hopefully, we will stay warmer this winter and cooler in the coming summer months.
All of the preparations to get the new windows caused me to have to make a space for the workers to work, to remove and install the updated ones.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about this New Year, or even when I was going to have time write. But, as I was reflecting on what we had just done to make our home a better place and then sitting down to read my lesson for the Community Bible Study group that I’m in, I was inspired!
In the Old Testament, before Jesus came in the flesh to take our place as the perfect atonement for our sins, the Jewish people had to make a “space and place” for God to dwell in the Holy Tabernacle. (Exodus 39:32-43)
Before the priests could intercede for the sins of the people, God instructed the Israelites to build a place for Him. He made it possible for them to meet with him, through the priest, to commune with them.
In the New Testament, the Gospel or Good News, we don’t have to take sacrifices to a physical place in order to have our sins forgiven and meet with God!
“Under the old covenant, the priest stands before the altar day after day, offering sacrifices that can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down at the place of highest honor at God’s right hand”. (Hebrews 10:11-12, NLT)
We can go boldly before the throne of God, if we put our trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross at Calvary.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. This is the new life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us.” (Hebrews 10:19-20)
After going over my lesson and thinking about the events of last year I was reminded about drawing near to God.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. (James 4:8)
This year, more than ever, I want to make more space in my heart and home to maintain a holy place for God to meet with me;
A place where I can close my eyes, yet see God at work in and around me;
A place where I can sit in silence, but hear His voice and know that He is near to me.
Finally, I want to create a place where I can meet with God and confess my daily and even annual struggles, frustrations, and the many joys of living in this world.
“Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.” (James 4:9-10)
I pray that this year you seek to know the one who created you. You don’t have to have all your “ducks” in order or be perfect to come near to him, just approach him with a repentant and contrite spirit. If you do that, He promises to give you new courage and refresh you!
The Old Testament says, “The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One says this: ‘I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts’.” (Isaiah 57:15)
What do you need to do to make a space and place for God to work in your life this year?
Draw near to God,