Psalms 51:10-12 “10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (KJV).
As we journey through the last few days of 2014; we look forward to beginning a new year, many of us will consider making some resolutions. Personally, I don’t like to make New Year resolutions, but I do like to look back over the past year and reflect on my accomplishments and failures. This is a wonderful time for personal reflection; a time to examine our spiritual walk with the Lord. Before I discuss these verses let’s take a moment to ask ourselves some questions.
During this past year…
- How was my spiritual walk?
- How much time did I spend in prayer?
- Did I spend enough time reading my Bible?
- How many Bible studies did I complete?
- What ministries did I support? (Financially, prayerfully, physically, etc.)
These are just a few simple examples to help us reflect spiritually. These are not meant to be an exhaustive list but merely challenge us to think deeply and spiritually about our New Year resolutions. The most common resolutions include: weight loss, healthier eating habits, removal of bad habits, money (saving and debt reduction), etc. All of which are excellent resolutions that will help each one of us; but what about our spiritual resolutions?
David begins with “Create in me…” which is the most important ingredient for spiritual change. Create begins the process by cutting down and clearing out what has been standing in our way. It is like clearing out a forest in order to pour the foundation of your home. Once the trees have been removed the cleaning continues with the removal of the stumps and roots.
As we establish our new resolutions, it is critical to ensure our minds and hearts are cleaned, old things are passed away, removed, and forgotten. We now have the ability to fill our minds with a clean spirit and a new heart. As we enter into a new year, I pray we will all focus on creating a new spirit and a clean heart that allows us to grow closer to the Lord.
There are two things that stood out in these verses; the first is our ability to create a new habit that will focus on the Lord. The second is to restore what we have been doing for the Lord, allowing us to enhance and improve them. We can always improve our walk, relationship, and love for the Lord. As a Christian we never stop growing in the Lord, but just as it is important for us to eat healthy, we must eat a healthy spiritual diet as well.
Zabriskie (2014) encourages us to establish a resolution of reading through the Bible in 2015. The article listed 20 reasons and benefits that can be achieved from reading through the entire Bible in a year. It also discussed how quickly most of us fail at completing the common resolutions.
One key to remember when establishing any resolution is your ability and desire. We often fail because we do not allow enough time to perform the new task of change. For example, if you desire to read through the Bible in a year, make sure you set aside plenty of time each day to accomplish your reading. You must also take into account those events that will “pop-up” and keep you from completing your daily reading. This is an area that needs to be accounted for. Either establish an alternate time during your day or ensure you have the time to catch up on your reading. I like to set aside a couple of hours each day, this gives me plenty of time for reading and studying. When something comes up, then I have plenty of time set aside to make up any reading or additional research that I may need to accomplish.
Establishing my daily quiet time with the Lord and His word has not been an easy task for me, but I have to admit, it has been the greatest blessing. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways, reading my Bible has allowed me to slow down and listen to what He has planned for me. It has also provided me a great opportunity to stare into the mirror of my life, showing me those areas that need some attention, cleaning, and redirection. I encourage everyone to do what they can to ensure they have set aside some “quiet time” with the Lord daily. The Bible is the only book that has the ability to continuously strengthen us on so many levels. Reading His word will allow us to grow and strengthen our personal life, marriage, parenting, family, work, and church life and fellowship. The Bible will never be outdated and we can never learn too much from it.
I pray the Lord will bless everyone who reads this post and help them grow closer to You. May the Lord speak clearly and strengthen you daily. May He lift you up when you are down and allow you to be His light to those around you. May His wisdom fill you each and every day. God bless you for taking the time out of your day to read my posts. It is an honor and privilege for me to have the freedom and ability to share what the Lord places on my heart.
The Silent Preacher
Zabriskie, M. (2014). Resolved: read the Bible in 2015. Fox News. Retrieved from: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/12/26/resolved-read-bible-in-2015/