By: Gary Hutchens
As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another, it's a good time to do some self examination. Are you where you want to be in life? Whatever your life is like, are you happy with it? If you could have projected ahead ten years ago, would this be what you wanted your life to become? If your life had to remain just as it is now, for the foreseeable future, would you be satisfied?
Most of us would probably like to have done better with our lives than what we have done to this point. And, most of us would probably like to do better from here on. We can come up with all kinds of reasons. For some of us, relationships are not what we want them to be. For others, our financial picture is somewhat shaky, or maybe worse than that. Some of us are not where we want to be in our career. Some may not be employed at all and desperately want a job. Still others have health or physical concerns.
What about your spiritual life? Is it good? Is it comforting and satisfying? Is it fulfilling and rewarding? Are you where you want to be spiritually? Do you truly experience "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding" (PhIp. 4:7). Are you confident of your eternal destiny (1 Jn. 5:13)?
These are far more profound considerations, with much farther reaching consequences, than those previously mentioned. Once again, most of us would probably like for our spiritual lives to be better than they are. We'd like to be stronger spiritually. Most would probably like to be more spiritually in tune with what God wants us to be, how He wants us to live, more focused. We'd probably like to have greater knowledge of what the scriptures (Col. 1:9-10).
So, what are you going to do? As you come to the end of another year, and look forward to yet another, will you simply wish you could be stronger spiritually? Will you put it out of your mind and let another year go by without any real spiritual growth? Or will youmake up your mind to refocus your spiritual life- to be at every worship service and Bible class possible (Heb. 10:25), to read your Bible regularly (2 Tim. 2:15), to pray to God throughout the day every day (1 Thess. 5:17), to look for ways through which you can actively serve God and be involved in the work and activities of the church (Eph. 2:10)? What will you do?
This is a great time to refocus spiritually. Make a commitment today to work on developing your spiritual life, beginning today, throughout this coming year. Stop looking for excuses to miss church services. Commit to reading the Bible through this year- just three chapters a day most days will do it. You'll be amazed and thrilled at how much you'll learn. Make time to pray several times every day. Seek out ways in which you can be involved in the work and activities of the church. Purposefully focus on your spiritual life every day. Determine that your life will be directed and governed by spiritual values first.
Try this approach to your life for one year, and see if next year at this time you don't feel better about where you are spiritually.
Gary L. Hutchens