As we prepare for what will be, we must also ask ourselves the question, "What are my faith goals this year?" To fail to set goals for our faith is to set aside God as we pursue all that which the world has dangled in front of our eyes. Yes, it is important to get physically healthier this year, but becoming spiritually healthier is just as important. It is important to invest our finances for the future but an investment in the kingdom of God is of far greater value. The time spent relaxing, away from the cares of life is necessary, as is time alone with God that is consistent and valued.
Proverbs 29:18 reads, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18 KJV) Without a vision for our faith for this year, we will suffer and those around us will suffer. You may wonder how others will suffer. Think about this for a moment. We are not our best when we neglect to connect with the Lord. What results is that we are not the reflection of God that we need to be to a world that is lost and we are less likely to lead our families and impact our friends as we should. When our relationship with God is not priority, all of our other relationships suffer in some manner.
So, how do we set a vision for this year for our faith? Here are a few suggestions. Making the growth of our spiritual life a priority is a wise decision, so let's look at a few areas that can help us grow in 2018.
1 - Personal Quiet Time - To get alone with God is important. To plan it is even more important. Whatever we do not set aside time for, we will neglect to find time for. Even if it is ten minutes in the morning, any additional time spent with God will lead us to grow in Him.
2 - Family Faith Activities - Immediately, we think of church events. What are we doing the rest of the week? Is there a night each month when we can watch a faith-based movie? Scheduling a time of devotion will also help the family grow in faith. Finding a family ministry activity is also something that will glorify the Lord and help our family's spiritual growth during the year. Some ideas to consider:
- Visiting widows in your area
- Family outings to shop for Operation Christmas Child
- Randomly making dinners for others and delivering them
- Leading a coat drive/canned food drive
3 - Cultivate the environment - Controlling the environment which we exist in can drastically affect our lives. Our choice in music can lead us closer to God, refocusing our minds on Him, or it can be the noise of the world that fails to lead us to growth in the Lord. What we watch on television, what books we read, and the choice of movies we watch are all things that we can control and if our desire is to grow closer to God, we have to change the environment around us as much as possible.
I pray that this year is a year where we will have a vision for growing in the Lord and make Him our priority. We have to remember that if there is no vision, we will fail to grow and all will suffer. Happy 2018! May God bless you as you grow in Him.