Resolutions for the Soul
When we talk about New Year’s resolutions there is a tendency to “bite off more than we can chew”, sometimes literally and frequently, and we end up destined for failure. The same thing can be said when we want to gain territory for the Lord in our spiritual lives. Spiritually speaking, there are many aspects of spiritual growth that cannot be measured, but it is helpful to pause occasionally and see where the Holy Spirit is working in our words, actions and reactions. Here are a few basic questions to ask ourselves or have a trusted, mature believer come along side us to ask. Adapted from a 1993 Leadership Journal article by Fred Smith, here are twelve questions to help get your spiritual accounts in order.
[simple_tooltip content=’Too often our identity is wrapped up in what we do, not who we are. Job title or position become central to our idea of self, instead of what we do coming out of who God is within us. If we want to be people of spiritual zeal we must move from tipping the scale from doing and having to more being.’]1. Who am I becoming? Am I content with that? [/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’The basic difference between religion and spirituality is a matter of control. I can control religion while spirituality is something that controls me. A healthy, growing personal relationship with Jesus should be the motivating force behind our religious structure.’]2. Am I becoming less religious and more spiritual? Do I know the difference? [/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’It has been said “You never really know someone until you live with them.” Do those I am closest to see me striving to become more like Christ? Or is there a mask, or a false self that I put out for others to see while I struggle on the inside?’]3. Am I spiritually authentic and consistent in all facets of life?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’We are not to be containers holding wisdom, knowledge and blessing indefinitely, but allow these qualities to flow out of us. The constant channel of blessing makes our spiritual experience constantly fresh. ‘]4. Do I have a flow-through experience? Am I more a reservoir or a channel?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’There is a big difference between the fast track and the frantic track. When do you “Sabbath”? What does it mean to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy? What does that look like in my life? What should it look like?’]5. Do I have a quiet center to my life? [/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’There are aspects of every position that may not have in them tasks we necessarily enjoy or come naturally to us. That doesn’t excuse us from accomplishing those tasks. It is important to find my unique ministry so that the things I do well energize me to complete all tasks.’]6. Have I defined my unique ministry?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’“One test of my prayer life is this: Do my decisions have prayer as an integral part, or do I make decisions out of my desires and then immerse them in a sanctimonious sauce I call prayer?” (Fred Smith)’]7. Is my prayer life improving?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’Awe inspires worship. Awe is not learned it is realized and experienced. That experience will continue to draw us back into a sense of awe and into a deep and true worship.’]8. Have I maintained a genuine awe of God?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’Humility is not denying power, but admitting it comes through you, not from you.’]9. Is my humility genuine?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’My spiritual formation plan is a healthy one tailor-made for me. Do I fill my heart, soul, mind and body with things that help me grow? How can I be more intentional about what I put in?’]10. Do I have the right spiritual diet?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’How do I handle disobedience? Do I make excuses or rightly confess my errors? What are some small matters that I’ve seen God work/bless me through my obedience, even or especially when I might have done something different?’]11. Is obedience in small matters automatic?[/simple_tooltip]
[simple_tooltip content=’ I can be joyful in the sufficiency of God. Doubt dilutes joy. Joy isn’t magic and it doesn’t refill itself automatically. How can I set myself to seeking and finding joy, especially in the tedious and mundane?’]13. Do I have joy?[/simple_tooltip]
As the apostle Paul so aptly puts it, “And this is my prayer: That your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-10 NIV)
Our prayer for you is that 2015 will be a Year of More for your soul. We pray that you will grow deeper spiritually, that you will talk more often with your God, that you will walk more closely with Jesus and that you will share your blessings and your faith with those you encounter.