December is always the month that I personally love to take the time to disconnect from the world to truly connect with God.
It is the time that I like to take a serious look back over the year and reflect over all that has taken place, before going into the new one.
It’s the time that I like to really quiet my heart to hear or discern what God has in store for the next. He is always doing a new thing, right (Isaiah 43:18-19)? I want to know what that new thing is. I want to hear what God has to say.
When I woke up Sunday, the morning of the first day of the New Year 2017, I asked God, “What do You want me to focus on this year?” This is what I heard Him say.
Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional. ~ Glenda Cloud
One of the first things that I like to ask myself in my time of reflecting is, Have I grown this year? And I believe that if I have, I should be able to see it. In fact, I believe that if anyone gets to the end of the year, a 365 day long period, he or she should be able to see how they have grown, if they have grown. If they can’t then that rings the bell that there’s a problem.
Can I tell you something? I have a problem. I didn’t grow in the year 2016. I had moments where I was way more in my flesh than I should have been, my prayer life seemed almost none existent, and I had a hard time being patient.
Yet, I prayed that these things wouldn’t be so. I asked God for so much help. Because I wanted to please Him. I still do. And He is not the one who failed me in bringing these things to pass in my life either. No God is always faithful. I am the one who got in the way. How? I grew weary of doing good.
My span of endurance is not long at all. I will admit that. I have a bad habit of wanting things and wanting them NOW. Over and over, God has to tell me to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6). And I listen, until, I get anxious again. Ha! I just had to laugh at myself. I’m so glad the Father loves me. So much so that He wants me to grow.
There are several things that God has in mind when it comes to human beings. It is that they accept His Son Jesus as their Lord and Savior, grow more in the knowledge of who He and His Son Jesus is (John 17:3), and that they grow and mature more into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49).
God is all about growth. He wants mature sons and daughters bearing fruit for His glory.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. ~ Psalm 1:3
To have to sit and admit that I could look back over the year 2016 and not see how I grew disturbs me in the worse way. Because as a child of God, growth is to be evident in my life. So in this new year of 2017, I have a choice.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. ~ Matthew 12:33
I believe that we should always be able to see areas of growth in our lives. We should always see how we have matured. Growth is important to the Christian faith.
Because God is so merciful. Because I know that He loves me. Because He spoke the word GROWTH over me. I choose to GROW.
I will grow in patience.
I will grow in prayer.
I will grow in godliness.
I will grow in holiness.
I will be intentional to grow.
It is my hope that at the end of this year 2017, Lord willing, that I will be able to reflect back over this year and be able to testify of all the ways and areas for which God enabled me to grow.
What one word is God speaking over you this year? Will you be intentional to allow Him to manifest the fruit of it in your life?