2024 is upon us. We’re stepping into a new year, and as always resolutions galore start coming out. As believers, there are many things we could attempt to commit to, but there are a few things that we can make the decision to strengthen or improve. Our faith walk is vital and strengthening it is everything to our spiritual success.
As we go through these few points, remember that reading them is one thing, but making a conscious decision and effort to practice them till they become part of our day is everything.
- Become a Student of the Word.
2 Tim. 2:15 says, “Study yourself and present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The knowledge of the word is everything for sound doctrine. We can’t pray effectively in the name of Jesus, without having a solid handle on the word. Our understanding of the word keeps us from error and out of the snare of the Devil. Doctrinal ignorance is the downfall of so many believers. 2 Peter 1:2-4 gives us an understanding of where the promises and grace come from. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” We have exceedingly great and precious promises through our knowledge of the word. Decide that this year, you’re going to establish a reading time daily; so you can develop a disciplined and doctrinally sound mind and life by reading your word. Sometimes, splitting up your reading time during the day helps. When I worked at a warehouse, I split my reading time between my break times, and lunch. It worked out great and kept me in my word while at work. A One Year Bible is a very helpful tool. It breaks down the daily Bible reading into Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. The One Year Bible is designed for you to complete the whole Bible in one year.
- Get Into Church Consistently.
Heb. 10:23-25 states: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another and so much more as you see the day approaching.” Attending Church is not a religious obligation, rather, it’s an absolute spiritual necessity. As we see the world spinning out of control, our coming together consistently to strengthen our faith and others becomes the priority in our lives. It is so easy to get out of alignment with our priorities, and then we find ourselves more and more missing the assembling together. The temptation to stay home becomes easier and easier. Then, we find ourselves uncovered and out of sync with our fellowship with believers and God Himself. Making a decision that Church is the first priority as much as possible rather than “if I have time with my schedule” or “if I have nothing else to do I’ll be there.” Commitment is a God thing. Acts 2:41-43 states, “And those who gladly received his word were baptized, and that day three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayer. THEN fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”
With the consistent coming together with diligence came the power response. The church was being fed the word, strengthened in doctrine, and learning to grow together as a family. Because of this, God could respond with demonstrations of power and might. This brought the strength of the church and caused explosive growth to continue. In this state, the church was protected from wolves and other opposition that would attempt to rise up and scatter the sheep.
- Develop a Consistent Prayer Life.
Your prayer life is your lifeline to heaven. It is your constant communication and confession that hold you in a consistent state of spiritual awareness and discernment. Ephesians 6:17-19 says, “And taking the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.”
Putting on the armor of God is a power necessity, but the goal is to wage your faith prayer walk while wearing it. Our spiritual armor is useless unless we use it as we go forward in prayer and intercession. Paul tells the Ephesian church that while wearing the armor, they are to go to constant prayer over themselves and the rest of the believers (to keep them sound, strong, and protected). They were also to pray that the Gospel would have continuous open doors to be preached to people and the nations. Our prayer life, when coupled with the word of faith, is the dynamic authority that pushes strongholds down, forces doors to open, and allows the message of eternal life to be preached.
In Matthew 6:5-14, Jesus gives us the template of our prayer life. From how we are to find the secret place to be alone with God, and from that place begin to praise Him, address Him as all He is, and make our confession and our requests, all the time knowing that His kingdom and His glory shall reign forever. What a place to pray from!!
Find that time in your day where you dedicate yourself to spending time in prayer and the confessing of your word. This may start with 15 minutes during the morning or evening. Whatever works best for you. Start with what is available, and stay with it daily. Don’t try to commit to an hour every day when you know you can’t commit to more than 15 minutes. From this place, take a few moments during the day to just thank God for His promises and blessings. In this, you will find consistency. 1 Thes. 5:16-22 Paul writes to the Church, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast to that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” Decide for yourself that you will choose to develop an attitude of rejoicing as you pray. Remember, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
All of these things are the basics of our Christian walk. They’re not options but commands. Every one of these is doable, for God has them in His word for us to follow.
In this new year, we see great needs all around us. We see many lives broken and lost, nations that need the Gospel preached to them, and a generation that is lost beyond measure, that needs the message of God’s love desperately. The church can only be effective if they are warring together in one accord. We can only be effective by being steadfast in our commitment to each other, our walk with the Holy Spirit, and of constant fellowship and the prayer authority that we have received from the Holy Spirit.
Let’s get strong in our word. Let’s get back together to cover and pray for one another, and let’s recommit our lives to the one who saved us from all our sins. Let’s fall in love again with the Father of Glory and enter His gates with thanksgiving, and come boldly consistently before His throne of Grace. Let’s take this new year by storm and show all of hell that we walk as one man (Christ) to represent Him in all that He is without division. If we do this, there is no stopping the move of God that will blanket this nation, the nations of the world, and give God the greatest harvest ever. WE CAN DO THIS!
Happy New Year,