Monday, December 1, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, December 1, 2014

Where Will You Be Spiritually in Five Years?

You may have heard a frequently quoted scripture, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2). New Year’s resolutions are around the corner and many of us will set goals for starting a business, remodeling a home, completing a physical training program, pursuing educational improvement, or other personal self-improvement projects.  During the process of setting new physical, financial, and educational goals, have you ever asked yourself, “Where will I be spiritually in five years?”  

Each of us is made up of three parts; a spirit, soul and body. Genesis 2:7 states that Man was created as a "living soul." The soul is the mind, emotions, and will.  While the natural body will cease at death, your spirit and soul will live on. In a world that focuses on material gains, consumer affluence, and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, we must also think about our spiritual development over time.   

In the Bible, Paul criticizes his audience for remaining infants and not maturing enough to understand the difference between right and wrong (Hebrews 5:12-14). Paul went further and said he wanted believers to …progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him,  (Philippians 3:10).

Do you have a desire to increase your knowledge of who God is? Consider memorizing and meditating on scriptures related to the identity and character of God. Do you have a goal of fellowshipping with more believers? Consider joining a church that allows relationship building and serving in ministry. Do you desire to improve your prayer life? Consider starting a prayer plan and getting up earlier each day to complete it (Ephesians 6:18).

In order to fully reach our spiritual goals and objectives, we must also remove obstacles that will hamper our spiritual growth.  Paul suggests we get rid of all sin and weight that will slow us down and prevent us from reaching our goals (Hebrews 12:1). For some of us this might require us to reevaluate the people we associate with, the music we listen to, the words we speak, the business of our schedules, and the habits we ignore.  

As we approach the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior and the start of a New Year let us set a few spiritual goals and objectives, write it down, make a plan, remove obstacles and get a friend or family member to help keep you accountable. We all need to increase in our knowledge of God, strengthen our relationship with Him and grow into being just like Him (Ephesians 4:15).

Habakkuk 2:1-2
English Standard Version (ESV)
I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

Hebrews 5:12-14
New International Version (NIV)
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Philippians 3:10
Amplified Bible (AMP)
10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

Hebrews 12:1
New International Version (NIV)
12 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Psalm 119:148
New International Version (NIV)
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.

Ephesians 4:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

No comments: