Happy 2018! I think I’m not supposed to say this, but I don’t mind one bit the end of the holidays. I love Christmas, but there’s something about January. December is a month filled with family, friends, food, activity and just… a lot. I love decorating the house, and I equally love un-decking all the halls. There’s just a fantastic feeling about hitting the reset button in different areas of life.
Like most people, our family has goals for 2018, some big, some small, some practical and others lofty. As we were talking with our kids about the specifics of them yesterday, two words popped in my head: big picture.
We were already getting lost in the details. The how, when, where questions were starting to strangle out something more important: none of this matters if our hearts are hard, if our bodies are exhausted, if our minds are full of junky thoughts, and if we are just on our own private path to fulfillment.
Before all the good things, we need the God things. I sat down with my Bible and paper and asked God to show me what that might look like.
The last thing I want to convey is a sense of legalism, so when I talk with my kids about spending time every day in the word, I want to be careful about not turning it into a chore. I want them to see it as life-giving, not draining. I read a funny meme on New Year’s Day:
Hooray for new starts, but what are we after? Reading through the Bible in a year? That’s good. Is it life-giving and does it draw us closer to Jesus? Excellent. Is it something we do out of obligation? That’s something else.
How do we engage with Jesus without becoming self-reliant? How do we guide those we love into enjoying time with Him?
I have no less than four amazing books I want to go through with my boys right now. I want to impart truth to them so they can navigate this coming year hand in hand with Jesus. We need more than instructions though, more than a regimen.
Godliness before goodness. Foundations before buildings. We have a responsibility to pursue holiness. Not in our own strength, not by reading a chapter a day, but by surrendering to Him and seeking His wisdom.
Proverbs tells us it’s everywhere – it cries out from every corner if we have ears to hear it (1:21). Even better, if we treat it as precious treasure, we find the knowledge of God Himself (2:4).
So my “big picture” is this: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6
Motivated by Christ, feeding on His word, shaping our little worlds instead of being shaped by them. Engaged in a broken culture not because we are brave and fearless, but because we serve a God who is.
Lord show us how freeing it is to seek You above results, to listen to You over the all the noise. Let us stay where You want us to and move when you tell us to.