The New Year probably brought some questions for you…what’s going to happen? How is my life going to change? What’s our country going to look like? Will I still have the same job? Will I finally meet my future spouse? I think you might not be asking one of the most important questions: how am I going to change spiritually this year? It’s a question that only God can fully answer, but you play a part in answering it too. And trust me – you want to get this one right.
This question isn’t just about you though. Like we talked about on Tuesday at the Porch, we want to start a revolution, not just inspire you to make resolutions. Resolutions can be good, and they might make a better you, but revolutions (the right kind, at least) make a better world. And revolutions are started by people who first resolve to make a change in their own life and then the world around them. Here are three areas to examine as you think about what might need to change in your life this year.
Ask yourself: Is there any area of my life where I am not completely following Jesus?
JP spent a lot of time talking about thison Tuesday. One of Christianity’s paradoxes is that for you to be completely free, you need to be under the right person’s authority. And that person isn’t you. Like JP said, Christian victory comes through surrender, freedom comes from submission, and your faulty pursuits of freedom will actually lead you to captivity. True freedom (great blog from JP on that topic if you click the link!) cannot come from following anyone or anything but Jesus.
Some of you, or people you know, might resist the idea of following Jesus because you don’t believe that He is actually the Son of God. If that’s you, we’d love to talk! There are some really good answers here. For your own reading, you can also check out the books “More than a Carpenter” or “The Case for Christ”.
A lot of you would probably say that you follow Jesus, but the million-dollar question is how, and in what areas? Are there any areas where you might give lip service to Jesus but not do what He says? Jesus’s own words were, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). Are you following Jesus 100% in areas like purity, money, relationships, work, serving, confession, and prayer? Like really following? You won’t be perfect, but that’s not the point. The point is faithfully responding to a loving Savior who knows what’s best for you.
Write down your answer to the question above, and share it with someone close to you. If there’s a consistent hurt, habit, or hang-up you’d like to work through because you haven’t been following Jesus in certain areas, come check out re:generation to experience Christ-centered recovery!
Ask yourself: Am I feeding my mind, body, and spirit what’s healthy or unhealthy?
What you let in determines what comes out, and I don’t just mean food. Your intake determines your output in a lot of areas. On the physical side, we probably all know that one person who could eat at Raising Cane’s every day and not gain a pound, but I’m guessing it’s not you. The Bible affirms that physical discipline has some value, and taking care of your body honors God. I’m not saying you have to do the Whole 30 or join that CrossFit box, but you’re better off making healthy decisions where your body is concerned.
More important, though, is whether you’re feeding your mind and spirit a steady diet of God’s Word and truth. What are you more likely to invest an hour in: reading the Bible, watching Netflix, or scrolling through social media? A few years ago a guy I trust told me that the #1 thing most people need to change in order to get in the Bible more and change spiritually is to watch less TV. Add social media to that list, and I agree. Save yourself the comparison, jealousy, and wasted time, and choose to feed yourself something that will nourish your soul. If you’re looking for a way to start, check out jointhejourney.com for a daily bite of truth, or jump in Watermark’s Equipped Disciple class to take a big step in growing your relationship with God.
Ask yourself: Are the people with the greatest influence on my life following Jesus 100%?
The people you spend time with will change your life one way or the other, either for good or bad. You might think you have a choice in the matter – “I can hang out with this crowd and not get dragged down!” – but that’s naïve. The Bible says that bad company corrupts good character, and you aren’t the exception to that rule. You will be influenced by the people you spend time with and do life with. If you want to make the right resolutions and start the right kind of revolution, make sure it’s with the right people – those who are following Christ with everything they’ve got.
If that sounds like a total drag, please let us help change your mind! Not all Christians are boring, and not all alternatives to the bars and clubs mean you stay home on the weekend. I’d say we have more fun than anyone, and it’s the kind of fun that doesn’t come along with a side dish of regrets. Check out the Porch’s Facebook page or app to hear about all the things coming up! We have an entire team of young adults who dream up and put on events you’d actually want to come to.
Beyond just the weekend scene though, you need Christian brothers and sisters who know you deeply, love you unconditionally, and encourage you to follow Jesus every day. At Watermark, we call these community groups. If you’ve never been in one, check out Open Community Group after the Porch on Tuesday! Or if you’re a Watermark member or looking to join, check out Singles GroupLink. At both places you’ll meet other young adults just like you who are looking to connect with other Christians to follow Jesus with.
If you want to start a revolution, it starts with you. What do you want to change in 2017?
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