Several years ago, I gave up on resolutions. I never kept them and there were always too many to really attain. The list gets so long and honestly a year is just too short. If we look at our lives with real clarity and understand how discipleship really happens, we realize that God doesn’t ask us to get it all together in a 365 day period. That’s just not how our walk with Christ operates.
Since I started really, prayerfully considering the one thing God wants me to focus on each year, I’ve been able to recognize God’s hand shaping my life. One Word flies in the face of the typical year end look at a long list that had more unattained than accomplished – more regret than growth.
The greatest example of this came in 2014. God moved and shaped me more in 2014 than in any year I can remember, but I don’t believe it is because 2014 is the first year He actually moved in me, but because I was actually looking for Him in a quantifiable way.
For 2015, I began to pray and seek God in where He planned to devote His energies in my life and not just where I wanted to see him move. The word the came to mind was “invest.” As I prayed and thought through it, I wasn’t satisfied that “invest” focused closely enough where God wanted to be in me in 2015. As God stretched and pulled at the word “invest,” He placed the word “devote” on my heart. “Invest” has a strong financial connotation in our culture, while “devote” is a personal, deeply relational word.
Devote: give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause).
In the book of Acts, we are told that the Church, “…devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The Church gave themselves to the mission that Christ left to them. In Romans 12:10, Paul tells the church in Rome to “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Devotion is the Biblical term for personal investment. We are called to give of ourselves so that others might grow. We are asked to give ourselves fully to God. He wants our devotion to Him first and to others second. How often am I devoted to me and my agenda? How often do I devote my resources to the cause of me?
In 2015, I will seek God to become a more committed follower of Christ. I will seek God to become a more devoted husband. I will seek God to become a more devoted father to my kids. I will seek God to become a more devoted pastor, who gives time and resources to see those I lead become devoted themselves. The thing I know in all of this, is God is able and willing to lead me here.