2008 came in quietly for me. There were no big parties, no tons of visitors. In fact, I spent a good part of the day reading and thinking, and watching the birds outside my window (the rain doesn’t seem to deter them from splashing in puddles and chirping and living their lives — there’s a lesson there).
I really don’t make “resolutions” anymore — at least not resolutions just because it’s a new year — but there are a couple of scriptures that keep running through my mind. . .
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. . . (Philippians 3:8-10 ESV)
This year, will I be willing to continually offer my body to God, to do whatever He asks of me? Which voices will be louder — this world’s system, others’ expectations — or the Holy Spirit’s voice, calling me to submit my will to the Father’s?
This year, will I live like knowing Christ is more important than anything else? Will anyone be able to tell without my continually announcing my decision?
The “submitting my will” stuff has already started, bigtime. Rheumatoid arthritis and only one partially-working vocal cord has made it physically counterproductive to continue teaching and speaking at the level I had been in 2007. I’m still on partial voice rest, which I’ve been on since Thanksgiving. I believe, at least for now, that “presenting my body as a living sacrifice” means being willing to be quiet, spend more time in focused prayer and bible study, and conserve my energies so that I can uphold my husband in his ministry.
What will the New Year look like for you?