Weekly Devotional: Having a Restored Spirit in the New Year

By Ashlynn Lilly

Person stands triumphantly on top of a mountain with sunset in horizon

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. As you continue to place your trust in God, He will continue to fill your heart with joy, peace, and a hope that overflows into the lives of the people around you.” – Romans 15:13

As the year 2020 has come to an end, we tend to reflect on significant events that have affected us, whether they were positive or negative. As we reflect on the events of the year, we often develop resolutions for the new year. We see these resolutions as an opportunity to determine how we can improve or become better than we were in the previous year. This could mean we want to better ourselves physically, emotionally or mentally. While setting these resolutions may be helpful, we cannot neglect an evaluation of our spiritual condition as well.

Sometimes as Christians we may look past what God wants for us because considering this requires us to confront our sin or spiritual apathy. We want to be under our own control instead of His, and we end up becoming obsessed with fixing how we look on the outside rather than working on our spirits on the inside. Instead, we should look to what God says about us and learn how we can abide in Him. God gave us the Holy Spirit to help sanctify and transform us through His Word. Through abiding in Him, we can be filled with peace and joy despite the chaos that may be around us.

Developing Christ-Oriented Goals

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

What are your resolutions this year? Do they include exercising more or attending more social gatherings? While these activities can be good for you in some ways, these resolutions may not have end goals that are worth pursuing. Why do you want to work on these things in the first place? We need to ask ourselves this question and see if the end goal is toward God or something of this world instead. If we choose to not fall to the temptations and teachings of this world, but rather set our minds on things above, we can then recognize that God’s way is the only way.

Resolutions are meant to be goals that we set in order to help improve ourselves, but we also need to recognize that, most importantly, they are meant to help us spiritually. We cannot make this happen without putting God in the center of our goals and abiding in His Word. In this new year, focus on what God wants for you spiritually instead of pursuing the superficial goals you think you need in order to perfect your own self.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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